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Weekend Roundup

Not too much going on in right now involving the Dolphins.  Let's take a quick look at some of what transpired this past weekend as we begin another week.

Very interesting games played out yesterday.  If I told you that Tom Brady would throw 3 interceptions and the Chargers would be inside New England's 20 3 separate times (2 of those times inside the 10), you might have said that the Pats would have lost this game.  But the Chargers' inability to score touchdowns cost them a trip to the Super Bowl.  It's that simple.  And it's hard for me not to think this game might have been different if LaDainian Tomlinson could have played more than 2 series and Antonio Gates was at full strength.  But yet again, the Patriots are able to slip by an opponent and remain unbeaten with just one game left.  I truly despise them, but they certainly deserve credit.  Kudos to them.

In yesterday's late game, we saw the real Brett Favre.  The Brett Favre who makes too many unforced errors by doing what he's known to do: forcing the ball.  He threw 2 interceptions (one of which cost them the game in OT) and could have easily had at least 2 more picked off.  But I bet the national media will, yet again, not put too much heat on Favre because, well, they have a collective mancrush on the guy.  But if I'm a Packers fan, I would have went to bed last night cursing the great Brett Favre.  But I don't want to slight the Giants.  They played a good game and made the plays when they needed to.  The Giants converted 6/16 3rd downs while the Packers were just 1/10.  And, finally, the NY media will be able ot get off the case of Eli Manning.  He wasn't spectacular, but he managed the game and didn't make any mistakes.  Oh, and how good is Plaxico Burress.  I thought he was never got the attention he deserved, especially this season playing through some serious ankle issues.  But man did he come out yesterday and put forth a tremendous effort.  As far as the Super Bowl, all I'll say is don't just write off the Giants.  They are going to be the most dangerous 14-point underdogs I've ever seen.

As I was watching these games yesterday, and in particular the Giants/Packers game, I couldn't help but think about the two QBs of these teams in terms of our QB situation.  And what I mean by that is how both Eli Manning's and Brett Favre's careers should provide hope to those who want to write off John Beck so quickly.  We live in a day and age where everybody wants instant results.  But the fact of the matter is that instant gratification is rare, especially when you are talking about the development of quarterbacks in the NFL.  Yet, many fans and media members are always so damn quick to label a QB as a failure.  Case in point: Brett Favre.  The Falcons were so quick to get rid of their 2nd round draft pick Brett Favre after his rookie season.  How'd that turn out for Atlanta?  And so many Giants fans were ready to give up hope on their #1 pick, Eli Manning.  I wonder how they feel about him now?

So just for a quick comparison, let's look at how the 2 previously their rookie seasons compare with John Becks:

Brett Favre: 2 games, 0/4, 2 ints
Eli Manning: 9 games, 95/197 (48%), 1043 yds, 6 TDs, 9 ints, 55.4 rating, 5.3 YPA
John Beck: 5 games, 60/107 (56%), 559 yds, 1 TD, 3 ints, 62.0 rating, 5.2 YPA

Yup, that's right.  John Beck had a higher QB rating and a better completion percentage as a rookie than #1 overall pick Eli Manning.  And undoubtedly, Eli had a much better supporting cast around him than Beck had.  Favre's numbers are really irrelevant because of the small sample size.  But his numbers are a good example of how you can't judge a QB off of a small sample of throws.  The Falcons did that, and we all see how that played out.

If you want to break down Eli's and John's rookie years to a per-game basis, here's how it would look:

Manning: 116 ypg, 0.6 TDs, 1 int
Beck: 112 ypg, 0.2 TDs, 0.6 ints

Again, Beck's numbers are very similar to Eli's.  And he had to play in some terrible conditions against 2 very, very good defenses, with a terrible supporting cast.  

So I'd say there's hope for John Beck.  But those naysayers will surely continue to be naysayers because, after all, it's easier to be negative about this situation than it is to be positive.

In a terrible season, there is one player who deserves an award.  and that player is Jason Taylor, who is nominated for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award, which is an award given to player who best combines off the field excellence with on the field excellence.  This past year, the Jason Taylor Foundation generated over $350,000 in donations.  The 3 other finalists for this award are Hines Ward, Brian Waters, and Jason Witten.  The winner will be announced on Super Bowl Sunday.

The Dolphins still need to round out their coaching staff.  And some of the hirings could happen as soon as this week.  Paul Pasqualoni and Todd Bowles are both rumored to be on Tony Sparano's wish list.  But both are under contract with the Cowboys until Tuesday.  At that time, we'll likely know if they plan on coming to Miami or not.  Pasqualoni is rumored to be the top candidate for the defensive coordinator position while Bowles is rumored to be the top candidate for the assistant head coach/defense gig under Sparano.

As for the offensive coaching staff, it's believed that Chris Palmer (current Giants QB coach) is on the top of Miami's wishlist for offensive coordinator.  But now his Giants are on their way to the Super Bowl.  I'm not sure of the rules, but I believe Palmer will be able to interview for the job this upcoming week.  Of course, he can't be officially offered a job until his season is over on February 4.  And if the job he's done with Eli Manning, especially this year, is any indication, then Palmer is very well worth waiting for.

Also, former UCLA head coach Karl Dorrell interviewed with the Dolphins this past week for the WR coach job.  But Dorrell has also been offered the same job with a few other teams (KC and Denver, I believe).  It's unknown where he might be leaning.