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Friday, March 6, 2009
Chat recap: Recognizable doesn't mean good

By Paul Kuharsky
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky

It came up over and over in Thursday's chat, I get it a lot in the mailbag and it's a constant caller complaint on the radio.

A lot of fans seem obsessed with big names.

As in, 'Big Name X has been cut, will my team sign him, we really should sign him, he would fix everything and he's a big name.'

Here's a sampling of how we addressed it in our usual 3-4 p.m. Thursday slot:

Brandon West Orange, NJ: Hey do you think there is any chance of th Tennesee titans picking up any top notch WRs i know they got Washington, but it seems they should have a lot of cap space maybe T.O.?

Paul Kuharsky: There are no top-notch WRs out there, including T.O. Don't get carried away with name recognition.

Is that really the most important thing? That they have new guys you've heard of? Or do you trust them to find guys you'll love like KVB and Bironas and Tony Brown who you'd never heard of?

And later:

Jeff (Philadelphia, PA): Paul: With the Eagles only losing players lately, will they actually sign any big names to help their offense, and McNabb, this year?

Paul Kuharsky: Again the obsession with big names. The most important thing to the Eagles should not be that you are intimately familiar with who they sign. How much did you know about Runyan when they brought him in? He turned out OK, no?

I apologize if my replies came across as a little testy -- you can see the theme struck a nerve.

Sure, there are times when signing a star is a great move. But one of the best things about the league is how big-time players emerge. Look at homegrown studs like Robert Mathis and Owen Daniels, or smart additions who panned out big like Kyle Vanden Bosch [the aforementioned KVB]. Were you wild about those additions? I doubt it. Did they draw big headlines or lead "SportsCenter" or throw popcorn into their facemask? No. But do you love those guys now? I suspect so.

All I am saying, is give teams a chance.

Big names aren't a cure all. Look how tentative the league is being with Marvin Harrison, with Chris McAlister, with Mike Peterson, with Jeff Garcia. I'll bet it plays out similarly with Terrell Owens.

And there is nothing wrong with that.