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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Pro football still on local, inquiring minds

Monday, January 26, 2004

After just one week of collecting questions from the public via email and in person for the most part, the concept appears to be working out quite well. The inquiries have been as varied in subject matter as I'd hoped and not nearly as volatile as I might have expected after the Colts embarrassing performance last Sunday. So here goes with week one of Ask the Editor!

Who has the first pick in the NFL draft?

Lynne, Brazil

Well once more things have plummeted to new depths on the sunny West Coast. This time the Chargers have company as the Silver and Black of Oakland has joined serious mediocrity as the social security checks for their offensive stars have started rolling in.

Eleven different players on their roster have 10 or more years of NFL service topped by All-World receivers Tim Brown and Jerry Rice who have a combined 35 years of experience between the two of them. While still pretty solid pass catchers, the two are closer to the broadcast booth then being able to dominate defenses as they used to.

The Chargers however have the top pick in this year's draft as I write this column, however, the rumors have started flying about the availability of quarterback Drew Brees.

Now, with the top pick in the draft, an already pretty solid QB on your roster in Brees, how can you possibly screw this up when you consider that there is another Manning waiting in the wings?

With Ole Miss QB Eli Manning considered to be perhaps the top signal caller in the draft with no offense directed at Miami of Ohio's Ben Roethlisberger and Phillip Rivers of NC State, you have to wonder how San Diego could goof this one.

For proof on this, try to figure out what IHOP former Charger first round 'can't miss' QB Ryan Leaf is now serving pancakes at.

San Diego can, and quite possibly will bungle this seemingly perfect situation by picking an offensive tackle from Moose Head, Alberta Canada instead of perhaps picking up a receiver who cares, for Brees to throw the ball to for a change.

With sophomore Pittsburgh standout Larry Fitzgerald coming out early and Texas' Roy Williams out as well, the Chargers could significantly upgrade their receiver corps and offense immediately with one of these two picks. In the second round they could draft a surgeon to remove incredibly talented and enigmatic receiver David Boston's head from his *, well you know the rest.

If they are smart, the Chargers trade this pick to Arizona who has to realize that if your starting quarterback came from the Bengals (Jeff Blake), you need a new one.

The Cardinals could pick up their new quarterback with the top pick and the Chargers snag Arizona's top pick (third overall) along with a likely second and third round pick and grab Williams or Fitzgerald.

That moves me along to. . .

Is it time for the Colts to start dismantling the defense after last week's debacle against the Patriots?

Troy, Terre Haute

Well I don't think that it's all as serious as some might think. While the Colt's secondary was ridiculously porous in all of the playoff games, it stood out more against the Patriots because the offense wasn't scoring in multiples of 24.

If you look at the regular season, the Colts gave up fewer yards overall than the previous season and actually gave up the fifth fewest passing yards per game 175.6, just behind vaunted defenses Baltimore and Tampa Bay. As a whole, the Colts were in the top third of defenses in total yards given up as well, 299.3 and picked off five more passes than in 2002.

What many don't realize is that the mantra for defensive coaches is to play soft defense when your ahead by a big margin. In other words, giving up yards is okay, just not touchdowns.

But expect more defensive picks in this year's draft, Colt's coach Tony Dungy loves big, hard hitting secondary guys as evidenced by the pick of Mike Doss from Ohio State last year.

I don't think we'll be able to pick up an impact player of his type in this draft but don't underestimate Dungy's ability to pluck talented players from any round of the draft.

I expect the Colts will take either a cornerback or perhaps a defensive tackle who has good agility and can strengthen the run defense.

Well I know that I only got to two questions in this column but I tend to digress on occasion. So keep your questions coming and for those that didn't get mentioned this week, I'll work extra hard on them for next week since it seems that I'll be buried at the office thanks to Mother Nature.

- Have questions for Ask the Editor? Send them by email to Redwood17257@yahoo.com or by fax to 812-446-0938. The questions may also be mailed c/o Carey Fox, The Brazil Times, 100 N. Meridian Street/Brazil, IN 47834.

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