If Only They Had Brady

As teams look to sort out their rosters for the 2009 season many of them wish they had New England's problem -- a top tier QB coming off of injury. With Brady looking like he's all set, other teams are still trying desperately to find a solution.


NFC East

Philadelphia Eagles
QB Donovan McNabb's agent, Fletcher Smith, and the Eagles have talked about a "contract adjustment." McNabb has two years left on his current deal and has indicated that he'd like an extension. The Eagles, though, seem more willing to rework the two remaining years on his deal than give him an extension. McNabb is 32. The Eagles drafted his heir apparent, Kevin Kolb, in the second round of the '07 draft.

Washington Redskins
Quarterback Jason Campbell tried to put a positive spin on the disrespect he was shown by owner Dan Snyder and executive vice president Vinny Cerrato with their attempts to replace him in April with Jay Cutler and rookie Mark Sanchez. "One thing I was kind of upset about, it makes you feel like you're a bad quarterback and not wanted," Campbell said two days after the failure to trade for the right to choose Sanchez. "But at the same time, it makes you a stronger person and a stronger quarterback."

Campbell wouldn't confirm reports that he and agent Joel Segal would have requested a trade if the Redskins had drafted Sanchez. "There were certain things we discussed, but nothing was written in stone," said Campbell, who met with Snyder and Cerrato the day after the Redskins failed to land Cutler but has yet to do since they lost out in their pursuit of Sanchez.

Campbell's contract expires after the season. He was more bothered by the Redskins' infatuation with Sanchez, who started 16 college games, than with Cutler, who passed for more than 4,000 yards and made the Pro Bowl in 2008. "That was a little bit of a shock," Campbell said. "(But) I'm not going to hold any grudges. That's not fair to my teammates and not fair to the people who support me. I'm ready to move forward and have one of my best years."


NFC West

Arizona Cardinals
QB Brian St. Pierre turned down a contract from the Chiefs, where he would've been united with former Cardinals' coordinator Todd Haley, to return to the Cardinals for one reason: head coach Ken Whisenhunt assured him the chance to compete for the No. 2 QB job with Matt Leinart.

In voluntary camp, however, St. Pierre has been running with the third team, something he hopes changes soon.

"All I want is an honest chance to compete for the No. 2," he said, "so I'm looking forward to that, whenever it will happen, because it hasn't yet."

St. Pierre has played in just one game and thrown just one pass in his NFL career. He was the Cardinals' third quarterback in every game last season, never seeing action in the regular season. He played well in the preseason, however, and at age 29 knows his opportunities are dwindling.

QB Kurt Warner is moving well in practices, but he still has some pain in his surgically repaired hip. "As far as functionally though, I feel great," he said. " I feel strong...It's just a matter of pain."

San Francisco 49ers
QBs Shaun Hill and Alex Smith continue to share the practice snaps and the 49ers have installed most of their offensive system as organized team activities wind down.

Seattle Seahawks
QB Matt Hasselbeck, who missed nine games last season with a bulging disk in his back, looks healthy and will be a key component to Seattle rebounding from a disappointing 4-12 campaign last season. Most league observers believe if the Seahawks can keep Hasselbeck upright, they can compete for another NFC West division crown in 2009. For his part, Hasselbeck says he feels fine and is trying to master new offensive coordinator Greg Knapp's version of the West Coast offense.

"I hope everything's in," he said of the offense. "The (play)book is so thick. I think what we're trying to do now is just really install everything, see what works, see what fits the personnel. And Greg Knapp's kind of going 100 miles an hour teaching it, coaching it. We're just trying to learn it, practice it, get so it feels just like second nature."

NFC North

Chicago Bears
QB Jay Cutler might not be the perfect fit for the Bears, according to Tony Dungy. The former Colts coach is now a studio analyst for NBC, and said Chicago gambled when it acquired Cutler from Denver. "(The Bears) took a risk (trading for Cutler). I think they took that risk specifically with beating the Green Bay Packers in mind," Dungy said Wednesday, according to the Chicago Tribune. "I really think Chicago gave up a lot to get a quarterback who they believe is going to be the final piece of the puzzle. But I am not sure he has won enough to merit that yet."

Detroit Lions
QB Matthew Stafford has split second-team reps with Drew Stanton. He's not reading much into the timeshare with Stanton. Asked what it means, he said: "Nothing. I'm just getting out here trying to gain reps, as many as I can get. I don't care who it's with. I'm trying to learn the offense, and all that stuff will come with time."

Minnesota Vikings
QB Tarvaris Jackson faced some unexpected criticism recently when teammate Pat Williams questioned how much time Jackson was putting into his craft during a radio interview.

