Lombardi's Way LEINART DANCES HIS WAY OUT OF NO. 1 SPOT

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According to Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean, the Titans have responded to the grievance filed by the NFL Players Association on behalf of quarterback Steve McNair.  Since they will not allow McNair access to Baptist Sports Park, the Titans have agreed to hire a local trainer at the Titans’ expense and pay McNair the $110 per day that the players are given to participate in the offseason conditioning program.
 
Recognizing an opportunity when he sees one, Will Bartholomew, CEO and president of D1 Sports, has spoken to Titans strength and conditioning coach Steve Watterson about training McNair.
 
D1 has an impressive resume of clients that includes Derrick Mason, Samari Rolle and Brody Croyle from Alabama. 
 
"I obviously know about the situation with McNair and we want to make sure he is taken care of,” Bartholomew said "We train a number of professional athletes. Guys like Derrick Mason, Samari Rolle and a lot of the guys have trained with us when they are in between contracts or moving teams or different things like that. We take care of them.”
 
Let the tampering begin!
 
The Ravens are often lauded for their first round success in the NFL Draft.  How do they do during the rest of Day 1 of NFL Drafts?  Since their inception in 1996, the Ravens have selected the following players in either the second or third rounds: Dan Cody, Adam Terry, Dwan Edwards, Devard Darling, Musa Smith, Anthony Weaver, Gary Baxter, Casey Rabach, Chris Redman, Patrick Johnson, Jamie Sharper, Kim Herring, Jay Graham and DeRon Jenkins.
 
Of those players, nine have started at one point or another (although some only briefly), none of which are currently Ravens.  Of those nine, three are employed elsewhere, three are looking for work and three are out of the league altogether.  The balance are either busts or the jury is still out.
 
As told to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Mike Shanahan who sits on the clock at No. 15 is singing the praises of Jay Cutler: "Anytime you’re the MVP in the SEC and you really don’t have any other players on your team that are All-SEC, that kind of gives an idea of what type of player he is.  That doesn’t happen very often."  Shanahan is a sly one.  All this spin is certainly intended at least in part, to plant a seed amongst teams with neighboring picks.  Maybe Mikey just wants to force someone else down the board to him.  Here’s more from the liar’s poker match:
 
"Someone told me that in the last 20 years, when there have been three quarterbacks taken in the first round, only two make it," said Tennessee Titans coach Jeff Fisher, whose team is expected to use the No. 3 pick on one of those guys. "That’s make it, start and survive for two, three, four years. There has never been three of them that made it. There’s always been one that for whatever reason doesn’t make it.
 
"In this particular case this year, I can’t see that happening. There’s no way one of these guys is not going to be a great quarterback. They are all going to be real good."  

I don’t think Jeff wants the Jets to jump up in front of him.  How about you?

 
The Times Picayune also picked up this gem from Brian Billick: "There is a reason why Bill Walsh never took a first-round quarterback. If you’re going to crapshoot, don’t do it in the first round.  No matter how good you are and what your track record is, if it’s a crapshoot, you don’t want to throw that dice on the fifth, 10th, 15th or 25th pick. You do it with the 40th, 50th, fifth round or sixth round.”  If we could only turn back the clocks.
 
Again according to the Times-Picayune, Billick said the problem with evaluating quarterbacks is that there are so many variables.
 
"You look for vision, accuracy, functional intelligence, to use a Bill Walsh term," Billick said. "It’s different for different quarterbacks. Joe Montana’s vision, athleticism and touch was in totally different ratios to Dan Marino’s quick acute football mind.
 
"How do the sum of the parts add up? You can’t give me a prototypical quarterback. You can give me a prototypical defensive end vs. a nose tackle. But I’d defy you to give me the prototypical, successful pro quarterback. There is a middle ground, but I don’t know who that athlete is."  Brian certainly has a long list of candidates of who it’s not.
 
The Birmingham News quotes Browns GM Phil Savage as saying, “This league is so balanced. There’s probably 10 to 12 teams that I characterize as the "have nots" and I include us in that group. Then there are three to four teams that are really pretty good teams, Sunday in and Sunday out. And there’s a bunch of teams in the middle.
 
"If we can make strides to get into that middle group, maybe we can steal a couple of games to get in that top group. Once we get better players, we won’t be that far away."
 
Now that sounds like a plan and it sounds as though Savage has a grip on the reality of his team’s situation.  Perhaps the Ravens should sample Savage’s prescription glasses.
 
It can’t sit too well with Matt Leinart that Alex Smith nailed down the deal that he could have had last year ($24 million in guaranteed greenbacks) while the USC southpaw stayed in school, took up ballroom dancing and failed to repeat as a national champion.  Not to mention that he’s not the consensus No. 1 pick, a position that he surely would have occupied in last year’s draft.
 
Now Leinart is asking his soon to be new agent Tom Condon to tap dance his way around Reggie Bush.  Word is that Leinart’s directive will be to get Leinart to the top of the draft via a trade.  We’ll find out soon enough if Condon is successful and if so, maybe Ray Lewis will hire Condon to do what David Dunn and previously Roosevelt Barnes/Eugene Parker couldn’t do – get Ray a new deal.
 
Speaking of Ray and new deals, here’s a few quotes from Ray and Brian Billick during the time of Ray’s last contract signing as told to the Associated Press:
"I truly believe that [the Ravens] truly respect what I did, and what I am still able to do for this organization.  This is where I started my foundation, and this is where I wanted to end it. Now I can."
 
To which Coach Billick added, "When Ray goes, I’ll go. If that’s the way it works out, it will be fine with me."
 
If things don’t go well for the Ravens this year, uh ever hear the saying, “Be careful what you wish for”?

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Tony Lombardi

About Tony Lombardi

Tony is the founder EutawStreetReport.com and RussellStreetReport.com. His work has been featured on various sports websites and he hosts The Russell Street Report and Armchair Quarterback both seen and heard on Fanimal Radio. Among his favorite things in life are his wife, kids, family, friends, The Beatles, Breaking Bad, Gladiator, The Godfather, Guinness, orange crushes, meatballs and Key West, not necessarily in that order. Follow Tony on Twitter @RSRLombardi. More from Tony Lombardi
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