NFL Nation: Brooks Bollinger
The Miami Dolphins get three days to recover from Sunday's carnage and significantly less time to come up with a game plan for Thursday night's game against the Chicago Bears in Sun Life Stadium.
Expect several roster moves in the coming hours for a team that lost its top two quarterbacks, star left tackle and maybe its sacks leader.
General manager Jeff Ireland will be combing the streets for free agents. It's hard enough to find somebody to contribute on the fly, but to get them up to snuff on a playbook within 72 hours is practically impossible.
JaMarcus Russell, Patrick Ramsey and Chris Simms all have been reported as quarterbacks of interest for Miami. The United Football League season ends in a couple weeks. That would make former NFL starters such as Daunte Culpepper, Jeff Garcia, Brooks Bollinger, Tim Rattay and Josh McCown available. Former starter Cleo Lemon is almost done with his Canadian Football League season.
Starting quarterback Chad Pennington suffered a shoulder injury. Previous starter Chad Henne went down with a knee injury. Pro Bowl left tackle Jake Long reportedly dislocated a shoulder. Outside linebacker Cameron Wake hurt a hip.
The Dolphins have been scrappy in staying above .500 and in the AFC playoff race. But their 29-17 victory over the Tennessee Titans might have been their Waterloo because of the injuries.
The Dolphins won the game but still failed to gain any ground on the New York Jets or New England Patriots, who won on the road to remain two games ahead of the Dolphins.
Now Miami must scramble to field a team and identify somebody on its roster who won't get Tyler Thigpen destroyed. Vernon Carey played left tackle in 2007, but hasn't seen time there since Long was drafted first overall in 2008.
Check back for updates on the Dolphins' roster.
Posted by ESPN.com’s Kevin Seifert
As part of an ongoing NFL preview airing on ESPNEWS, we offer three quick hits on the Detroit Lions:
1. You can never have enough quarterbacks. As of Tuesday morning, the Lions have five on their roster: Matthew Stafford, Daunte Culpepper, Drew Stanton, Brooks Bollinger and Kevin O’Connell. Culpepper (toe) and Stanton (knee) are injured, and the turn of events has left Stafford in the driver’s seat to win the starting job. The glut of bodies is symbolic of a roster that will be in flux throughout the season. Stafford is without question the team’s future, and likely the present. But nothing about the positions behind him are permanent.
2. The Lions weren’t 0-16 last season by accident. Years of poor drafting left them with the thinnest personnel situation in the NFL. There is no easy cleanup to this mess, and new general manager Martin Mayhew seems to have taken a two-pronged approach. He’s filled the gaps with more than a dozen veterans acquired via free agency or trades, hoping they can provide credible performances while he builds young depth behind them. Players such as linebackers Julian Peterson and Larry Foote, cornerbacks Philip Buchanon and Anthony Henry, and defensive tackle Grady Jackson are all short-term gap-fillers for what the Lions hope is a wave of young players who will develop over the next few years.
3. New coach Jim Schwartz hired experienced coordinators on both sides of the ball to help with the development process. Offensive coordinator Scott Linehan not only works well with young quarterbacks, but he also knows how to mix a power running game with downfield passing. Linehan will adapt his scheme to the strength of his personnel, once he determines what it is. Defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham, meanwhile, is known for his blitz-oriented schemes and has predicted he will send an extra pass rusher 40 percent of the time this season. That approach will generate excitement and could help cover for personnel weaknesses at certain positions.
For those of you who are interested, here is the full list of the inaugural draft for the United Football League, which starts play in the fall and hopes to serve as something of a incubation league for players who wouldn't have made an NFL team but could provide midseason depth if needed.
A few NFC North-related highlights:
Former Minnesota coach Dennis Green, who now coaches the UFL's San Francisco franchise, selected Marshall receiver Marcus Fitzgerald, who had a tryout earlier this year with the Vikings. Fitzgerald is the younger brother of Arizona receiver Larry Fitzgerald, whom Green drafted when he was the coach of the Cardinals in 2004. Both Fitzgeralds grew up in the Twin Cities.
Green also drafted running back "Femi" Ayanbadejo, whom he once coached in Minnesota, as well as Harvard quarterback Liam O'Hagan -- a Twin Cities native who is the son of longtime coaching agent Gary O'Hagan.
Orlando drafted former Wisconsin and Minnesota quarterback Brooks Bollinger. It also selected safety Mike Doss, who spent 2007 with the Vikings, and former Vikings tight end Jermaine Wiggins. Former Green Bay defensive tackle Fred Bledsoe was also on Orlando's list.
