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Saturday, February 24, 2007

The next Ryan Leaf?

Fool 'em once and pay for it later.

It wasn't that long ago that everyone gushed over Washington State quarterback Ryan Leaf and knocked Tennessee quarterback Peyton Manning.

We all know how that worked out. Leaf washed out in the NFL and Manning went on to become one of the greats in the game.

Why bring this up now?

Because some in the national media - in their attempts to defend their boy Brady Quinn - are painting a similar scenario for this year's NFL draft.

The difference is LSU's JaMarcus Russell is cast in the role of Leaf and Quinn is cast in the role of Manning.

Oh, if it were that simple.

You see they're painting Russell as the physically gifted quarterback while Quinn is the polished one. (We can discuss subliminal racism at another time.)

Only one problem - Quinn's polish hasn't shown up any big games. People knocked Peyton Manning for not being able to beat Florida, but he could beat Alabama. Quinn went 0-for-3 in Notre Dame's big games last year.

Look, if JaMarcus Russell is drafted by the Oakland Raiders at No. 1 that alone makes his career off to a difficult start. You don't get the No. 1 pick in the draft because you're doing something right.

But the chances of Russell being as abrasive and belligerent as Leaf was during his NFL career are pretty remote.


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