Another week has gone by. And with it, we inch ever so closer to training camp. Of course, it's still a month away, but here are some nuggets for you all to chew on in your spare time.
PRISCO'S TOP 50
Pete Prisco, of CBS Sportsline, has released a list of the top 50 NFL players as of right now. His top 3 is tough to argue with, with Peyton Manning at #1, Tom Brady at #2, and LaDainian Tomlinson at #3. I would have switched Brady and Tomlinson, but that's splitting hairs. However, I do have some grips. The only Dolphin to make the list was Jason Taylor, way down at #16. That's right, number 16. Are you kidding me?? There are three DEs ranked ahead of him despite Taylor being the 2006 Defensive Player of the Year. Prisco has Julius Peppers, Richard Seymour, and Dwight Freeney ranked at #s 9, 11, and 12 respectively. He also has Drew Brees and Andre Johnson ahead of Taylor. I'm utterly speechless. Talk about disrespect. What more can Taylor do? Many coaches around the league, including Pats coach Bill Bellichick, say that Taylor is the toughest defensive player to game-plan for. It seems to me like Prisco needs to do his homework before doing this list next year.
The other major gripe I have is the absense of Zach Thomas from the list. He's easily a top 5 linebacker in this league and is likely to be a Hall-of-Famer when it's all said and done. Yet, Petey leaves him off of his top 50 rankings and doesn't even include Thomas in his "just missed" category at the bottom of the page. Meanwhile, he has Shawne Merriman at #8, Brian Urlacher at #10, Ray Lewis at #32, and Julian Peterson in his "just missed" section. But I guess I shouldn't be surprised that Thomas didn't make this list. The media loves overlooking him despite his outstanding play. And Thomas will surely continue to prove his doubters to be wrong.
But if you really want to know how bad these rankings are, here's the most shocking ranking out of the entire list. He has Larry Johnson at #20, Frank Gore at #21, and Steven Jackson at #29. Is he serious? Is Frank Gore just as good as Larry Johnson? He had one good year. And Steven Jackson being behind Gore is a joke. In my opinion, Steven Jackson is a top 10 player in the entire league, regardless of position. To have him at #29 really shows the ignorance of Prisco.
JASON TAYLOR SPEAKS
This week's issue if Sports Illustrated has a great article about Jason Taylor. He talks about a lot of things, ranging from football to his marriage to Hollywood. I highly encourage you all to go check it out. If you don't want to purchase it, though, then check out Harvey Fialkov's blog which features some quotes from the article. Here are a few that stand out to me, including finding out that Jason Taylor almost quit football prior to his outstanding 2006 season:
Taylor on his past marital problems: "I got my cage rattled. You work at it.'' Other than card games at the home, apparently Taylor has cut down on his nights out with the boys.
The couple have since repaired those differences.
Taylor on new Dolphins quarterback Trent Green, who is coming off a severe concussion:
"This is off the record - oh, what the hell, it's on the record: He'd better not get hit. One big hit, and he could be scrambled eggs. - Taylor said this about a week before Green was acquired from the Chiefs.
Taylor, who hinted at retirement following the regular-season finale against the Colts, told S.I., that "barring something drastic, I'm here to play out my career.'' He's signed through the 2009 season.
That's it for now. But be sure to check back later today as the latest installment of "Around the AFC East" rolls out. To view last week's edition, click here. Also, be sure to head over to the 3 other AFC East sites to see their coverage of "Around the AFC East." For those not familiar with those sites, they are Buffalo Rumblings, Pats Pulpit, and NY Landing Strip.