|ESPN.com: NFL Training Camp 2008||[Print without images]|
|Chicago's Matt Forte and Detroit's Kevin Smith will soon become very familiar to fans of the NFC North.|
Have a question for John Clayton? Connect with him here. Mailbag
To Chioke in Baltimore, I don't think Ken Stabler will make the Hall of Fame. I voted for him a couple of times, but the backlog is so deep, it's hard to get him into the final 15 anymore. Patrick in Vancouver wonders if tall quarterbacks like Ben Roethlisberger are at disadvantage on quarterback sneaks. It's the upfront blocking that makes the difference. Tall quarterbacks are 235 to 240 pounds, and that helps, but they're cut down if the blocking isn't there. Mike in Baltimore wonders about QB Joe Flacco's chances of starting this year. I put the over-under at midseason. The Ravens are down two starting tackles at the moment because of ankle injuries. Long term, the Ravens believe Flacco could be a big-time quarterback. The mistake would be rushing him. Under the circumstances, they should go with Troy Smith or Kyle Boller to protect Flacco's longevity. An e-mailer in Baton Rouge, La., wonders if the Cowboys will go after Chris Henry. Nah. Adam Jones was a gamble enough. I still think Henry will end up with the Raiders. To Pete in Chicago, Ricky Manning Jr.. probably won't end up on the Bears' roster, but I wonder if his trade value is higher than a sixth- or a seventh-round choice. Clearly, he's not going to bring the Bears a starting left guard in return. The Bears can try, but they won't succeed in that type of trade. Shawn in Los Angeles can't believe so many people are down on the Bucs. The Panthers and Saints are dramatically better than they were last season. The Bucs are good, but their schedule is tougher. They are a candidate to move backward, but, hey, we all could be wrong. I picked them last year as my top surprise team, so it's not as though I'm not in their corner. I just think one of the other teams will win the NFC South.