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- NFL Mailbag: Who Should Start?

Chris Pokorny August 12, 2006
Chris Pokorny
PFC Owner & Writer

Tell Chris your opinion.

It's time for our latest mailbag session, and you guys really sent in feedback this time. This will be our largest mailbag session yet, thanks to all of you. I'd like to note that I'm posting any mail that it sent to me, whether it be good or bad, because that's the whole point of receiving feedback. If people can't handle negative feedback, then they shouldn't be attempting to analyze football. Whatever criticisms you guys send in, I take them in and consider what you have to say, as you'll see in the messages below.

In today's session, the popular topics were Cedric Benson's injury, the Bills' quarterback controversy, and my AFC Quarterback rankings. Without further adieu, here we go:

On 8/5/06, Bob Jackson sent the following regarding Cedric Benson's shoulder injury:
"Urlacher and Brown are such bad guys to hit Cedric like that -- save it for game time boys. Urlacher and Brown should be fined for taking the cheap shot on Benson. The play was over so why would they hit him like that???"
Pokorny: You hate to see injuries occur in training camp, especially when you're taking out your own teammate, even if it was by accident. Thankfully, Benson should be back in a few weeks, and is still slated to be the Bears' starting running back. In fantasy drafts, he could be a steal simply due to people forgetting about him or being too cautious. Thomas Jones is probably further away from a return than Benson is.

On 8/7/06, Ian sent the following regarding my AFC QB Rankings:
"You put the Saints' logo for "Aaron Brooks - Oakland Raiders". Fool."
Pokorny: Thanks, I fixed it as soon as I saw it. I added all the images in after I had typed everything, and as soon as I saw Brooks name, I simply inserted the Saints' logo.

On 8/7/06, Wilson sent the following regarding Mike Bell Leading the Broncos:
"I draft three spots from now in a 16-team league. We're in the 4th round, with hardly any backs left (Chris Brown, Kevin Barlow, whoever the Jets have besides Martin). I hope one of the 3 teams picking ahead of me reads this & picks Mike Bell. Sure, he may be the next great back but I'd rather him pay dividends for me now; namely by being drafted early by one of my fellow fantasy managers. Maybe I won't regret this statement!"
Pokorny: Well, I'm a little confused after reading your statement; I'm guessing you were just in a rush while drafting. If someone takes Mike Bell that early, that would be too much of a risk. At this point, I wouldn't take any Broncos' running back until the tenth round at the earliest, because until an opening-day starter is named, any of those backs could end up being a third-stringer. Also, you never know if Ron Dayne or Tatum Bell will be traded to someone either.

On 8/8/06, Ron sent the following regarding Marcus Vick:
"Is Marcus still with the Miami Dolphins, and how is he doing?"
Pokorny: Yes, he's still with them. He has been praised for his work ethic in training camp so far, but he is not being considered a quarterback. If he makes the team, it will probably have to be as a wide receiver or a backup punt returner/special teams player. He has been catching the ball well and running routes fairly well, but he is still a long shot to make the final roster.

On 8/9/06, Michael Nuzum sent the following on Marcus Vick as well:
"Marcus Vick is the best quarterback and he should start. He is a phenomenal thrower and a great runner. He is better than Michael and if Michael was on your roster he would start, so why can't Marcus?"
Pokorny: Whew, you sound like a huge fan of Marcus Vick. Personally, I don't he's not cut out to be a quarterback in the NFL. I have my dislikes of Michael Vick due to his inability to throw at times, and it would be much worse with Marcus. Like I stated above, Marcus is better suited trying to make the transition from quarterback to receiver. Many teams have done that with several players that have great speed but not enough of an arm to cut it as a quarterback, and it has worked out well.

