Is Steve McNair a Hall of Famer?

One of the more tragic, heart-sinking moments for me as a sports fan was seeing the news that Steve McNair died on July 4th after being shot in the head. McNair’s a quarterback who took a while to develop in the league and that’s why it took me a long time to appreciate him. He was one of the new dual-threat quarterbacks for the first part of his career but then he realized you can’t last in the league very long if you keep tucking and running. While his amount of rushing attempts got cut in half, the amount of injuries doubled, and that’s what made McNair stand out so much — he became tough.

I can’t remember an injury that kept McNair out of a game. As a fantasy football guy, McNair developed a legendary reputation as someone who was so banged up that he could never practice during the week, but when it came to Sundays, you could always count on the quarterback from Alcorn State to make the start. McNair took the Titans to the Super Bowl in 2000, shared the MVP award with Peyton Manning in ’03, and led the Ravens to a 13-3 season at the age of 33 in his second to last year. He had a really good career and was memorable for his toughness, but the tragedy of his death shouldn’t change the way we view his career.

I’ve already heard people say McNair should be a Hall of Famer and I’m guessing a lot of it is due to their compromised sentiment. McNair was a winner and a very good quarterback for about a six year stretch or so, but he wasn’t consistently one of the league’s elites. I even heard an analyst today say he was better than Donovan McNabb — a quarterback to whom he was compared because they both were QBs who could run. McNabb’s won more and he’s been a top quarterback on a more consistent basis than McNair so I would completely dispute that notion. I don’t think McNair’s a Hall of Famer, but his reputation as a good quarterback who was one of the toughest mofos around will be his legacy. I’d say there’s a lot of guys who’d love to have that claim.

Check out Steve McNair at his retirement news conference, one of his last appearances in the spotlight:

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Sahel Kazemi Likely Committed Murder Suicide with Steve McNair

Well if this ain’t a jacked up story, I don’t know what is. When Steve McNair was found dead on Saturday afternoon in Nashville, he was found killed along with a 20-year-old woman named Sahel Kazemi. Kazemi works at Dave and Buster’s and apparently had been messing with McNair the past few months to the point where he bought her an ’07 Escalade. Initially police were saying it appeared to be a double homicide but the latest details indicate it’s a likely murder-suicide.

McNair was found with multiple gunshot wounds including a fatal one to the head. Kazemi was found with only one gunshot wound and a pistol close to her body. Add up that evidence plus what the Nashville public informer said — that they’re not chasing down any suspects — and you have to believe it was a murder-suicide.

According to Kazemi’s ex-boyfriend, McNair had been telling Kazemi that everything would be perfect between them even though Steve was married and had a family. I’m guessing that this was one of those scorned lover scenarios where she wanted more than he was willing to give and she therefore plugged him. As for Steve, let him serve as a lesson for other guys out there that this is what can happen if you mess around with something on the side. Be careful.

Sahel Kazemi Pics courtesy of Bumpshack

Brandon Marshall on Denver After DUI: ‘I Hate This ****in City’

Brandon Marshall received a Darwin Nominee here at LBS back on October 22nd, 2007 after he was pulled over on suspicion of DUI. This really wasn’t a big deal except for what it added to Marshall’s reputation as a bad citizen. But now that Marshall has requested (demanded?) a trade, the police report from that stop bears some significance. From Pro Football Talk, here’s what was said by Marshall according to the officer:

“I hate Denver. I hope I get traded. I hate this f******* city.”

Marshall also berated police for stopping him and not finding the killer of fellow Bronco Darrent Williams.

“Why aren’t you guys out looking for Williams’ killer?” the report says.

To quote Jerry Maguire, there’s no proof of anything except this guy’s a sensational athlete. So the question here actually is whether these were just the words of a drunken nut angered by the stop, or the actual feelings of Marshall. I’m guessing it’s a little of both. And I’m guessing the Broncos may have had a hand in this report being released — sure makes it a lot easier P.R.-wise if they cave in to his trade demands when the fans know the guy hates their city.

Carson Palmer’s Wife Pulls Plug on Ochocinco’s Brokeback Summer

Chad Johnson/Ochocinco whatever you want to call him has enjoyed quite the eventful offseason. He admitted that he didn’t do any conditioning prior to last season, he challenged a media member to a fight, and he said that he and Carson Palmer are on “Brokeback” terms. And in an effort to mend the relationship with his quarterback, Ochocinco said he was going to live with Palmer for the summer. That sounds great from Chad’s perspective, but I always figured some members of the Palmer household wouldn’t be too wild about him crashing their digs. Apparently that’s the case for Carson’s wife:

There’s no way her husband, the Bengals’ quarterback, is going to let Chad Ochocinco, the team’s star wide receiver, crash at their Southern California home in July while the two work out together.

