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News Rodeo 8/22

Am I the only who doesn't care what Jerome Bettis thinks? I couldn't help but wonder that sifting through today's headlines. Here are a couple links worth following:

Antrel Rolle Loses Starting Job

Ken Whisenhunt is doing the new coach thing, making some bold personnel moves, shaking things up, proving that even highly drafted starters aren't safe. Rolle certainly earned the demotion, though. To paraphrase Krusty the Clown's accountant: "Pass interference is the finest thing a DB can do, if he's good at it." Certain DBs know how to tread that delicate line between playing physical and getting flagged, Rolle's idea of pass coverage was somewhere between assault and a protection racket: "Don't beat me deep and I won't injure you."

Rolle represents a good compliment to the theory that production trumps a player's measurables. Many thought Rolle would be too slow to be a premier corner in the NFL. He didn't participate in all but one drill at the NFL combine (the bench: 15). But his reputation and production persevered and the Cards took him with the 9th overall pick in the 2005 draft. Now, two years into his career, Rolle gets picked on more than almost any DB in football. PFP 2007 reports that 22% of all passes thrown against the Cards were targeted at Rolle, good (or bad) for 15th in the league. It's assumed that Rolle will get a chance to play his way back into a starting spot. As always, with DBs and OLs, patience is a virtue.

I wrote our non-existent Arizona blogger for some reaction but his reply didn't return in time for publication. Flake.    

Matt Hasselbeck Doesn't Like Cheap Shots

Putting him squarely at odds with Andrew Golota. I agree with Beck that the league doesn't do enough to protect its quarterback's knees, but it worries me a bit that this has been stuck in his craw for so long. I mean, it's not like E.J. Henderson intentionally leg-whipped Hasselbeck in an attempt to injure him. Oh wait.

Wallace Resigns, I mean, Re-Signs

Didn't getcher hopes up, did I? Wallace as the starting quarterback is a disaster, but that's not what this contract is about. Wallace's talent for 4 years, 5.2 million is a bargain. The Hawks will likely be looking for a starting quarterback in a rich draft next offseason. Wallace's re-signing certainly doesn't preclude that. I, personally, couldn't be more excited about Colt Brennan, who I think has a shot at being the next great quarterback. Between Brennan and otherworldly running back prospect Darren McFadden, even a disastrous season for the Hawks has a certain glimmer. Wallace has, at best, one more season to prove he can stick at quarterback in the NFL. If not, he's a special talent athletically, and could easily become a slash-type utility offensive weapon. Basically, the only way this contract goes wrong is if it signals a commitment to Wallace the quarterback, but nothing about 4 years, 5.2 million does that.