My Two Cents
If I had to vote for the league MVP today, I'd go with Raiders
quarterback Rich Gannon (2,399 passing yards, 340 rushing yards)
in a close call over Rams running back Marshall Faulk.... The
best free safety in football is the Ravens' Rod Woodson, the
most instinctive defensive back since Ronnie Lott.... Please,
officials. Cut out the ticky-tack interference calls. Let
cornerbacks play.... Rumors persist that Redskins owner Dan
Snyder wants Bill Parcells to run his team. Fat chance, Parcells
working for Snyder.... Mark my words: Saints quarterback Aaron
Brooks, who takes over for the injured Jeff Blake, will play in
more than one Pro Bowl before his career is over.
An NFC pro scout sizes up Saints rookie Chad Morton (above), who
is being asked to shoulder much of his team's rushing load after
the injury to Ricky Williams.
"He lasted until the fifth round in the draft because he's only
5'8", and any scatback that size shouldn't be a high pick. Morton
has the ability to return kicks and punts, but if the Saints are
counting on him to be anything more than a third-down back,
they're making a big mistake. This was a big-back offense with
Ricky Williams, and there's no way you can expect a 185-pound guy
to run consistently well between the tackles. On the plus side,
he has Barry Sanders-like jukes. If the offense can get him out
in space, he can make people miss as well as any third-down
RYAN'S HOPE A couple more three-touchdown, one-interception games
like the one Ryan Leaf had against Denver, and San Diego will be
wondering if it should keep the guy who's been such a cancer. "I
need to use every opportunity," Leaf said on Sunday, "because I
don't know how long this career will last."
SAINTS AIN'T PRETTY The team with the feel-good story of the year
needs a ton of Tylenol and a pair of casts. Within eight days New
Orleans's two most important players--running back Ricky Williams
(broken left ankle) and quarterback Jeff Blake (broken and
dislocated right foot)--were lost for the regular season.
THE EAGLES HAVE LANDED Philadelphia, alone atop the NFC East in
late November for the first time in 20 years, is close to a
playoff lock. The Eagles finish with a bye sandwiched between
games against the Browns and the Bengals. Philadelphia won't be a
first-round doormat for any of the NFC's premier teams. Only
Oakland, Baltimore and St. Louis have a better scoring margin
than the Eagles.
A tattoo on the back of which NFL player?
A. Seahawks running back Ricky Watters
B. Jets linebacker Brian Cox
C. Giants defensive tackle Keith Hamilton
COLOR PHOTO: BOB ROSATO (MORTON)
COLOR PHOTO: JOHN IACONO
The Last Word
"We're not playing very good. That's what not very good teams do."
--JAGUARS TACKLE TONY BOSELLI, before Jacksonville beat
Pittsburgh on Sunday