On 8/10/06, Nick sent the following on my AFC QB Rankings:
"How can you put Jake Plummer ahead of Trent Green? Take into consideration that Green threw for over 4,000 yards the past three seasons, while Plummer has never done that. Also, Green's completion percentage is a bit higher. Also, putting Rivers ahead of Brooks is kind of ridiculous. Rivers has thrown what, 30 passes? Brooks only really had one bad year which was last year. Brooks is with a better offense and should be better. Even though Rivers is familiar with his offense, he isn't experienced enough to play in a real game to be better than Brooks."
Pokorny: Thank you for your opinion, you definitely brought up several points that I considered while composing my rankings. Last year, the Broncos' success came from Plummer's consistency throughout the season to not throw costly interceptions. He also has the added ability to run the football off the bootleg, an underrated ability of his. On the same note, Green is definitely as good as Plummer; it was more so a situation where someone had to be put over the other guy. I believe the Chiefs will rely on their running game even more than they have in the past, which will take away from Green's throws per game. Either way, both guys are in for solid years. As for the Raiders, Brooks did have a couple of good years in New Orleans. What you don't see in those statistics though is the amount of times he fumbled the ball or threw an interception when the game was on the line. The Raiders offense isn't suited for Brooks style in my opinion, while the Chargers will not see a major drop-off from Drew Brees in Rivers.

On 8/11/06, F. Farmer sent the following regarding my AFC QB Rankings:
"I don't know who the best quarterback is, but I do know who the worst quarterback is: David Carr of the Houston Texans. The Texans missed a draft pick by not picking Vince Young. David Carr will never become a major league quarterback. David Carr's a sack stat. As a fan of the Texans, I'm sorry to report this information. A new coach, all new coaches and a new clubhouse guy aren't going to help this team."
Pokorny: It's not often a fan of their own team pinpoints a team's problems, and your frustrations are definitely understandable. In recent years, expansion teams in the Cleveland Browns and Houston Texans have struggled, but it's been worse for the Texans. You would think that in the timetable the Texans have had, a manageable football team could be placed on the field. If Carr was in a better situation, they yes, maybe he would turn out ok. But after so many years of struggle, it may be time for a change. Unfortunately, since the draft is over already, it'll have to be a decision the Texans' organization focuses on next season.

On 8/12/06, Some Guy sent the following on Kelly Holcomb starting:
"Chris couldn't be more wrong about Nall and how he will "probably be too late to win a starting job." He then goes on to admit that both Holcomb and Losman are still struggling and obviously neither one of them have "lit it up" consistently. I'm not saying they can't, but to act like Nall is out of it, especially after being the only one who (after the first 4 practices) who had yet to throw a pick (the others had 2 a piece at that point) and was the only one who had at least one practice with 0 incompletions. Who knows who the guy will be on opening day but to act like Nall has no shot is just stupid."
Pokorny: Did I really say Nall had no chance? No, I said that his injury would hurt his chances, and possibly take him out of contention. The preseason is a critical time period, and if either Losman or Holcomb shine in the first two preseason games, they will already have two weeks worth of game experience in the system ahead of Nall. Nall doesn't have regular season starting experience either, so four training camp sessions wouldn't be enough typically to make coaches name them the opening day starter. But, if you'd like me to be politically correct, then fine. "Nall still has a shot to be the Bills starting quarterback."

On 8/12/06, Jim sent the following regarding my thoughts on Brian Griese starting:
"I agree with you about considering Griese as the starter in Chicago - I do not understand the mentality that would allow a good team to go forward with a 'green' QB like Grossman if Griese is around and on his game. I disagree about Pennington though. Ramsey still has not had a fair shot to show what he can do in a game. Sure, Pennington's head is proven, but his arm will have to do better than that over the course of a grueling season."
Pokorny: I'm kind of surprised I didn't consider Griese starting over Grossman until I listened to the game last night. He definitely changed Tampa Bay's offense before Chris Simms took over, and could give the revival that the Bears need offensively. Ramsey does deserve a fair shot to play, but with Pennington as the favorite, it'll probably take an injury to knock him out of the role again.

Thanks for sending in all of your comments. If you'd like your question to be featured in our next session, leave a message below. Also, don't forget to join our forums and chat with many other football fans around the country!

Do you have an opinion on this article? Do you want direct fantasy football advice from one of our writers? You can e-mail us at pokorny@pfcritics.com. Be sure to label your subject line appropriately so we don't think it is spam. Please include your name (can be a screename), city and state. We guarantee a response to any questions or comments you have, and will publish them in our next mailbag session if appropriate.
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