Will Bill Parcells and the Dolphins regret passing up on Matt Ryan for Jake Long?
Not much going on this week guys. The phones have been kind of dead. Here is what I was able to scrape up from the people I talked to around the NFL:
--I wrote in this column a couple of weeks ago that Carson Palmer could be shut down for the year and that appears to be the case. Another quarterback that could be done in 2008 is the Seahawks Matt Hasselbeck. From what I'm hearing, Hasselbeck's back isn't improving much and if it doesn't get better in the next week or two, his season will likely be over. The team isn't a Super Bowl contender and its not going to risk the long-term health of its franchise quarterback. Look for Seneca Wallace to be the starter for the rest of the season if Hasselbeck can't go.
--San Fran has finally made the switch to Shaun Hill at quarterback and this could give the team a bit of a boost on offense. If you remember I wrote this summer that the veterans on the 49ers felt like Hill deserved to be the starting quarterback. Hill played solid at the end of last year and a lot of the players thought he should have gotten the nod over J.T. O'Sullivan. I don't think anyone other than Mike Martz thought that O'Sullivan could play in the NFL. Hill better give it his all though or Mike Singletary might tell him to hit the showers like Vernon Davis, a move he is being applauded for around the league.
--Reports out of Arizona have Cardinals coach Ken Wisenhunt saying Tim Hightower could replace the declining Edgerrin James as the starting running back at some point this season. I broke down film of Hightower in college and even though he played at Division I-AA Richmond, I was very impressed with him. I had Hightower listed as one of my deep sleepers in this year's draft. It's obvious that The Edge is finished and while Hightower is averaging just 2.7 yards per carry right now, I really think this kid could be a solid NFL running back. From the people I talked to, there is a general consensus that the Edge is all done.
--The most interesting thing I heard this week was a criticism of Bill Parcells. While everyone is stroking The Tuna for making Miami more competitive this season, the NFL Insider I spoke with brought up an interesting point. Matt Ryan is being talked about as one of the best rookie quarterbacks ever and a future star. Yet, Parcells and the Dolphins passed on him with the first overall pick in the draft. "They blew it. They really blew it. Everyone you talk to thinks Ryan has all the skills to be the next superstar NFL quarterback. Parcells passed that up to take Jake Long. Long looks to be a good player but you can find other Jake Longs. You can't find a lot of franchise quarterbacks and that's something Miami hasn't had since Dan Marino retired. For all the gushing the media down in Miami is doing over Parcells, they forget to mention he may have passed on the next John Elway."
Matt Ryan has played very Well as a Rookie. Let's not put him in the Class of John Elway just Yet!