View Full Version : Dan Reeves,Marty Schottenheimer,Merlin Olsen and Lee Roy Selmon speak out...

02-08-2009, 02:43 PM

Sporting News Today has joined forces with the Legends Football Coaches Association, whose members have shared their unique perspective throughout the season. Former NFL coaches Dan Reeves and Marty Schottenheimer and Hall of Fame defensive linemen Merlin Olsen and Lee Roy Selmon speak about a variety of topics around the league.

Who is the one draft prospect that you see out there who could make an immediate impact next fall in the NFL?

Reeves: I think running backs have the easiest transition to make from college to pros. The guy I like is Knowshon Moreno from Georgia. He's got the size and the speed and all the moves. He also has the advantage of coming from a prostyle offense, which will help him transition to the NFL a lot quicker. I like Matthew Stafford, too, but he's going to go very high in the draft, which means that he won't be going to a very good team, so I doubt he'll have the ability to make much of an impact as a rookie quarterback.

Selmon: I will go with Andre Smith, the offensive tackle from Alabama. The reason I picked him is because you've had some very high draft picks at tackle in the last two drafts who have improved their team immediately. Two years ago, Joe Thomas went to Cleveland and their record went from 4-12 to 10-6. Then this year, Miami took Jake Long with the first pick and they improved from 1-15 to 11-5.So the offensive tackle spot can be very important for a team trying to upgrade their overall offense.

Schottenheimer: I'll go with Michael Crabtree. He really impresses me. He reminds me of Larry Fitzgerald. It looks like he's done it all in college. He has the size, speed and tremendous hands that outstanding receivers need. He could be very impressive in the NFL right away.

There are a bunch of big-name free agents about to hit the market. Who do you think is the best offensive player?

Selmon: I'd say Matt Cassel. He stepped in as the starter when Tom Brady got hurt and did an outstanding job for a fellow with little playing experience, college or pro. I don't see him long for New England. He may be franchised for one year until the Patriots are sure Brady is healthy again, but they won't be able to pay both quarterbacks big money past next year.

Reeves: Matt Cassel has got a lot of upside. He's young, doesn't have a lot of mileage on him, and he played really well in his first year on the field. I also like Brandon Jacobs. He's young, experienced and really will help another team's running game if he leaves the Giants.

Olsen: Matt Cassel just played so well this year and has a lot of football life left in him. That's what you're looking for in a free agent someone who can help you in the long term. I'm a little wary of Brandon Jacobs because of the injury problems he's had with the Giants.

Schottenheimer: Ditto on Matt Cassel. He has proven he has the ability to take a team and lead it. He's very talented and now he's game-tested.

Who is the best defensive free agent?

Reeves: I'd have to say Julius Peppers. He's got a lot of experience but still young enough to have a lot of upside. I like Albert Haynesworth, too, because he can really move the pile on the inside.

Olsen: I'd have to go with Julius Peppers also. I like Terrell Suggs, too, but I think he's playing in a system that maximizes his talent and I'd be surprised if he left the Ravens because I don't know if he could play any better in another system.

Selmon: Albert Haynesworth. When he gets that big push up the middle, he accomplishes two things. He disrupts the running game, and he prevents the quarterback from stepping up in the middle to avoid the outside rush. He's a real disrupter.

Schottenheimer: Haynesworth. He can really collapse the pocket. Quarterbacks don't like people in their face. He has good foot agility and good body balance. He's one of those big guys who plug the middle, but he's a lot more agile and dangerous than the other slowerfooted guys. I would mention that teams might have some concern about injuries with him.

What are your very early picks for Super Bowl 44?

Olsen: I'll tell you who won't be in the Super Bowl next year--it won't feature the Raiders against the Lions. The other 30 teams might all have a shot. It's just too early to tell since we don't even know what the free-agent signing process is going to do to change the current situations.

Selmon: All right, I'll give you a shot in the dark. How about Miami vs. Green Bay? A cold- weather team against a warm-weather team.

Schottenheimer: I think Super Bowl 44 will feature the Steelers and the Giants. Both have solid teams and are set at the quarterback position.

Do you have a dark-horse candidate (a la the Cardinals) for Super Bowl 44?

Reeves: A team like Miami made the playoffs this year after winning only one game last year, so if they can continue improving, they could have a shot.

Olsen: I might pick the Chargers although some people might not consider them a dark horse. They just need to put a few more pieces together and they'd be there.

Selmon: Tampa Bay. They were just a few plays away from making the playoffs this year.Raheem Morris is stepping into a very comfortable situation as the head coach. It's as good an opportunity as a new coach can get.

Schottenheimer: I'll go with Baltimore. Their biggest challenge will be that next year they will still be in the same division as the Steelers.

02-09-2009, 06:01 PM
Why do they point out that Suggs is playing in a system that maximizes his talent, but NOT apply that same logic to Cassel?

02-10-2009, 08:21 AM
Why do they point out that Suggs is playing in a system that maximizes his talent, but NOT apply that same logic to Cassel?

I think it is because in their eyes Cassel is the second coming of Brady. So therefore no matter where Cassel would go, the team that is lucky enough to get him is almost assured of a playoff birth, if not the Super Bowl. Just wait and see what happens when he plays outside the system he is used to and feels comfortable in. The whole media jumped on this guys bandwagon a little too soon(imo).

Look at their season....when he came up against the teams with the tougher defenses in the league he wasn't all that impressive. Only put up 13 against the Fins...10 against the Chargers...15 against the Colts...10 against the STEELERS:tt03: .

9/7 W KansasCityChiefs.gif 17-10
9/14 W NewYorkJets.gif 19-10
9/21 L MiamiDolphins.gif 38-13
9/28 Bye
10/5 W SanFrancisco49ers.gif 30-21
10/12 L SanDiegoChargers.gif 30-10
10/20 W DenverBroncos.gif 41-7
10/26 W StLouisRams.gif 23-16
11/2 L IndianapolisColts.gif 18-15
11/9 W BuffaloBills.gif 20-10
11/13 L NewYorkJets.gif 34-31
11/23 W MiamiDolphins.gif 48-28
11/30 L PittsburghSteelers.gif 33-10
12/7 W SeattleSeahawks.gif 24-21
12/14 W OaklandRaiders.gif 49-26
12/21 W ArizonaCardinals.gif 47-7
12/28 W BuffaloBills.gif 13-0

02-10-2009, 08:49 AM
Oh, there's no doubt he's going to be a flash in the pan. He benefits from A) A good OL, B) The fact the refs don't toss much linen against the Pats, C) A GREAT QB system and D) Playing on a media darling.