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In Wilbon's World

Chat House: The Addition

Each week I'll post a few questions I didn't get to during The Chat House and respond to them in depth. Today's topics: Donovan McNabb's chat with Jay Cutler, Big Ben and more woes for the Wiz.

Philadelphia: Hi Mike. Did you see McNabb pull Cutler aside after the game for a solid minute? Can you talk about the fraternity of QBs in the NFL? How much does that speak to Donovan's character mentoring a young quarterback who is struggling? I don't think that is common place, but correct me if I'm wrong.

What you presumed is exactly what Donovan was doing, trying to pick up the spirits of a young QB who has been crushed, I'm sure, by the public reaction to having such a disappointing season so far. Remember, Donovan is a Chicagoan...He knows how the place works, knows what to say to a guy who is struggling in his hometown. Donovan has also been booed, so he can help Cutler there, too. Cutler talked about McNabb's class and how thankful he was McNabb pulled him aside. Cutler didn't reveal any of the conversation, but I suspect I know the nature of it.

I've been friends with McNabb, who grew up on the south side of Chicago as I did, for awhile. He has taken young QBs aside for a few years now. Donovan is, what, 32 years old, I think? He's seen just about everything. He and Peyton Manning are very quick to extend themselves to guys in this unique club. McNabb did that with Jason Campbell after that rough Monday Night affair between the Eagles and Patriots. The young guys are lucky to have guys like McNabb and Manning to pull them aside. I hope it helps Cutler the rest of this season.

Roethlisberger: Do you still think Big Ben is the best player in the NFL? While winning is obviously a great way to judge a TEAM, it is not so great for a player, especially in football. In a sport like basketball you can feel pretty confident that the best player on the championship team is a great player though not necessarily the best (see Kobe and Lebron last year). But in football this is a crazy way to pick the best player.

How can you say that the Ben is better than Peyton Manning? Yes, the Steelers were a better team than the Colts last year but that was because the Steelers defense was so much better and they had lots of other talent on offense. Same thing goes for Favre. He is still a good player who fits in well with a great team, but no way he is the best.

MW: The first thing you have to do is quote me accurately.

I never said Big Ben was the best player in the NFL or that he's better than Peyton Manning. What I said is that if I had a game to play and my life was on the line I'd take Ben Roethlisberger over anybody else in the league. That's a choice, an opinion, if you will...not a statement of who's better. We all value players based on different criteria. I'm not much of a stats guy. I don't discard them all, but I don't care about how many yards somebody passes for or completion percentage. I care about how effective a player is, especially a QB, in certain situations, certain parts of the game and certain games. Big Ben has won two Super Bowls in five years. He's big, strong, throws well, makes plays with his feet, takes a licking (as we saw from that concussion he suffered Sunday), leads and wins. What else do you want? Do I think Big Ben is a better football player than Peyton Manning? I have no idea and couldn't give a damn. They're both great players. I'm just saying if my life was on the line, I want Big Ben running my team. That leaves Peyton and several other great players all for you!

Anonymous: Switching gears to basketball, our Wizards are just one game better than they were last year at this time, despite having Gilbert and Haywood back, adding Mike Miller, Randy Foye and Flip Saunders. It doesn't seem to make sense.
And, now following the two blowouts to the Spurs and Thunder, there's talk of a possible schism, hidden agendas, dissention within the team. Not to mention, when Gilbert was doing his postgame interview following the Spurs game, Haywood was walking around Gil, singing Beyonce's and Kanye's song "ego", "he's got a big ego" which was clearly and obviously a jab, actually an uppercut at Gil. What gives? What's the remedy to cure this? Or are we doomed? Was giving Gil a close to max contract a bad idea???

MW: It's all pretty sad, isn't it? This team is going to need time to put it all together anyway, what with new players (Foye, Miller, Oberto, Boykins), two returning players (Arenas and Haywood) and a new coach (Flip Saunders) and his new system. And now you add this junk? I didn't think giving Arenas $111 million was the right move, and I really like Arenas. But if Gil thinks this team is going to have any meaningful level of success from him trying to score 40 or 50 points, he's dead wrong. There's enough talent on hand for Gil to average 20 points a game AND 9 assists or something close to that. I do think the team is too small and that there are too many scorers, but the roster is deep and if you're going to play that way the Wizards have talent.

I love Antawn Jamison's professionalism, and Caron Butler's, and I like the fact that Brendan Haywood NEVER goes out there and tries to do stuff he isn't good at doing. He tries to play defense and rebound every night, which is what you want from a 7-footer who isn't a franchise player. But this stuff about "agendas" Gilbert spoke of...what's he talking about? Who has an agenda? Sounds, from the comments after the Spurs game, like Arenas has the agenda. And nothing about Flip Saunders' time in Detroit suggests he's good at being confrontational when it's necessary. All this coming off an impressive win over Cleveland, too. They shouldn't get blown out by the Thunder, even on the road, and certainly not by a Spurs team trying to figure out its identity and how to play. This is one of the few times you WANT to play San Antonio...get 'em now while they're trying to put it all together. Yet, the Wizards get clocked twice? Massive disappointment so far is about all you can say about the Wizards.


Michael Wilbon

 |  November 24, 2009; 8:28 AM ET  |  Category:  NFL , The Chat House , Wizards Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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The Pollin estate should do the right thing and cut Gil Arenas right now. What a tard.

Posted by: MACCHAMPS04 | November 28, 2009 12:30 PM
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Who is Vance Young? That's some funny sauce man. You screwed up the punchline. Daggers.

Posted by: tylerdurden1 | November 27, 2009 3:21 PM
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Perhaps, if you're going to consider renaming the Wizards, maybe the hockey team and the basketball teams, under common ownership, could have a common coprporate identity, common ticket packaging, common community presence, and a common name.

Just a quick thought in light of all the "let's bring back the 'Bullets' name comments.

Posted by: Dungarees | November 27, 2009 11:04 AM
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Question:Since Vince Young has been starting for the last four games for the Tennesse Titans,which quarterback in the NFL has the highest passer rating over this period of time? (1)Drew Breezy (2)Payton Manning (3)Brent Favar(4)Tom Brady or (5)Vance Young ?

Answer:Vance Young

Posted by: apez54 | November 25, 2009 5:41 PM
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