Yesterday was the national NFL media's introduction to Thorchak, and by all accounts he was a hit. Just from what we posted yesterday you can tell that he knows how to play the media game, and has been taking notes from Fisher (who was the master of it) over the past decade. It's a bit of a honeymoon period right now, so we'll see how he handles it after a few losses and the questions get tougher: will he stay affable, or will he leave these same journalists shaking and crying in the corner after he drops the hammer?
Brett Kern has done a remarkable job since stepping in for Craig Hentrich in 2009, and yesterday he got his reward: Kern signed a 4 year contract worth a possible $5.2 million. For all of the instability we're going through now, it's at least somewhat reassuring that we'll continue to field one of the top few special teams units going into the Era of Thhorchak. Most franchises would kill to have talent like Bironas, Kern, Shaw and Mariani locked-up for a while. Being strong at all of those spots doesn't necessarily win you games, but being really bad at any one phase of special teams can sure lose you some games.
The only guy who might be happier than Kyle Orton about John Fox's statement yesterday is Kevin Kolb. He was already the best option in many teams' eyes, and now this year's class of obtainable QBs just took a big hit.
Looking at this list of free agent WRs, I can see a good 5 guys who could walk in and be the no. 2 right away (Santonio Holmes, Sidney Rice, Malcolm Floyd, Steve Smith and Santana Moss). Not sure if they would spend their pile of money on a WR once the league year begins, but it would be a pretty big help to a veteran QB to have the best possible assortment of weapons at his disposal. A mediocre guy could look a lot better with CJ2K, Kenny Britt, Sidney Rice, Nate Washington and Jared Cook out there for 70% of his throws.
NFL personnel people have taken a lot of flack for poor QB evaluations over the past two decades, but over the past three years they've done a remarkable job of picking the right guys in the first round. If you give Tebow and incomplete at this point, there hasn't really been a big bust in the premier round since '07 (Jamarcus Russell and Brady Quinn). It'll be interesting to see if more scouts and management are getting a better handle on what it takes to find and groom a franchise QB in today's game, or if it's a dumb luck combination of talent, coaching and situation.
ESPN Page 2 delivers it's fan-created 2011 Wonderlic, which contains this gem:
8. "If Train A heads south at 85 mph and Train B heads north at 130 mph, considering air resistance, how much will James Harrison be fined when they collide?" from Brian B. of Muskego, Wis.
I swear in a few years we're going to find out that the Matthews family was all one big genetics experiment.
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