Las Vegas grabbed safety Adam Archuleta, who played for Chicago in 2007, and former Lions receiver David Kirkus.
Continuing around the NFC North:
- Chicago cornerback Charles Tillman on his chances for being 100 percent by training camp after offseason shoulder surgery: ''I think so. I hope so. I keep my fingers crossed.'' Brad Biggs of the Chicago Sun-Times has the story.
- Officials from Lewis University in Romeoville are pitching the Bears about moving training camp to their campus, according to Joseph Ruzich of the Chicago Tribune.
- Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford has an endorsement deal with Axe hair products, writes Nicholas J. Cotsonika of the Detroit Free Press.
- Missed this personnel development earlier this week: Green Bay linebacker Spencer Havner was practicing as a two-way player during organized team activities last week. Havner was doubling as a linebacker, writes Tom Fanning of Packers.com.
- Minnesota defensive end Ray Edwards continued his assault on the idea of a personal locker room for retired quarterback Brett Favre during multiple appearances Thursday on ESPN platforms. Judd Zulgad of the Star Tribune traces Edwards' progress. Edwards also reiterated his support for incumbent quarterback Tarvaris Jackson.
Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley
OK, I've returned from watching an hour of our SportsCenter special NFL schedule show with Trey Wingo at the helm. In checking some of the Web sites dedicated to covering NFL East teams, I came across Todd Archer's game-by-game schedule analysis of the Cowboys.
Here's how I would break it down for the Cowboys:
Sept. 13 at Tampa Bay -- Going up against a brand new coach and a below average starting quarterback. You could do a lot worse in terms of a road game. Just ask the Redskins. I have the Cowboys winning this game.
Sept. 20 New York Giants -- Lots of emotion tied up in the new stadium's first game. Jerry Jones will make sure to provide a nutty atmosphere -- and he won't have to go out of his way. I think the Cowboys take care of business to improve to 2-0.
Sept. 28 Carolina Panthers -- After an emotional win over the Giants, the Cowboys come back to earth with a loss on "Monday Night Football." If you're scoring at home, they're 2-1 now.
Oct. 4 at Denver -- Most of us thought this would be the first road game. It will be another opportunity to play against a first-time head coach. And DeMarcus Ware could feast on Kyle Orton. This could be a huge game for Tony Romo against an overmatched defense. 3-1
Oct. 11 at Kansas City -- Guess what? ANOTHER first-time head coach in Todd Haley, who loves coaching against his old team. This time, though, he doesn't have Larry Fitzgerald. Give me the Cowboys in a close one. 4-1
Oct. 18 BYE -- This is a little earlier than Wade Phillips wanted.
Oct. 25 Atlanta -- Cowboys welcome a playoff team from '08. I think Matt Ryan will face a much different type of pressure this season. Now, he's expected to perform like a stud quarterback. He might take his lumps in this one. Cowboys improve to 5-1.
Nov. 1 Seattle -- The Cowboys love seeing the Seahawks come to town. Matt Hasselbeck should be banged up at this point. Cowboys improve to 6-1. Dallas rejoices.
Minnesota quarterback Gus Frerotte has expressed his disappointment several times in the Vikings' decision to return him to backup status following his recovery from a fracture in his lower back. This week, he took his sentiments a step further by telling Michael Silver of Yahoo.com that he was the Vikings' best option and should have started Sunday's 26-14 loss to Philadelphia.
Here's the relevant quote:
"I just don't know what to think right now. It was a very frustrating experience, because I felt like I should've been the one playing. That might sound selfish, but I think I would've given us the best chance to win. I'm going home to St. Louis [on Monday] to be with my family and figure out where things stand, but the way things played out at the end really makes me question things."
Many people around the Vikings are expecting Frerotte to retire or otherwise effect his departure from the team. He'll join Brad Johnson, Kelly Holcomb and Brooks Bollinger as veteran quarterbacks who have left the team -- either by their choice or the Vikings' -- after being acquired by coach Brad Childress over the past three years.
Continuing around the NFC North on this fine Tuesday:
- Minnesota defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier will interview for Denver's head coaching job on Wednesday, reports my colleague Bill Williamson of ESPN.com. Frazier also is expected to visit with Detroit officials this week.
- Miami assistant head coach Todd Bowles is "very interested" in the Lions job, Bowles told David Birkett of the Oakland Press.
- Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette suggests the Packers will change their entire defensive scheme this offseason following the departure of most defensive coaches Monday.
