JOE BIDDLE: Sunday Notes: Feb. 2, 2014

JOE BIDDLE: Sunday Notes: Feb. 2, 2014 (Image 1)

Random ruminations while wondering whatever happened to Dave Casper…

• The annual Super Bowl presents opportunities to make up lists of worst and best in a number of ways.

Who are the best five quarterbacks to win a Super Bowl would be one.

But at Football Nation's Web site they identified who they believe to be the five worst quarterbacks to win the Lombardi Trophy.

No. 5 on their list is former Tampa Bay QB Brad Johnson, who won it in 2002. In the regular season he completed 48 percent of his passes.

No. 4 is a tie between Jay Schroeder and Doug Williams, who split the position in 1987 when the Redskins won. Williams took over late in the season and was average at best until the Super Bowl where he won MVP honors.

No. 3 would be Raiders QB Jim Plunkett, whose team won the 1981 Super Bowl. That season the former Stanford QB had a 51.6 percent completion percentage. He had 18 TD passes with 16 interceptions.

No. 2 is Bears QB Jim McMahon, whose team won the 1986 Super Bowl. The free-spirited McMahon never started a full season. He had 11 starts that season, but it was the defense that in the playoffs held opponents to a total of 10 points.
No. 1 is Ravens QB Trent Dilfer who won the 2000 Super Bowl. He spent that season in Baltimore behind starter Tony Banks. Dilfer was replaced the following season by Elvis Grbac.

• Bovada Book in Vegas has released next season's Heisman Trophy candidates.

Defending Heisman winner Jameis Winston is 2-1 favorite to repeat. Oregon QB Marcus Mariota, at one point the favorite during last season, carries 7-2 odds while Ohio State QB Braxton Miller is 4-1.

Alabama RB T.J. Yeldon is 5-1 and Baylor QB Bryce Petty is 6-1.
UCLA QB Brent Hundley is at 12-1, as is Georgia RB Todd Gurley. South Carolina RB Mike Davis is 15-1.

Winston came out of nowhere to win last season. Will the winner come from this list, or not? Stay tuned.

• Just wondering. Who did put the ram in the rama-lama-ding-dong?
• Speaking of Vegas, you can bet over/under on the number of times Archie Manning will be shown on TV. That number is 2½. Give me the over.

• Good to see Chargers quarterback Phillip Rivers get the Associated Press Comeback Player of the Year.

It speaks volumes of the job Titans Coach Ken Whisenhunt did in one season as the Chargers offensive coordinator, especially the hand he played in getting Rivers back on track.

Whisenhunt basically did the same for Cardinals QB Kurt Warner when he was head coach in Arizona.

Now Whisenhunt will turn his attention to Titans QB Jake Locker, entering his fourth season with a checkered resume in the first three years. He didn't play much in his rookie year, then spent the past two seasons plagued by several injuries.

Whisenhunt's goal for Locker this season will be for him to avoid injuries and play his first 16-game season. If he can do that, Whisenhunt and his staff can work on improving Locker's accuracy.

Some say if a QB doesn't have an accurate arm, you can only coach him up so far. You either have it or you don't and with a new head coach and coaching staff, Locker is under the microscope as he has never been before this season.

He has a lot of intangibles, has a feverish work ethic. But if Locker continues to miss games with injuries and his accuracy doesn't improve, they will search for another quarterback.

• Peyton Manning took home Player of the Year honors as well as the NFL Offensive Player of the Year trophy. He sent his father, Archie, and his young son, Marshall, to the awards ceremony to bring home the hardware.

Manning will be in the spotlight today, as he seeks his second Super Bowl ring in his three Super Bowls. Unfairly, quarterbacks are judged by how many Super Bowl rings they have. Last time I counted there are 21 other starters on Denver's team. They have to do their job in order for Manning to win the Lombardi Trophy with his second team.

• Seattle fans were asked in an ESPN poll whether they would rather see the Seahawks win today's Super Bowl, or have the NBA Sonics return to Seattle.

Not surprising, they opted for winning the Super Bowl, with 63 percent of the fans going with the ‘Hawks.

That left only 37 percent of the nearly 66,000 voters preferring the Sonics' return. It is a strong indicator how powerful the NFL brand is.

• It seems to me that the two veterans that were chosen for this year's Pro Football Hall of Fame induction were long overdue for the honor.

Former Tennessee State defensive lineman Claude Humphrey was dominating during his career as a physical presence disrupting quarterbacks and smashing running backs. Humphrey was on a horrible Falcons team, but he stood out as a player who put fear in opposing quarterbacks.

I always thought former Raiders punter Ray Guy deserved to be in the Hall of Fame. He is the only punter in NFL history that could change field position so drastically with his leg. The former Southern Miss punter was not only a punter, he was a natural all-around athlete who could have played a number of college sports.

• One mock NFL draft has the Ravens drafting former Vanderbilt wide receiver Jordan Matthews at No. 47, in the second round.

Later they project the Ravens will draft Alabama's offensive right tackle Cyrus Kouandjlo. If it comes true, Baltimore QB Joe Flacco should be happy with the additions.

But then again, it is a mock draft and they rarely come out the way mock draft experts predict.

• In the latest team rankings, Vanderbilt has dropped all the way to No 96 with two 4-star commitments and six 3-star commitments. Coach Derek Mason is expected to add some more after this final weekend of official visits.

Meanwhile, with the under-ground railroad built by James Franklin that leads from Vanderbilt to Penn State, the Nittany Lions are ranked No. 20 by They have 24 verbal commitments, with at least five of them former Vanderbilt commitments.

As usual the SEC is dominating the 2014 recruiting class. Seven of the top 10 teams are SEC teams. Alabama is No. 1 and Auburn is No. 10. Tennessee is No. 4 with 33 verbal commitments.

• Louisville Ballard won the King of the Bluegrass Tournament Saturday by beating Christ Presbyterian Academy, 83-81, in overtime.

• Area coaches are dominating the competition for the Nashville Sports Council's 2013 Sports Person of the Year.

They consist of Belmont's Rick Byrd, Vanderbilt baseball coach Tim Corbin, MTSU basketball coach Kermit Davis and TSU football coach Rod Reed.

They make up four of the five finalists. Notice former Vanderbilt football coach James Franklin's name is nowhere to be found.

Contact Sports Columnist Joe Biddle at  

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