"He's an older guy, he wants to win," Jackson said when asked for his response. "I guess he went through his times growing up and (you) have to figure it out yourself. My first year, I had to figure it out. Now, I've pretty much figured it out.

"I'm studying more. I feel like I'm doing what I've got to do. ? I've put the time in, (but) like he said, maybe I do have to put extra time in. I guess when you're not doing as well you've got to put the extra time in. But I feel like I'm working hard. I've always been a hard worker."

Williams, a Pro Bowl nose tackle, said on Sirius NFL radio: "I talk to Tarvaris all the time and tell him you have to put in the time. This ain't college no more. This is the NFL. You have to put in more time than you are used to putting in. If you are putting in four hours, you have to put in eight. You have to put in more time than what he's doing. I think if he puts the right time in, he will be a great quarterback in the league."

The quote from Williams came as a bit of a surprise because while Jackson certainly has been erratic in his first three NFL seasons, his work ethic hasn't been called into question.

QB Brett Favre had arthroscopic surgery on his throwing shoulder last month, sources told ESPN.com. However, the report said Favre has yet to commit to returning to the NFL next season because the shoulder isn't 100 percent following recent throwing sessions. Favre will not play unless he's close to "100 percent," according to the story. If Favre's shoulder does recover, he's expected to play for Minnesota. The Vikings are currently slated to enter training camp with Tarvaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels competing for the starting job.

Favre has been given until the end of the week to decide if he wants to play for Minnesota in 2009, according to ESPN. However, Sirius NFL's Pat Kirwan said later on Monday that no such deadline exists and that he fully expects Favre to meet with Minnesota and discuss the possibility further of joining the Vikings. Favre had arthroscopic surgery on his throwing shoulder last month, but he has yet to commit to returning to the NFL next season because the shoulder isn't 100 percent following recent throwing sessions. Vikings coach Brad Childress has reportedly imposed an end of the week deadline, but Favre doesn't want to commit to playing unless he's confident his shoulder is strong enough.

NFC South

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
QB Byron Leftwich is listed at 250 pounds, but he said he has lost at least 10 pounds. "This was the first time in a long time I had an offseason to use," Leftwich said. "In the past, I've been rehabbing, almost two and a half years, just straight rehabbing. It takes time to get back to your old self where you're moving and everything's fine. I'm finally at that point."

QBs Byron Leftwich and Luke McCown are going back and forth in the momentum battle to see who will emerge as the Buccaneers' starting quarterback.

"Byron had a good day, but Luke has had his days here, too," coach Raheem Morris said.

"We're charting it, we're looking at it and it's tight. It's exactly what we said we wanted," Morris said. "We wanted competition and we've got it. If they're going to make tough decisions for us, that's great. I don't want anybody to give it to them. I don't want anybody to win by default. I want it to be a guy where we all jump on his back and say, "That's our guy, let's go with him."

Atlanta Falcons
QB Michael Vick has often been tied to the 49ers in rumors about where he could wind up once he's reinstated to the NFL, but GM Scot McCloughan told Sirius NFL Radio that while the team has discussed Vick, San Francisco will not sign him. "Well, I think what happens there, and I totally respect it, is people understand who (coach) Mike Singletary is and understand that he has no problem giving guys second chances," McCloughan told Sirius. "Coach and I have sat down. We sat down and talked last week. We had an off-week of OTAs and we discussed about Michael Vick and we're not going to go that route. We will not do it."


AFC East

Buffalo Bills
QB Trent Edwards has taken a few hits in the media, but he also has his share of supporters. Speaking to reporters at Jim Kelly's annual golf tournament in Batavia, N.Y., Ron "Jaws" Jaworski said of Edwards: "I think he's got the skill set that projects very well for this league. It's a matter of being consistent. He's had some outstanding games; he's had some poor games. That happens with young quarterbacks. Everyone expects to see Joe Montana on the field in the second or third year. That's not going to happen. But I think the experience that Trent has now gained is going to pay big dividends."

Miami Dolphins
QB Chad Pennington has been the victim of an imposter on Twitter, who wrote that the veteran QB ate a 40-ounce steak, two baked potatoes, zucchini and a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon for dinner the other night, and that he was out with linebacker Matt Roth when he bashed his head repeatedly with a parking cone because he was unhappy about losing his job to Jason Taylor. Roth hasn't lost his job to anyone and the entire entry was false. "I need to send out a press release or something," Pennington told the Miami Herald. "Can somebody please let the world know I don't have Twitter or Facebook or any of those things?"