- The Packers have never experienced this level of staff upheaval from a sitting head coach, reports Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
- Former San Francisco coach Mike Nolan might be the leading candidate to replace fired defensive coordinator Bob Sanders, writes Tom Silverstein of the Journal Sentinel.
- The Bears have offered their defensive line job to former Lions coach Rod Marinelli, according to Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune.
- David Haugh of the Tribune suggests Arizona's Kurt Warner as the Bears' next quarterback. Warner is a pending free agent.
IRVING -- The Blue parking lot at Texas Stadium was full about an hour earlier than usual tonight. Cars were shoe polished with messages such as "Farewell to Texas Stadium" and "We'll always remember you."
And it seems that more than 1,000 people have secured VIP pre-game field passes. Camera flashes are going off throughout the stadium -- and many of them were pointed at Roger Staubach as he made his way to the NFL Network set. The only thing that would make this better is if the Cowboys were actually playing a rival. The Ravens are playing for the first and last time at Texas Stadium.
After the game, more than 100 former players will participate in a closing ceremony. I'm a little surprised Jerry Jones opted to wait until after the game to hold the ceremony. If the Cowboys lose, I can't imagine a lot of fans sticking around to watch.
Tony Romo and Terrell Owens just ran onto the field together and received a pretty nice ovation. Pacman Jones just ran the length of the field to hug Ravens backup quarterback Troy Smith. Not sure what to read into that development.
Here's a look at all the inactives:
Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley
I'm about to catch a train to Washington for tonight's Redskins-Steelers game, but before we part ways, here's a look at what folks around the nation are saying about the Cowboys, Giants and Eagles:
- Jean-Jacques Taylor, who joined the Beast for breakfast this morning, says no one could've predicted the Cowboys would be this bad.
- Randy Galloway of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram says Cowboys should think twice about wishing on Tony Romo's star.
- Dallas Morning News NBA guru David Moore wrote about the Giants stopping Marion Barber.
- Kevin Sherrington of the DMN says Jerry Jones is paying for his neglect of the quarterback position.
- Charean Williams says no one has missed Tony Romo as much as the Cowboys receivers.
- Gil LeBreton isn't sure happier days are ahead for the Cowboys.
- After having his chair stolen in the press box, Tommy Curran still belted out a nice column on nbcsports.com.
- Jason Cole of Yahoo talks about Jerry Jones' plan for the remainder of the season.
- The Eagles didn't waste any time gloating over Sunday's win. Giants week has officially begun.
- Here's a nice little summary of Sunday's game on the Eagletarian.
- Rich Hofmann, welcome back to the NFL. We missed ya.
- Paul Domowitch gives reserve tight end Brent Celek his due. His performance was a great sign for this offense. Best regular-season day for a tight end in club history? Wow!
- Myers, I could hear you giggling on my end of the press box while writing that kicker sentence.
- Hank Gola of the Daily News handles the Cowboys burial.
- Ralph Vacchiano says the Giants refused to kick the Cowboys while they were down.
- Steve Serby's 25-minute campout at Justin Tuck's locker paid off with a nice quote.
- News flash: Bob Glauber says the Cowboys' season is on the brink.
Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley
|Chris Faytok/US Presswire|
|Dallas quarterback Brooks Bollinger (5) had little success against the New York Giants defense after replacing starter Brad Johnson.|
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- If it's sympathy the injury-ravaged Dallas Cowboys were in search of, they came to the wrong place. NFL officials were meeting late Sunday night to consider a mercy rule for games in which Brad Johnson and Brooks Bollinger receive significant playing time.
In position to name the final score, the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants settled on a 35-14 victory over the same Cowboys that beat them twice in the 2007 regular season. New York players had expressed regret that they wouldn't be able to host starting quarterback Tony Romo (pinkie), but they made the best of their time with Johnson, whose strength was supposed to be mistake-free football.
Giants cornerback Corey Webster intercepted two of Johnson's passes in the first half -- one on a quick slant intended for Terrell Owens and the other on a "deep" out that Webster made a fair catch of along the sideline.
Giants players said coach Tom Coughlin, master of the motivational T-shirt, didn't feel the need to send any messages this week. Even without Romo on the field, the Giants still spotted some familiar faces. They seemed almost offended at the suggestion that the score might've been closer with Romo in the lineup.
"I'm not a doctor. I'm not a psychiatrist," revealed linebacker Antonio Pierce. "I'm not out to help the Cowboys. This team didn't feel bad for us last year when we had injuries, so we didn't feel bad for them."
