Prime Cuts

Slices of great NFL content from around the web

When one door closes…

Former Cal QB Sets Paper-Airplane World Record
deadspin.com

Joe Ayoob succeeded Aaron Rodgers as Cal’s starting quarterback in 2005. Ayoob’s tenure lasted for just one season, during which he threw for nearly as many interceptions (14) as touchdowns (15), and the following year he was replaced as the starter. Turns out Ayoob has more of a paper arm. On Sunday at McClellan Air Force Base, Ayoob’s throw of a plane designed by John Collins sailed 226 feet, 10 inches, besting the previous world record (207-4) by nearly 20 feet. Aaron Rodgers never did that.

[Insert Tebow joke here]

Having their cake and injecting it, too

In Defense of Ryan Braun: The undeniable idiocy of baseball's steroids "crisis"
www.grantland.com

The first is the question of the player’s health. This is not one to be dismissed lightly, even though, in almost every other context in professional sports, it is always secondary to profits in the mind of management. And the second, more hazy argument is that it is somehow unethical to ingest a substance that will make you play better. Too often, it seems, the former consideration is used to camouflage arguments based primarily on the latter.

Can someone seriously argue that it is ethical to take a drug to make a performance possible, but unethical to take a drug that makes that performance better? Isn’t making a performance possible at all the ultimate performance enhancement?...Sports are rife with drugs. Without drugs of one sort or another, the NFL season would never begin, and the baseball season would end sometime in June owing to a lack of participating teams.

Pierce (as usual) raises an important and fair question: What is the real difference between administering to players (ie. Tony Romo) painkillers such as Toradol (without which they'd likely be unable to play at all) - the dispensing and long-term effects of which are under dispute - and a "performance enhancing drug" which might allow a player a better chance of returning to action a week after a particularly physical game?

Is the former okay simply because the team is in charge? After all, we've certainly learned enough in recent years to safely conclude that team medical staffs do not prioritize players' short- or long-term health concerns over #winning, as I was just saying to my good friend Colt McCoy.

Weeden the Broncos’ back-up plan?

Broncos impressed after interviewing QBs Brandon Weeden, Brock Osweiler
blogs.denverpost.com

The Broncos were extremely impressed with Weeden during a 15-minute interview this week. He turns 29 in October which is why he’s not considered a top 3 QB prospect even though he’s the second best pure passer to Luck.

They also came away feeling good about Arizona State Brock Osweiler. He’s 6-foot-7 and a one-year starter but he’s such a good athlete, he passed up a basketball scholarship to Gonzaga.

Weeden and Osweiler figure to both go in the second round, no later than the top-half of the third. Each would make sense as back up to Broncos starting quarterback Tim Tebow.

Andrew Luck wows ‘em at combine

Luck displays rare athleticism in 40-yard dash, jumps
blogs.nfl.com

The Stanford QB unofficially ran a 4.59-second 40-yard dash Sunday morning, proving the Colts likely will land more than just a traditional pocket passer if they take him No. 1, as expected, in April’s draft. Luck isn’t Peyton Manning. He’s potentially somewhere between that and Cam Newton, whose measurables last year put Luck’s into proper perspective.

Luck’s unofficial 4.59 matched Newton’s official best time from 2011. Luck’s 10-foot, 4-inch broad jump was just 2 inches off Newton’s 10-6, the best of last year’s QB crop.

Finally, Luck notched a 36-inch vertical, actually besting Newton’s 35-inch jump from last year.

I knew Andrew Luck would be compared to Peyton Manning, but Cam Newton?  Is Luck the perfect combination of athleticism and pocket passer?  Or is the bar being set so high it will be impossible to clear?  Either way, it's a whole truckload of hype.

A Tebow Fan’s Worst Nightmare

The Battle for Second Place: Who will make a play to move up the NFL draft board and grab Robert Griffin III?
www.grantland.com

A Tebow trade would actually make a fair amount of sense right about now. The Broncos clearly aren’t enamored of the guy, considering they were talking about benching him before he led them to a playoff win over the Steelers. If they really think Tebow is going to fail as an NFL quarterback, they would want to sell high on him now before reality sets in and his market value craters.

