Perhaps the most welcome and intriguing storyline to come out of Roger Goodell's visit to Berea yesterday was the commissioner's addressing the very real problem of the contracts of first-round draft picks and the multitude of holdouts.
"It's one of the issues we've talked with the union about in negotiations, and I think it'll be clearly one of the issues we talk about when we sit down and talk about making changes that we would make to the system," Goodell was quoted as saying in this morning's Akron Beacon Journal.
"What can be done to either eliminate or certainly limit the possibility of players holding out during training camp, particularly rookies?... We're not trying to save the dollars; we just think the dollars should go to players who have earned that on the field through their accomplishments and leadership. It's a system we have, and we'll do the best we can with it right now."
Bravo, Mr. Goodell. Bravo.
While Goodell did not offer many specifics—other than stating that talks with NFLPA head Gene Upshaw would be one of the first steps—just the fact that the can-and-will-do commish sees it as a growing problem is welcome news to all corners of the NFL not currently occupied by player agents.
In addition to the contracts of rookies, the Goodell touched on a number of other relevant subjects as well during his visit to Browns headquarters:
- On being the "law & order" commissioner: "Actions always speak louder than words."
- On how the recent gambling scandal involving an NBA referee affects the NFL: "Our officials are held to a very, very high standard… We want to make sure our officials understand that they're going to be held to that standard."
- On performance-enhancing drugs: "We do over 12,000 tests, which is far more than any other league. We feel that testing program is so comprehensive ... the education ... and the fact the players don't want it in the league."
AND STARTING AT QB? - It's 6:51 a.m. EST. Do you know who your starting QB is?
That's OK, neither does Romeo Crennel.
Unlike last week, though, the head coach will not flip a coin to determine his starter for this weekend's home game versus
He'll simply make up his mind with the aid of the U.S. Mint.
"I haven't decided about the (starting) quarterback," Crennel told reporters.
"I'm going to decide that pregame like last week, in the locker room. The whole procedure may not be the same, but I'm going to wait until the locker room to let them know who the starter will be."
It still appears likely that Derek Anderson will get the nod, if for nothing more than the fact that Charlie Frye was "given" the start last Saturday and Crennel is set on making this as equal a competition as humanly possible.
Also unlike last week, when the two QBs alternated series, Crennel will give each player two consecutive series after the twosome complained about not being able to get into a groove.
(Must… resist… urge… to be… sarcastic)
"They both complained a little bit about not being able to get rolling, so we'll give them two series at a time this week," said Crennel.
Anyway, Quinn is expected to see his first NFL action tomorrow, which could come as soon as early in the second half.
WARNING! - For those of you who have yet to see the latest episode of HBO's Real Sports, featuring an interview with "Adam" Pacman Jones and a piece on dog fighting, here's a little tip: make sure you have an air sickness bag at the ready. Particularly for the Pacman interview. It's a fairly sad occurrence when an interview with a human being can out-nauseate a graphic piece featuring dogs mauling each other to the death.
ODDS & ENDS – Linebacker Andra Davis has been ruled out of Saturday's game, meaning Leon Williams will start at one of the insider ‘backer spots in the veteran's place.
QUOTE OF THE DAY – "My opinion doesn't matter. I'm just a rookie." – Brady Quinn, when asked who he feels is winning the Great American QB race.
QUOTE OF THE DAY, THE SEQUEL – "He's amazing. He's got the whole package." – Ryan Tucker, on offseason acquisition Antwan Peek.