Pierce pointed out the fact that the Cowboys lost two games before Romo went down with an injury.
"I think if Romo was there we would've played the same way," Pierce said. "Everybody puts the blame on Brad Johnson, but this team lost a game before Brad Johnson. It could've been Romo, Brad Johnson, Bollinger, Troy Aikman. It didn't really matter. It's about the New York Giants."
The Giants took control of the game from the first drive. Facing a second-and-10 from the Cowboys' 13-yard line, tight end Kevin Boss ran what he called a "wide bow" play on which he sold a seam route and then rounded it into a flag route. Linebacker Greg Ellis backpedaled in vain as Boss raced past him to catch the pass.
It speaks to the Cowboys' futility that the Giants blew them out on a night when Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning threw an interception and lost two fumbles. He did manage three touchdown passes, including the first of wide receiver Steve Smith's career on a slant near the goal line.
The Cowboys (5-4) are now fourth in the NFC East, three games behind the 7-1 Giants in the loss column. Dallas appeared poised to clinch the world title in training camp, but now finds itself in a desperate struggle for a wild-card spot.
The Giants, winners of five straight at home, have stacked up enough wins to have some wiggle room during a second half of the season that will include four more division games.
"This was a huge win," Manning said. "It was our second divisional game. We still have a bunch left, a long season, and a lot of great things ahead of us. We have to keep that same fight and hunger and improve on a lot of things."
On Sunday, the Cowboys didn't belong on the same field as the Giants. It's hard to believe that only a little more than two months ago, some of us thought the Osi Umenyiora injury might derail the Giants' hopes for a repeat. Now, it simply feels like an interesting footnote.
Holding court in front of his locker for 20 minutes, Justin Tuck tried his best not to smirk about the Cowboys' misfortune.
"We're not poppin' champagne in here," he said.
And why would they? They just beat the fourth-place team in the division.
IRVING, Texas -- Cowboys quarterback Brad Johnson seemed a bit irritated by questions Wednesday about whether he's worried about being replaced by Brooks Bollinger for Sunday's game against the Giants. He told local reporters that he wasn't "looking over his shoulder," but he gave the New York media a longer explanation.
The Giants media didn't waste any time coming after Johnson. The first question was, "How thin of a piece of ice are you on in terms of Bollinger perhaps looking over your shoulder?"
"I have really just kind of focused in on taking care of myself and trying to help this team win," said Johnson. "Last week was that kind of a case and I'm just trying to play smart football and give our team a chance to win. So that is really the only thing I can focus on -- not really what people want to get conjured up."
Johnson told the Giants media the same thing he told me earlier Wednesday. He said he hadn't been informed that Bollinger would take any extra snaps in practice this week. And Cowboys coach Wade Phillips backed that up during his visit with the Giants media corps today.
"No, I haven't talked to anyone," said Johnson when asked about Bollinger receiving more reps. "The only thing I have done is that I have been in here Monday and watched the film, worked out. Tuesday I watched all of the Giants film. I met with the coaches. And that is the only thing we have talked about -- just the game plan for the Giants."
Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley
Before we begin talking about Cowboys backup quarterback Brooks Bollinger, let's learn how to pronounce his last name correctly. It's BALL-in-jer, not BOWL-in-jer.
|Ronald Martinez/Getty Images|
|Brooks Bollinger could see action against the Giants on Sunday.|
With that out of the way, we should discuss Bollinger's chances of playing Sunday in the Meadowlands. At least one Dallas columnist thinks Bollinger should only enter the game against the Giants if the Cowboys fall behind by 10 points. But after watching Brad Johnson on Sunday, I'm convinced Bollinger should take over as the starter.
Yes, I know he has a career record of 2-8 that would likely fall to 2-9, but he's 12 years younger than the 40-year-old Johnson and he's capable of throwing the ball 20 yards downfield without a running start. At this point, Johnson is a sitting duck in the pocket. The Giants sacked Ben Roethlisberger five times Sunday -- and he's considered a mobile quarterback. Johnson is considered sedentary.
Last night, I called a member of the Cowboys coaching staff to discuss Bollinger's work on the scout team this season. Apparently Bollinger has been giving the defense a good look.
"When we needed someone to act like [Donovan] McNabb, Bollinger did an excellent job," said the assistant. "He can slide out of the pocket and make accurate throws to the backside. I don't know how that would translate in a game, but he can make all the throws in practice."
So what do you have to lose -- other than a game to the Giants? Surely the Cowboys don't believe that the 13 points they put up Sunday could win a game against Eli Manning and the Giants.