“I told [my wife], ‘Don’t worry. I haven’t made any commitments to having to clear out the boxes in the (spare) room to make a bed for [Chad]. Don’t worry about that. It’s not going to happen.’

“I just told him that unless he’s picking up my mortgage for the month of July and August, he can’t stay. He’s not living for free. I don’t need another kid around the house.”

Yeah, with newborn twins in the casa, why would Carson want to mess around with an even bigger, immature kid? Chad would have the media on the front lawn while doing push-ups. Besides, doesn’t he have his own house and family to take care of? I guess it really just is Chad being Chad.

Video: ‘Pretty Boy’ Matt Leinart MMA Training with FOX’s Jay Glazer

I first read about Matt Leinart doing MMA training with FOX NFL reporter and MMA announcer, Jay Glazer, last week at Pro Football Talk. I understood everything from Glazer’s angle — here he gets to assert himself as an alpha male and boss around a Heisman Trophy winner — that has to be a good ego boost. Plus, imagine all the breaking news stories he’ll get having Leinart in his back pocket. As for Matt, I still don’t get what the guy is doing. Spending his off-season doing MMA training shows me once again just how lost the guy is because he’s obviously more concerned with his image than his on-field play. Take a look at the training:

When I see this video I can’t help but think of Matt Leinart as a pledge in a fraternity just getting bossed and bitched around. I can almost feel the other guys in the video saying to themselves, “Check out what I’m going to make this NFL golden boy do. I ask him to fetch and he does.” I know Leinart’s trying to change his image, but rather than changing who he is maybe he should just be comfortable with what he is and just try to make the best of himself. I still don’t see how this will help him read defenses and target receivers and last time I checked, knees to the chest of the defender elicit 15-yard personal foul penalties.

(video via Shutdown Corner)

Glad to See Chad Johnson Was Working Hard Last Offseason

Chad Johnson, Ochocinco, whatever you want to call him, had an interview with NFL Network last week and revealed some pretty interesting information. He had a down year, catching only 53 balls for 540 yards and four touchdowns, which is about half his typical year across the board. Some of it is due to poor quarterback play by backup Ryan Fitzpatrick, some is due to Chad’s shoulder injury, and according to Chad, a large part of the failure is due to his lack of preparation:

“I’m not even going to lie to you, I’m going to say it. Last year, the offseason, I didn’t lift one weight, I didn’t run one route, I didn’t exercise. I didn’t do nothing because my focus was on getting out of a situation I didn’t want to be in. I’m not going to lie,” Ochocinco said.

“And the result of my season, whether we as a team did bad or not, that’s what I get. I get hurt in the preseason. I didn’t lift no weights. If I had been on my right regiment, I guarantee you my collarbone, my shoulder wouldn’t pop out of place. The ankle surgery, you know.”

Here’s where he totally loses me. I understand his desire to leave Cincinnati, but say he got moved to a different team, like the Redskins or something, wouldn’t he want to be in shape in case that happened? Why would he just totally doom himself for an upcoming season? And I don’t know if you can attribute the collarbone/shoulder injury to a lack of weight work and training — that seems more of like a fluke to me. Bottom line is no matter how unhappy with the team and his situation he was, he still owed it to himself to work hard, train, and be prepared. This is disappointing.

Vince Young Now Seems to Want out of Tennessee for a New Team

Vince Young, our favorite double-sided quarterback, seems to be going back on his promise to no longer speak to the media. I’m guessing his latest remarks to WMAR-TV, presented by Pro Football Talk, will have Jeff Fisher and the Titans organization panicking:

“I definitely want to get back out there playing ball and picking up where I left off, winning games and having a good time with my teammates and with the fans. At the same time, if them guys don’t want me to be in there, it’s time for me to make a career change for myself. Because the fact is I’m ready to play ball. If they’re not ready for me to play ball, then somebody is.”

Sounds like a threat to me! I’m guessing teams will be lined up for an immature, retirement-minded 25-year-old quarterback with a lifetime passer rating of 68.8. Maybe Vince Young will be able to regain his confidence over time, but one thing’s for sure — it’s not going to happen with Tennessee. The guy needs a new team, a new city, and he needs to start over with new teammates that he hasn’t already bailed on. At least the time on the bench gives him plenty of nights to try and pimp it at the clubs. Oh yeah, what do you think he had in mind when he said it’s time for a “career change?”