You've got questions. I've got answers. If not, I'll make them up. Each Thursday at 1 p.m. EST, I answer your queries on all things related to the NFL. If you have a question, send it over to NFLMailbag@aol.com. Don't forget to include your name and location. Click here for the archives. Rock'n'roll.
It's a special day at the FanHouse, as we take questions from the players and coaches of the NFL*. This mailbag tips a frosty mug in the direction of Will Brinson and Bruce Ciskie.
I just lost my job to a 37-year-old who is best known for ramming his head into a wall after scoring a touchdown. My coach thinks I should watch and learn, but I don't want to break my neck and suck at my job for the next decade. What should I do?
- T. Jackson, Eden Prairie, MN
I'm sorry, Mr. Jackson (whooo, I am fo' real!) -- but the guy you lost to, Gus Frerotte, has at least had a job playing football for the last decade, a pace you're not on at the moment. Here's the way I see it. You're not good. Neither is Frerotte. Either way, the Vikings quarterback is going to hold the team back from a championship (and maybe even a playoff appearance). Be happy you lost your job. You're guaranteed a season of paychecks, while Frerotte will be the new lightning rod for Vikings fans wondering why they couldn't have this defense when Daunte Culpepper and Randy Moss were still in town. Maybe you can handle public criticism better than Vince Young, but isn't it still better to lay low, let another guy take the heat, and get a plush backup job next year? Forfeit your pride, accept your limitations, and realize that the only job better than a starter in the NFL is the guy who gets all the same perks without the pressure or physical harm of starting.
What more do I have to do to get fired? I've already rolled over on my players, my owner hates me because I talk smack about him, and I've made coming into the team facility awkward for everyone. Aside from sleeping with the boss' wife (which I certainly will NOT do), what do I have to do to seal the deal?
- L. Kiffin, Mosswood Park, CA
Lane, I admire your gumption and industriousness in launching a sabotage mission on your job, but you are unfortunately stuck with an owner who seems to be getting even more crotchety with age -- the anti-Royal-Tenenbaum, if you will. At this point, it seems Al Davis believes that fielding a winning team is impossible in his lifetime, and so he might as well make a new life's work out of ensuring your continued misery. Word is that your termination is lurking, but that's been around the rumor mill off and on for a while now. Your best bet may be either just quitting or continuing to ride it out in hopes that something like this leaves him incapacitated.
Do you accept my apology?
- E. Hochuli, Milkwaukee, WI
I do, Ed, even though I'm not one of the many who sent you nasty emails about your botched call. I lost money on that game, by the way, but I know that what you've lost -- your human spirit -- is far more valuable. Before, you were The Hawk, living a simple life of attorney/NFL referee and having a laugh while NFL fans benignly joke about your ridiculous physique. I bet life has been a lot grayer since last Sunday for you, though, and for that I'm sorry. Sports fans frequently direct the anger stemming from their pathetic lives on referees, it's one of the basic tenets of sports, but getting personal is going over the line. Anyway, keep your head up. This game will be forgotten in time, and people in San Diego are too busy getting high and doing lazy beach things to stay mad for too long. Oh, I'll be following up with an address where you can send the $200 you now owe me, unless Paypal is more convenient for you.
It was third-and-1 with under six minutes left. We had a five-point lead. A first down would have gone a long way in winning the game. So why was the ball given to the 215-pound Pierre Thomas, who had only eight yards on six carries all day, instead of me, who weighs 230 pounds and had two carries for 10 yards? The play failed, and the Redskins scored the winning touchdown on their first play after. Does Coach Payton not like me?
- D. McAllister, Lena, MS
I wondered the same thing, Deuce. I know you're looking forward to playing, and are maybe taking it a bit personally that through two games you only have two carries. But it's a long season and I'm sure the Saints have a plan for you. To be fair to Thomas, the blocking on that play was fairly atrocious. You might not have been able to pick up that yard either. But more generally, you're a 29-year-old power back who's torn both ACLs. You're not going to carry the ball 20 times a game on a consistent basis, and if the Saints can only get limited production out of you they're going to want it in December and January, when a running game is most important. So be patient and be grateful that the team is putting you in a position to really make a difference during the playoff push.
They keep trying to bring me down with rookies, but they can't do it. They keep saying my career is over, but it isn't. They keep trying to write my prime seasons off as a fluke, but I keep proving that they aren't. Do you think they're going to try to keep me out of Canton?
- K. Warner, Mesa, AZ
That's a good question. Three Pro Bowls, two MVPs, a Super Bowl ring and the Super Bowl MVP trophy, leader of one of the most dominant offenses of your generation. You recently just tied Peyton Manning with your third game with a perfect passer rating. I think there's pretty good chance you're in, and it's a lock if you lead the Cardinals to the playoffs this year. The one thing you've got going against you is that you've played with two of the top wide receiver combinations in decades in St. Louis and now in Arizona, but having those guys didn't make legends out of Marc Bulger or Matt Leinart, so voters should look past that. You've had a great career, Kurt, and if I had a vote you'd be a no-brainer.
*I hope this doesn't have to even be mentioned, but -- not really.
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