Mailbag: On third-year QBs, the Colts DC and public salaries

Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky
Gerald Ball in Norcross writes: Hello: You endorsed Bill Polian's statement that you should be able to tell if a QB can play by year 3, and if he isn't making real progress by then a team should move on. Well, allow me to give you Kerry Collins' stats from his 3rd year in the league: 200 completions out of 381 passes (52%) for 2124 yards in 13 starts. 11 TDs, 21 INTs, and 27 sacks. QB rating: 55. And keep in mind: Collins did not come out early, and was a dropback QB in a pro style offense. Collins was also the #5 pick in the draft. Speaking of Collins' draft, the Panthers traded down from #1 overall because they were on public record as not thinking much of Steve McNair and knew that they could get Collins a bit later. Let us look at McNair's statistics in year 3: 216 completions in 415 attempts (52%) for 2665 yards, 14 TDs, 13 INTs, and 31 sacks. By the way, the GM that passed up McNair for Collins was Bill Polian. Look, lots of QBs have been far worse than Vince Young is now and gone on to be very good players later. Vince Young deserves another shot, if not in Nashville definitely someplace else.

Paul Kuharsky: I agree with the significance of the third year for a quarterback, but I never said there wouldn't be exceptions. (Polian didn't either, by the way.) Certainly, if a guy sits his first two years, Year 3 is a little early to judge. McNair fits there.

You jumped right to Year 3 for Collins, who prove in Year 2 (14 touchdowns, 9 picks, 79.4 rating, but most importantly an appearance in the NFC Championship Game) that he could play. The off-the-field issues that sidetracked him for a stretch and his renaissance are well documented.

Maybe Young will ultimately be able to tell a similar story. But the Titans are entitled to judge if and when he deserves another shot.

Jon in SIlver Spring writes: There was NO story on the Texans?! none?! geez

Paul Kuharsky: Honest. There are going to be quiet times for all these teams now based on two things: quiet stretches where there really isn't anything going on and the fact that each market really has only one paper/Web site that follows the team on a daily basis. I always invite mailbag mentions of links I may have missed, but I do not generally include fan site links in "Reading the Coverage" entries.

JL in Hoboken, NJ: PK, one other question. This is about professional sports in general. Why do teams release salary information? These aren't public companies so there isn't exactly a need for transparency. Are teams volunteering this information or is this information getting leaked against the clubs and players will? While, for the most part, I don't think that this information does any harm, I can't see any good that it serves either. If anything, it can only engender animosity towards highly compensated players who aren't perceived to perform at a high-enough level (think A-Rod). Thanks

Paul Kuharsky: Few release it, but it's hard to keep a secret. Players want to know what the market is at their position and because of the salary cap it's important to know what people are making to be able to judge how a team is managing things financially. Agents have access to details of every contract in the league, numbers that are critical to negotiating the next deal. There is no way it's all going to stay private.

An aside that's my favorite salary-related locker room exchange ever: An inexpensive safety on the Titans once waved me over to his locker and asked me why I had mentioned his salary in an article in The Tennessean. "I've got some women out there who think I make a million dollars," he said with a sour face. I'd let it be known he was not nearly that wealthy.

Luke in parts unknown writes: I like [Herm Edwards for Colts defensive coordinator] because of his Dungy connection. He's a good coach, and though he's never been a coordinator, he's been a head coach who would give Caldwell a veteran mind to help him out.

Could you see them promoting John Teerlink to help keep continuity? He's been a successful line coach for awhile, and he would work well with the Cover 2 personnel.

Though, it's all probably moot since it looks like it will be Coyer. I don't know him well, would he keep the Cover 2 system, or try to gradually change it to something else?

Paul Kuharsky: I have not heard a Teerlinck promotion mentioned as a possibility, but the Colts have been very quiet on this. Their personnel is molded to the scheme, I don't know why they'd be looking to change anything but the size of their defensive tackles and the consistency of their run defense and tackling.

Edwards has never coordinated and said he'd like to return to the league as a defensive backs coach.

Unknown from Hendersonville writes: well the Titans are vastly improved over the last 3-4 years. I have an interesting thought, and that is do you think the Titans could possibly sign Haynesworth and also pick up Peppers from Carolina? Would JP be a fit with the Titans (temperment, get along with guys there, etc)? With KVB, Albert, and Peppers with the other guys, it would seem that a blitz would never again be called by the defense? also, is there any chance that, to use his skills, that VY would agree to work as a WR in a fashion as did the Steelers Cordell Stewart about 10-12 yrs ago? I don't see it but was curious.

Paul Kuharsky: It's not how they build -- when's the last time they added a huge free agent who was the best available at his position? Even guys like Chris Hope, Kevin Mawae and David Thornton were pieces who fit the system, not huge stars. Also Peppers is talking about being an outside linebacker in a 3-4.

As for Young, what makes you think he has receiver skills? Why do so many people presume it? There have been experiments before where teams try great athletes at receiver. The Titans don't need a great athlete at receiver, they need a great receiver at receiver. If Young won't commit the effort to play his own position well, why would he commit to a demotion? Bill Cowher was a gadget guy in many ways, Fisher is not.

Adam in Bronx, NY writes: I'm a huge Titans fan (yes I'm really from NY). But one thing about Lyndale White has been frustrating me. He's a big guy with alot of power but whenever I watch him it looks like his legs go dead as soon as someone makes contact with him. I'm used to watching the Brandon Jacobs and Jerome Bettis keep their feet moving even after they get hit. Please tell me, Paul, am I right or just seeing things. Thanks. Keep up the good work, the only blog i read consistently.

Paul Kuharsky: I'd agree White is not a chugger or churner the way Jacobs is or Bettis probably was. He's more of a picker who knows when he's done, more about vision and strength than power despite his size. Much appreciate the compliments, please keep clicking.

Tim in Nashville: Do you think Eric King is a good replacement for Vince Fuller if he leaves via free agency?

Paul Kuharsky: He could be, yes, but he's a free agent too. I think they need to keep Fuller. King would be nice depth too.