QB Pat White got used to wearing gloves on both hands while playing in chilly West Virginia but he finally shed them during this week's OTA (that was open to the media). "No. I didn't encourage him to take his gloves off but I did see him out here throwing the ball around in pre-practice with no gloves on," coach Tony Sparano said. "So I've seen him throwing it and just told him, 'Hey, if you get the opportunity go out there and throw it around with no gloves on. Let's see what happens.' So we know he can throw it with his gloves on and I was kind of curious to watch him a little bit that way. But it was really on him, not on me."

New England Patriots
QB Kevin O'Connell, a third-round pick by New England and No. 94 overall out of San Diego State, is reportedly the target of the Raiders in trade discussons involving DE Derrick Burgess.

Interest in O'Connell would suggest the Raiders have no long-term solution to the quarterback position behind JaMarcus Russell should Russell be hurt or ineffective.

Backup Jeff Garcia is 39, third-string quarterback Bruce Gradkowski has been ineffective during the mandatory minicamp and OTAs and Andrew Walter is in the final year of his contract and is biding his time until his contract expires.

QB Tom Brady attended the Patriots' minicamp practice Tuesday (May 26), his first on-field appearance with the team since the season opener last year against the Kansas City Chiefs. It was his first full-team workout since the Bernard Pollard hit that resulted in a torn ACL and ended Brady's 2008 season Brady is expected to be full speed in time for training camp in July.

"I feel as good as I could possibly feel. I don't think about it," Brady said of the knee. "It doesn't bother me doing anything. It's feeling really good and it's about as good as I can say. I'm real happy with where I'm at and I come out to these workouts happy to participate in them. That was something that was a big goal for me to be able to do."

New York Jets
QB Mark Sanchez has been getting an earful, not only from his coaches, but from the Jets' defenders with their trash talking during practice, particularly the loquacious linebacker Bart Scott.

But so far, Sanchez is taking it all in stride.

"I had a few completions," he said when asked about his performance in Thursday's organized team activity. "It was a lot better than last week and that's the most important thing. Schottenheimer reminds me of that every day. As long as I'm progressing everyday and working on a couple of little things, because (the defense) is throwing everything at me as a rookie. (Schottenheimer) knows that, he understands that. But he wants it to be fast, he wants it to be hard, he wants it to be difficult for me so I can think even faster and now I'm starting to get a few more completions every day. At the same time, he wants me to take care of the football. It was a good day overall."

Of course, part of the problem is that Sanchez doesn't always know what defense he's looking at, because of the myriad of disguises coach Rex Ryan and defensive coordinator Mike Pettine use.

Ryan defended the concept of throwing multiple defensive looks at a rookie, noting, "You can't tell the other team, can you just play cover-3?

"It's great for a rookie," he added. "This is the way you want it. You want to be thrown in the fire right away. It's only going to make me better."

"College is over and he's going to have to pick it up," Ryan added. "I think one thing he needs to have to more of a sense of urgency before the ball is snapped."

"This defense is unconventional," Sanchez said. "It's not the same stuff we learned at (USC). They're all over the place. That's when you really have to start thinking on the fly because nothing happens until the snap. They hold their disguises until very late.

Sanchez completed only three of nine attempts during 11-on-11 drills in the team's next-to-last OTA, but he was victimized by two drops. Plus, one of his incompletions occurred when he spiked the ball to stop the clock during a two-minute drill.

"I'm feeling great," he said after that OTA. "This is probably the best practice to date [for me]. Most completions [made], that's for sure. I'm getting more comfortable with the plays, [with] the way we call them and knowing personnel and defensive schemes, too. ... I feel more comfortable each day and that's huge."

AFC West

Denver Broncos
QBs Chris Simms Kyle Orton are splitting practice time with the first team once again in the team's current minicamp, which runs through early June. Both players made plenty of mistakes early on, but are settling in well.

"Our system is not easy and both players have adapted quickly," coach Josh McDaniels said.

McDaniels said that for the limited amount of time the two veterans have had on the practice field, they have picked up the playbook quickly. After about 10 offseason practices, the two were able to handle a lot of different responsibilities.

"They're running third down, red area (inside the 20-yard line), blitz, checking at the line of scrimmage, signaling receivers, running two-minute drills," McDaniels said. "They're doing a lot of the things we need them to do."

Orton is the clear favorite to win the job. He has had more success than Simms in the NFL, and was a piece of the trade that sent Pro Bowl quarterback Jay Cutler to Chicago earlier this year. Yet, Simms can't be entirely ruled out. The coaching staff has preached that it will be a true competition until one of the quarterbacks separates himself.

Kansas City Chiefs
QB Matt Cassel and how quickly he can connect with the receivers and move the passing game forward is one of the main focuses of the OTAs.

"It looks like some guys have some skill, it is just a matter of getting them to do it the right way all the time and then getting in sync with the passer," coach Todd Haley said. "We have some work to do and I think there is a lot of room for improvement. It lets me know there is a chance to get better."