According to an Ed Werder report Monday, the Cowboys will explore all their options at the quarterback position -- and Bollinger seems to be the only alternative to Johnson. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has to be upset that offensive coordinator Jason Garrett and quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson convinced him that Johnson could get the job done. He can get you through one game, but having to play him three consecutive weeks is something a team can't overcome. And if you think I'm being harsh, look at what the other teams in the division have at the backup spot.
Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley
At age 40, Brad Johnson has had a very nice NFL career that includes a Super Bowl ring. But to have any chance of winning against the Giants on Sunday, the Cowboys need to return Johnson to the sideline.
On Sunday, Dallas kept its season alive despite the fact that Johnson threw for 122 yards -- on 33 attempts. I'm still checking to see if a quarterback has ever thrown for fewer yards on that many attempts. Acting on a hunch, I discovered that former Bears quarterbackShane Matthews once went 24-of-39 for 139 yards, but more on that at a later date.
According to ESPN's Ed Werder, the Cowboys may be exploring other quarterbacking options as we speak. A team source told Werder that Johnson "probably" would remain the starter against the Giants, but the team is concerned about Johnson's obsession with the horizontal passing game.
In case you haven't noticed, T.O., Patrick Crayton, Miles Austin and Roy Williams haven't made much of an impact over the past two games. Yes, I know Williams caught a touchdown pass, but he has two catches for 10 yards now. As Ed points out, none of the Cowboys' downfield "threats" have a catch of 20 yards or more since Johnson took over.
The best thing you can say about Johnson -- and this is important -- is that he didn't turn the ball over against the Bucs. But the Cowboys needed the best defensive performance of the Wade Phillips era to win, 13-9.
This defense isn't going to hold Eli Manning and the Giants to nine points. The Cowboys need an x-factor -- and that might turn out to be Brooks Bollinger. If it were up to me, I'd be on the phone with former Cowboys quarterbacks coach David Lee trying to figure out the Dolphins' "Wildcat" formation. The Cowboys have to explore every option to have any hope of upsetting the Giants in the Meadowlands.
If you trot Johnson out there to face defensive end Justin Tuck and the rest of the Giants defense, you don't have much of a chance. Now, I'm anxious to hear what you guys think.
Posted by Scouts Inc.'s Tag Ribary
Dallas quarterback Tony Romo will be out four weeks with a fractured pinkie finger on his throwing hand and that means 17-year veteran Brad Johnson will now lead the offense. The fact that the 40-year-old Johnson hasn't started a regular-season game since December 2006 might worry some, but his experience is a huge plus. The Cowboys' only other option is third-string QB Brooks Bollinger, who wasn't acquired until early September. He likely isn't up to speed with the playbook yet and hasn't received enough reps in practice with the first team offense.
Johnson is known for his smarts and accuracy. The 6-foot-5 Johnson can read the field quickly from the pocket and make efficient, accurate throws. Because he is older and less mobile than Romo, expect to see Dallas keep Johnson in the shotgun more than under center to give him the extra time needed to read the field in passing situations. Johnson obviously knows the offense and can make quick decisions with the football. He still has adequate arm strength and a proven ability to read defenses.
However, this is a young man's game and his lack of mobility will be a focal point of opposing defenses. Johnson's lacks speed, athletic ability on the move and isn't known for making plays with his legs. He is more of a traditional pocket passer who can stand tall in the pocket and his strengths are his accuracy, vision and decision making. He can be very effective when he sets his feet, so the protection will need to be sound to give him time to read the field.
Johnson does a good job of taking what the defense gives him and he gives his receivers a chance to make plays by getting them the ball coming out of their breaks with good timing. By being selective about taking chances downfield he can still put pressure on a defense. But it won't take long for opponents to tighten their coverage if the Cowboys don't take some deep shots. Dallas shouldn't completely abandon the vertical element of its passing game, but it might incorporate shorter depth on a lot of the routes.
Also look for Dallas offensive coordinator Jason Garrett to turn to the running game with Marion Barber and the Cowboys' massive O-line to take some pressure off the passing game. Romo's recovery time isn't extensive, so Johnson just needs to do what he does best -- be smart, efficient and manage the game well. Nothing is ever written in stone with older players. They can be good one week, but struggle the next. Yes, Johnson completed 65 percent of his passes in the preseason, but he'll need some help now for Dallas to succeed. If the O-line and running game can help take some pressure off him, the Cowboys could be fine for a month without Romo.
