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Notes From Lombardi: Sunday Edition (4/12)
Notes From Lombardi: Sunday Edition
Posted By Michael Lombardi
On April 12, 2009 @ 7:44 am
FROM MICHAEL LOMBARDI:
12 April 2009
Happy Easter Sunday…
QUOTE: “Death teaches us that everything can stop in a moment. When everything ends, all that remains is love. Always keep the flame of hope alive.” ~ Cardinal Bertone, Vatican Secretary of State, at a Mass for the victims of the earthquake in Italy.  Here is the article from the New York Times.
THINGS WE LEARNED LAST WEEK IN THE NFL …
1. The Jets are dead serious about making an offer for  Miles Austin, the wide receiver from the Cowboys. Austin is a versatile player who can plays in the kicking game and has very good size and speed. The question is: If the Jets make this move, does it take them out of possibly moving up in the first round, and would it take them out of the receiver position? Do you think the Jets can sit at No. 17 and pick who comes to them? As many of you know, I’m not a big fan of drafting wideouts early, but the worst draft for me would be one that had the first two picks come off the wide receiver board. So it’s difficult for me to imagine drafting two receivers in the first two rounds. It might happen, but the Jets seem to have other needs.
2. The Giants admitted  they had had enough of dealing with Plaxico Burress, and when a player doesn’t want to help himself, it makes it very hard to help him. John Mara, the team president, speaking to Sirius XM radio’s Chris Russo, made that clear. The Giants have always been a very fair club when dealing with their players. But failing to return the team’s calls was a lack of respect by Plaxico for the people who were in his corner. Burress left them little choice, and the Giants had to make this move to keep their team together.
3. The  Rams announced last week that the No. 2 pick in the draft is for sale. I’m sure Nos. 3 and 4 are for sale as well. Nevertheless, who would want to jump up to get this pick? As crazy as the top-10 money has become, if I were with a team that was in the top 10 and had a need at left tackle, it might make me think twice about moving up. Coming out of this draft with a legitimate player like Jason Smith or Eugene Monroe at a very difficult position to find in the NFL would make the draft a success for me. In a bad draft, I always prefer quality to quantity.
4. The  Bills will listen to trade offers for two of their players — Jason Peters, their starting left tackle, and Roscoe Parrish, their slot receiver and returner. Both have unique talents, and Peters should be able to command a high price. I strongly doubt the Bills would be able to replace Peters in the draft at No. 12 and doubt even more that moving him would help their team win in 2009. Left tackles are always hard to find, and to trade one never seems to make sense in my world. Parrish is a wild card for me. I’ve always liked his skill level and talent, but it never seems to translate to the football field. Something is missing in his game, and that baffles me. For someone with his talent to score just one touchdown last year is mind boggling. The Bills need to win next season to save the head coach’s job and many other jobs in the organization. Adding more picks for players might look good on paper, but it will not help the coach in 2009.
5.  The Lions have not made a decision on whom they’ll draft with the first pick. I tend to think that’s partially true. The Lions want to have the player signed first, so they can’t concede that they’ve finalized their decision. However, I do think the Lions want Matthew Stafford as their No. 1 pick. To admit whom they would select might create a bad position for them in negotiations. Part of this story is true from a practical sense.
THINGS I HEARD AROUND THE NFL LAST WEEK …
1. Trade winds are blowing, and the Cleveland Browns seem to be making the most noise of any team. I hear from more than one NFL team that the Browns have a No. 1 pick on the table for Brady Quinn and are looking for more. However, it appears to the teams that I’ve talked to that the Browns will make the move to trade Quinn. There seem to be two teams very interested. They also will move Braylon Edwards and have at least a No. 1 pick on the table right now. Expect the Browns to have their team reshaped by the time the draft ends.
2. The Browns are really in love with Michael Crabtree at No. 5.
3. The Falcons are seriously considering trading for Chiefs tight end Tony Gonzalez and might even give up their second-round pick to make the deal.
4. Josh Freeman of Kansas State is hot right now for a lot of teams. I had one personnel man tell me that he really believes Freeman will be a top-10 pick. Stafford, Mark Sanchez and Freeman might all be top-10 picks.
5. The Eagles are interested in Buffalo’s Jason Peters, and many teams I talked to seem to think the Bills will trade him.
6. The Saints are making it known they want to draft a bigger back to complement Reggie Bush in their offense. Even though they’d like a safety, they will not turn down a back like Chris “Beanie” Wells when it comes time to make their selection. Adding a big back is something I’ve been harping on for the past 10 months.
7. Torry Holt has not been offered a contract to his liking. He was almost traded to the Titans before he was released, but the two sides couldn’t agree on a new contract. The fact he’s 32 years old and didn’t have a typical Torry Holt season in ‘08 is one of the reasons his demands are not being met. My belief is that he will eventually end up with the Titans unless another team steps up and makes a financial commitment. Holt’s market might shrink even further after the draft since most teams are not inclined to sign veterans to big deals. Getting a new deal after the draft is possible, but it might require some luck. The time to strike — if I were his agent – is right now.
8. Byron Leftwich wants to play in Washington and wants to compete for a starting job against Jason Campbell. So far, the ‘Skins have not been willing to make an offer. Leftwich can go back to Pittsburgh as the back-up, but he wants a chance to compete and restore his career. If I were the ‘Skins, I would make the move. What do you have to lose? Competition is a good thing for Campbell.
9. If one of the two offensive tackles (Jason Smith and Eugene Monroe) slips to Seattle at No. 4, the Seahawks would make the move and select either one, as Walter Jones is not a sure thing to be healthy at the start of the season. Seattle values character and will remove many players from its board for that reason. Smith and Monroe meet their character qualifications. But I doubt either player makes it to Seattle at four.
