Chow down on McNair

e-mail Pete

Steve McNair’s arrival in Baltimore still has the city simmering in a pleasant glaze of happiness. Everyone believes McNair a better option than Kyle Boller (although Brian Billick continues to publicly exclaim no disappointment in Kyle Boller from the last three years. He says it with such passion and conviction that you can almost believe it. It’s scary what kind of politician he would make. He could make you believe we need to reinstate smoking in public buildings, like hospitals and nursing homes).

Anyway, back to McNair where along with Ravens fans dreams of him shedding off two would be assassins to then go up top to Derrick Mason for a 50 yard score, the question they all have; what do you think he has left? That’s the million dollar debate, or rather the 11 million dollar debate.

He looks healthy now and nobody doubts his toughness. He treats pain like a long lost friend that shows up on his doorstep. “Come on in, the guest room’s up the stairs to the left. Mi casa su casa.”

All we can really do though is guess. But I spent some time this week with a league source who shared a recent conversation with Tennessee offensive coordinator Norm Chow. Chow also has a guess, but it’s pretty darn informed. He told the source that McNair has nothing left. Nothing. That if they thought McNair could give Tennessee just one more season, they’d have bent over backward to restructure his contract in a manner to make McNair happy. But he said sadly McNair was done being a productive quarterback.

Again, that’s the opinion of just one man, but one shared not at a press conference or to a member of the media. For the sake of the fans holding McNair on a pedestal, for those considering number nine the savior of a struggling team, we’ll hope Chow is wrong.

Also of interest in that conversation, the intense dissatisfaction of Chow, head coach Jeff Fisher, and G.M. Floyd Reese at selecting Vince Young with the number three overall pick. Those three apparently all agreed Matt Leinart was the right guy, and none wanted Young. But the guy paying the bills, Titans owner Bud Adams fell in love with Vince Young and overrode his three football experts. Imagine if then Ravens owner Art Modell had refused to give in to Ozzie Newsome, and forced him to take Lawrence Phillips instead of Jonathan Ogden. Again, for Ravens fans, we’ll hope Adams’ refusal to go with those in the know backfires badly.

e-mail Pete

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