Scouts Inc. watches games, breaks down film and studies football from all angles for ESPN.com.
Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley
GREEN BAY, Wisc. -- Hot off the presses, I now have the inactives for tonight's game. If you're interested in the Packers' inactives, let me refer you to Kevin Seifert's excellent and poignant NFC North blog.
No surprises for the Cowboys. Wade Phillips refused to rule outside linebacker Anthony Spencer out completely, but we all knew he wasn't playing. Former Wisconsin star Brooks Bollinger will serve as the emergency quarterback.
|Tom Dahlin/Getty Images|
|Quarterback Tarvaris Jackson has struggled in the Vikings' first two games this season.|
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- During his three years in Minnesota, I have seen coach Brad Childress stand at a podium and defiantly explain his stance on a key issue. I've watched him sneer at some questions and wax poetically on others. He's expressed sympathy, anger, humor and intelligence.
Wednesday, I saw something new: Uncertainty.
As he announced the decision to bench quarterback Tarvaris Jackson, Childress hardly seemed the confident offensive guru that the Vikings eagerly hired in January 2006. Instead, Childress seemed shaken to his core on the day when he admitted the quarterback he has groomed and built his program around had failed.
Childress suggested that part of Jackson's struggles "may" be related to a lack of experience and said: "I know Gus will give us that."
That's hardly an enthusiastic endorsement for a quarterback who was just entrusted with the final 14 games of the season. But it's the best Childress could muster after making the most complex -- and clearly the most wrenching -- decision of his career.
Let's be clear: Childress had no choice after watching Jackson struggle through the season's first two games. But in turning to Frerotte, Childress knows he is indicting his own reputation. A head coach should never give his owner a reason to doubt him, but today the Vikings' Zygi Wilf has to be wondering about Childress' purported strength in developing quarterbacks.
Childress was closely associated with the maturation of Philadelphia's Donovan McNabb and in Minnesota has demonstrated some hubristic tendencies at the position.
He never connected with incumbent Daunte Culpepper and willingly cast aside a player who had an MVP-like season in 2004. A month later, Childress signed off on drafting Jackson out of Division I-AA Alabama State, referring to him as a "piece of clay" who only needed some professional coaching in order to become the Vikings' long-term starter.
As he worked with Jackson, Childress benched veteran Brad Johnson and ran through a carousel of short-term backups. Childress' designated No. 2 quarterback flopped in each of his first two training camps, forcing the Vikings to give up draft picks to acquire Brooks Bollinger in 2006 and Kelly Holcomb in 2007 for emergency depth.
And it took only incremental improvement -- from terrible to better -- in 2007 for Childress to commit to Jackson this season, an especially weighty decision given Wilf's eight-figure investment in the free-agent market. Most owners won't spend $60 million in guaranteed money for a team that is still developing its quarterback. The understanding was that Jackson was ready, even though he had never showed it on the field.
If anything, Jackson actually has looked worse in the season's first two games than he did at the end of 2007. His mechanics were flawed, his passes inaccurate and he couldn't explain why he wasn't sliding at the end of his runs. In short, he played like a rookie after three years in the Vikings' offensive system.
It's like Childress put 51 cards in Jackson's hat, saving only one in case of emergency. And now he has played that card -- one that's hardly an ace -- in the middle of September. At a time when Childress believed the Vikings would be reaping the benefits of his essential skill, they instead are reeling because of his hubris.
Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley
IRVING, Texas -- Eagles head coach Andy Reid had hoped starting wide receiver Reggie Brown (hamstring) would be ready for tonight's game, but we just found out he's inactive. That means that rookie DeSean Jackson will start for the second consecutive week. And as most of you know, he was sensational in a 38-3 victory over the Rams.
Here are the rest of the inactives:
Let me hear from you if you just saw me on "Monday Night Countdown." Yes, I realize the safety glasses were ridiculous.
1:00 PM ET Miami Buffalo 1:00 PM ET Minnesota Cincinnati 1:00 PM ET Indianapolis Kansas City 1:00 PM ET Tampa Bay St. Louis 1:00 PM ET Cleveland New York 1:00 PM ET Dallas Washington 1:00 PM ET New Orleans Carolina 1:00 PM ET Tennessee Jacksonville 1:00 PM ET Denver Houston 4:05 PM ET New York Detroit 4:05 PM ET Arizona Seattle 4:25 PM ET Pittsburgh Green Bay 4:25 PM ET Oakland San Diego 4:25 PM ET New England Baltimore 8:30 PM ET Chicago Philadelphia