The only problem is that the Rams would have no interest in Tim Tebow. That’s where our third team comes in: the Jacksonville Jaguars. New owner Shahid Khan has already said that the team should have taken Tebow in the 2010 draft, owing to both his abilities as a player and as a ticket-mover. Tebow went to high school in a Jacksonville suburb, played at Florida, and remains active in the Jacksonville community; a trade for Tebow would be great box office for a moribund franchise that often struggles to fill its stadium.

Jacksonville wouldn’t likely give up the seventh overall pick straight-up as part of a Tebow trade, but the Broncos could probably get it for Tebow and a mid-round pick or two. That would leave them with the seventh and 25th picks in this year’s draft, which would be about as much as anyone besides the Browns can offer.

The Broncos get to sell high on Tebow while acquiring a potential franchise quarterback and avoiding mass riots in Denver. And the Jaguars get the one player in football who is more valuable to them than any other team in the league. See? Everybody wins! Well, except for Blaine Gabbert.

RG3 helps draft stock without lifting a finger

Heisman winner Griffin stands tall at NFL combine
sports.yahoo.com

NFL scouts can dismiss the rumors of the incredibly shrinking Heisman Trophy winner.

Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III measured in at 6-foot-2 3/8 and 223 pounds at the NFL’s annual scouting combine.

The biggest concern about Griffin’s pro future was whether he would come in at less than 6-1.

I admit it.  I didn't think Griffin would break 6-1.  This only solidifies his grip on the second pick.  It also makes the Rams' pick worth even more to teams like the Browns and Shanny's Redskins.

Elway: Any type of QB will fit Denver offense

Broncos' Elway keeping a close eye on QBs at NFL draft
www.denverpost.com

Elway said he’ll pay particular attention to mechanics like throwing motion and footwork when quarterbacks go through their drills on Sunday.

“I don’t know if we’re looking for one like Tim or an ordinary drop-back [passer] or somewhere in between,” Elway said Friday morning in his press conference at Lucas Oil Stadium. “I think that until we find out the interest out there, it’s going to be hard to fill those spots, but I think that when I look at Tim and I look at our offense, we can do it with either one. Whether it be a guy like Tim or more of a drop-back kind of guy, either one is going to be able to fit.”

“There are things we have to get him to do within our offense to be more successful as an offense,” Elway said. “We want to see strides in Tim and his ability to get better throwing the football downfield from within the pocket. We just feel like that is something we have to do to get better as an offense to be able to add that threat there makes everything else he does that much better.”

As always, actions will speak much louder than any words uttered by Johns Elway and Fox.

Dolphins, Chiefs prevail in scintillating showdowns

Dolphins to pick 8th, Chiefs 11th as both teams win coin flips
www.nfl.com

The Miami Dolphins won a coin flip for the right to the eighth overall selection in the first round of April’s NFL Draft, beating out the Carolina Panthers, who own the ninth pick.

The Kansas City Chiefs won the second and final coin toss Friday, and they now will pick 11th. The Chiefs bested the Seattle Seahawks, who will pick 12th.

Here is the final order for the first round, pending any trades.

Chiefs already talking to Manning

Kansas City radio host says Chiefs, Condon have spoken about Peyton Manning
profootballtalk.nbcsports.com

Bob Fescoe of 610 Sports writes via Twitter that he is “[h]earing” the Chiefs and agent Tom Condon “have spoken twice” about Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, and that Fescoe is “told” the financials are a “good fit” for the Chiefs.

The fact that the Chiefs play in the AFC West would make Peyton’s path back to the postseason easier than elsewhere.

Give me a "T." Give me an "A."  Give me an...aw, hell, let's just call it tampering.

John Fox: It’s all good

Denver Broncos coach John Fox jokes ‘we still like Brady Quinn’ after backup QB’s critical comments about Tim Tebow
www.nydailynews.com

Yes, Brady Quinn called out Tim Tebow. No, that doesn’t mean Denver is looking to throw him out of the quarterback mix.

“We still like Brady Quinn,” Broncos coach John Fox joked on Thursday at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.

Fox said that Quinn’s comments were taken out of context, saying that sometimes “things get lost in translation.” He insisted that he knows Tebow and Quinn well, and he knows the relationship that the two quarterbacks have with each other. He did add that Quinn’s move to apologize to Tebow was a good one, though.

John "The Voice Box" Fox is so cute when he does the gruff-and-wise ol' ball coach thingy.

Don't believe this notion that Quinn is coming back.  It's not happening. 

I just want to know one thing, Fox: have you fired that damn cook yet?