WHAT TO EXPECT IN THE NFL THIS WEEK …
1. The NFL schedule comes out on Tuesday, which always makes for good conversation. I tend to only look at the first month of the season as injuries can take their toll on teams.
2. More talk about which prospects are visiting NFL teams and who’s on the rise and who’s on the decline.
3. A new National Football Post mock draft from me. Since I was called an idiot more times after my last mock than in my entire career at the Hotel, I thought I’d try it again.
4. Trade winds will be blowing much stronger and, in fact, we might actually see one or two trades happen. The Browns aren’t messing around wanting to change their team — they want to make moves.
BOOK OF THE WEEK …
One of my favorite speakers and writers is  Seth Godin. He has an interesting message, and his books always help you deal with the problems of today. One of my personal favorites is a book called  “The Big Moo.” Stop trying to be perfect and start being remarkable. Here are some examples from the book:
REMARKABLE IS …
Remarkable is being unafraid to stand out.
Remarkable is having a fire in your belly and an idea that won’t quit.
Remarkable is telling the truth, always.
Remarkable is knowing that a risky idea might fail, but a boring idea will definitely fail.
Remarkable is falling often and then trying again.
Remarkable is more doing and less planning, more testing and less waiting, more dreaming and less sleeping.
Remarkable is when you stand for something and make it happen and change the world — or your business or life — along the way.
Remarkable isn’t up to you. Remarkable is in the eye of the customer. If your customer decides something you do is worth remarking on, then, by definition, it’s remarkable.
Remarkable does not always mean right now.
Get the book. It’s helped me and can help you grow and improve.
VIDEO OF THE WEEK …
Often, when I’m in my office working on tape, I have a video playing in the background that doesn’t require me to see the picture but allows me to listen and learn something new from another point of view. The Charlie Rose program is one of my favorites, and this one of him interviewing Mickey Rourke was captivating and educational. Rourke was dead honest with his answers and took responsibility for his actions. He ruined his career with his brash behavior and lack of accountability. He went through years of therapy, and his answers are a byproduct of him finding a way to improve. It runs an hour, and you don’t have to be a fan of Rourke to get something from his message. Follow the link below; it’s worth the time.
 Mickey Rourke on Charlie Rose
LEADERSHIP IMPROVEMENT IDEA …
Besides Seth Godin, I love to listen to Tom Peters and have read all his books. I’ve been a huge fan of his work, and he’s been very influential in shaping my thoughts as they relates to self-improvement and leadership. He  posted this item on his blog this week, which is worth trying.
Daily Wisdom for Troubled Times
Get up earlier.
Go to bed later.
Finish what you start.
Learn one new thing.
Renew one contact.
Ask, “How can I help?”
Fairly simple advice, but it’s always good to be reminded of the simple things we can do to improve ourselves.
ARTICLE YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED THAT’S NOT WORTH MISSING …
Kansas City Star and Fox.com columnist Jason Whitlock is a straight shooter and is always honest with his opinions. Like many good columnists, he stimulates thought. We might not always agree with his viewpoint, but he does offer a fresh perspective. His recent article on Allen Iverson was well done. I’m an Iverson fan and have to admit that some of the points Jason made were valid. Below is the link to his column.
 No question, Iverson was never really the answer.
REMEMBER WHEN …
When I was in Cleveland, we would send a scout to the Playboy All-America weekend held annually in Arizona, usually around Mother’s Day. In 1995, we sent Jim Schwartz, now the head coach of the Detroit Lions. Jim never wore any gear that indicated he was with the Browns. He mingled with the players and observed them in their natural state. After the weekend, he came back to Cleveland and wrote up all the players. Here’s a sample of his incredibly observant work.
JEREMY HOGUE OG USC
Scholar athlete extremely smart. Did not fit athletically or physically.
KEYSHAWN JOHNSON WR USC
Very impressive person, handled himself with class the entire weekend. There is something about the way he carries himself as he rises to the top of every situation.
RAY LEWIS LB MIAMI
Does not have impressive size, 6010 230, but this guy drips with charisma. He was the life of the party, all the players wanted to be around him. Extremely competitive person, constantly challenged other players to events and would keep playing until he won. Drank hard, trash talked (in a good way) and ran the show in every way. Worked hard and played hard. You better make sure this guy is on your side if a fight breaks out.
There was never a doubt in our minds about Lewis after this, and there was never a doubt that Jim would have a great NFL career.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY …
To  Mrs. Ethel Kennedy who turns 81 today. She was kind enough to give me a personal tour of Hickory Hill. It was a great day in my life and I will always cherish the memory. Happy Birthday to Mrs. Kennedy and best of luck to her and the  RFK Foundation.
IN MEMORY …
Draft time always makes me miss my friend  Will McDonough, the great Boston Globe writer. He was a wonderful help to me in my NFL career, and even though he is no longer here, he is always remembered.
-04-13-2009 #2Registered User
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Re: Notes From Lombardi: Sunday Edition (4/12)
His argument for a team moving up is just as strong a reason for The Rams to stay put.
The Big Moo? Seriously....spare me the guru gibberish.
Re: Notes From Lombardi: Sunday Edition (4/12)Originally Posted by Nick;
When I was in Cleveland, we would send a scout to the Playboy All-America weekend held annually in Arizona, usually around Mother’s Day. In 1995, we sent Jim Schwartz, now the head coach of the Detroit Lions. Jim never wore any gear that indicated he was with the Browns. He mingled with the players and observed them in their natural state. After the weekend, he came back to Cleveland and wrote up all the players. Here’s a sample of his [B
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