Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Random football news

Rutherford & Pitt
I read an intersting story in the Charlotte Observer about former University of Pittsburgh QB, Rod Rutherford. He was a free agent signee of the Carolina Panthers and has a chance to make the team -- sort of. Actually, head coach John Fox might keep him around for one simple reason:

At the very least, he could help the Carolina defense prepare for its two regular-season games with Atlanta. Don't compare Rutherford to Atlanta's Michael Vick, but there are similarities. Both are left-handed, and both can run. But there could be a problem keeping Rutherford. Of the backups, Chris Weinke played well in Saturday's 23-20 overtime victory at Washington and Rodney Peete did not, but it's hard to imagine Carolina letting Peete go and taking a chance on Rutherford as the third quarterback.
Well, I guess it's a start. But I'd be hard-pressed to believe that Rutherford is worse than either Weinke or Peete. While at Pitt, Rutherford was pretty erratic, but he had some part in WR Larry Fitzgerald catching a record 16 TDs in consecutive games.

Prime Time should be cancelled
Is it really any surprise that Deion Sanders wants to find anyway to get back in the spotlight? There were rumors floating around that he needed the money (how else is he going to pay for the pimp suits now that he negotiated his way out of a job at CBS?), but my hunch is that this guy is in such dire need of attention that he'll do anything to get in the spotlight. I hope the Ravens do sign him and he plays in both games against the Steelers. Sanders shied away from physical play when he was in his prime, so I'd look forward to seeing Hines Ward knock the crap out of him a couple of times before he feigned an injury to get off the field.

Sometimes you hear people lament the fact that professional athletes should try to bow out gracefully instead of playing past their prime (Emmitt Smith, for example) -- and I usually agree with such sentiments, but in the case of Sanders I say bring him on. If nothing else, it will be fun to watch.

Is this news?
I think this falls under the heading of "the more things change the more they stay the same." It doesn't matter who the Browns have at QB simply because they have one of the worst offensive lines, running games and wideouts of any team in professional football. They have Kellen "K2" Winslow, but until he proves himself they're going to struggle offensively.

Of course having a coach like Butch Davis clean house every few months probably doesn't help either, but from the perspective of a Steelers fan, I consider this good news.