Oakland Raiders
QB Charlie Frye has signed with Oakland, according to the team's website. Terms were not disclosed. He started one game for Seattle in 208 and struggled, finishing 12 of 23 for 83 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions in a 27-17 loss to Green Bay.


AFC North

Baltimore Ravens
QB Joe Flacco has faced only one real hurdle this offseason has been trying to find a healthy tight end in the huddle. The Ravens' top three tight ends -- Todd Heap (lower back), L.J. Smith (groin) and Quinn Sypniewski (knee) -- have all been limited in offseason workouts. Heap hasn't fully participated because of a back injury sustained during the playoffs in January. Even if he fully recovers for training camp, there are still questions about his durability and whether he has lost a step and some explosiveness the past two seasons.

Cleveland Browns
QB Brady Quinn's competition with Derek Anderson appears as though it will go into training camp, with coach Eric Mangini saying he's in no hurry to name a starter. "I want to go through the whole process, evaluate each phase, see it against other opponents," Mangini said Thursday. "It'll be pretty clear as to who should have the spot. It just has to reveal itself."

QB Derek Anderson's competition with Brady Quinn appears as though it will go into training camp, with coach Eric Mangini saying he's in no hurry to name a starter. "I want to go through the whole process, evaluate each phase, see it against other opponents," Mangini said Thursday. "It'll be pretty clear as to who should have the spot. It just has to reveal itself."

Pittsburgh Steelers
QB Ben Roethlisberger left an OTA practice Wednesday (6/3) and limped heavily off the field. A trainer examined him and helped him stretch out his left knee. He watched the rest of practice, limping around in front of a practice open to the press. He limped off the field and was limping around the Steelers' facility. Neither Roethlisberger nor coach Mike Tomlin would comment on the injury, which made matters even worse. But he wore nothing on the knee -- not a brace or even a wrap. He then went and taped a previously scheduled magazine-like interview for ESPN that was lengthy. He never did see a doctor that day and returned to practice on Wednesday with a small wrap on his left knee. Willie Parker revealed that he bumped knees in practice with Roethlisberger.

"But he's definitely all right and he's a competitor," Parker said, then laughed. "I guess he just likes a lot of attention sometimes and he likes being the little baby, but Ben is definitely a warrior."

AFC South

Jacksonville Jaguars
QB David Garrard took some kidding about his weight loss during the offseason. The Jaguars quarterback who played around the 250 mark a year ago, has dropped close to 20 pounds since the season ended, watching his food intake and getting in some quality workouts.

"It feels good," Garrard said when asked what it felt like to be running around almost 20 pounds lighter than what he's been in the past. "I'm still not the fastest guy on the field; I'm still probably one of the slower guys.

"But I don't get tired as fast or as quickly and I feel my stamina is pretty good already. Going into all the camps before, I would be a little more winded, but now I'm feeling pretty good and hope to just continue to grow strength and my conditioning. And hopefully I can pick up a little more speed along the way."

Tennessee Titans
QB Vince Young was seen on a video from TMZ.com that showed him "making it rain" at a Nelly concert during a charity event.

And while the incident itself seemed harmless enough, it probably not the best move for Young to make, given the connotations of "making it rain" that came to the Titans organization courtesy of Adam "Pacman" Jones shenanigans in a Las Vegas strip club that ignited a triple shooting.

To his credit, though, Young has been saying and doing the right things this off-season and has been a regular at organized team activities as he tries to make his way back from a lost 2008 season in which he lost his starting role and had other issues to deal with.

Young's comments about wanting to compete for the starting quarterback job or perhaps be traded aside, the bigger issue for Young is not earning the No. 1 job for now, so much as it is fighting off Patrick Ramsey to hold onto the second-string job.The Titans like the idea of three quarterbacks and Young at No. 2 for now, but know that having a veteran like Ramsey nipping at Young's heels will certainly challenge Young and keep him from developing any complacency.

Young's agent downplayed comments his client made to a television station in Baltimore that sparked rumors that Young wants to be traded. "I definitely want to get back out there playing ball and picking up where I left off, winning games and having a good time with my teammates and with the fans," Young told WMAR-TV. "At the same time, if them guys don't want me to be in there, it's time for me to make a career change for myself. Because the fact is I'm ready to play ball. If they're not ready for me to play ball, then somebody is." Young's agent, Major Adams, told The Associated Press on Tuesday, "Vince's desire has always been to compete for the starting quarterback job in Tennessee. Even before they drafted him, they asked him if he thought he could compete for the starting role, and he said yes. He has always been a starter and that is his mind-set."


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