Week one of preseason is almost entirely a waste of time, but a few things of note happened this weekend. Chad Pennington is now a Dolphin, which makes them better for the time being but is not a long term solution. The key is for Pennington to buy Chad Henne enough time to develop before they put him in. Their decision to take John Beck in the second round last year just looks worse and worse, although passing up Brady Quinn hasn't been proven to be a mistake yet. Last year at this time, most of us still expected Byron Leftwich to be Jacksonville's starter. Now he's signed with Pittsburgh just to have a chance at being their backup. The stunner is that Tampa Bay didn't find a way to sign either one of those guys since Gruden loves QBs so much. Speaking of the Bucs, Chris Simms might have a small amount of trade value after a decent game this weekend - supposedly the Cowboys are interested.
Six days ago FSU signed offensive lineman Joe Tonga, a junior college player who has just one year to play. They immediately decided he was their starter at LEFT TACKLE - sort of an important spot with a statue like Drew Weatherford at QB. Tonga arrives and immediately learns he can't handle the Florida heat very well. How FSU got to this level of desperation for talent is a mystery to me, but things are not going to get much better in Tallahassee anytime soon.
Bad weekend to be a quarterback in Los Angeles. USC's Mark Sanchez is the more glamorous injured player, but UCLA's Ben Olson is probably the more important one. Sanchez disclocated his kneecap, which sounds incredibly unpleasant. With the timetable being discussed, there's a chance he could play their opener against Virginia. My guess is it will take longer than that. The real key for the Trojans is to either have a new quarterback established by Ohio State in week three or have Sanchez back by then. Olson's gone for two months at minimum thanks to a broken bone in his foot. The Bruins have no experienced alternatives available, meaning Tennessee's opener just got a lot easier.
There was a nice story from the weekend. Tyrone Prothro graduated from Alabama, meaning he at least has that to fall back on. Mike Shula's absurd decision to try and run up the score on Florida wound up costing Prothro his career. This catch was spectacular, and unfortunately the injury (which I won't link to) was as well. This kid would have had a great NFL career, and I hope Shula feels guilty as hell for having ruined it through his own stupidity and selfishness.
Huge injury for Tampa Bay, as Carl Crawford goes on the DL with a finger issue that sounds troubling. Rocco Baldelli being back from his physical issues was a nice story yesterday, but that is not a satisfactory answer if Crawford is out for a month or more as I suspect he will be. Every Rays win from here on out breaks their all time record for a season, which is completely insane considering this is August 11.
R.I.P. Isaac Hayes. No matter how many times I hear the Theme from Shaft, it does not get old. Between that and his work as Chef on South Park, the Hayes cool quotient was off the charts.