Ten things to think about the NFL at a time when none of us should have 10 things to think about the NFL ...
1. I don't have a sense for the public opinion of Titans running back Chris Johnson's idea to stage a lengthy contract holdout, but I say more power to him. If teams can tear up signed deals and boot underachievers during their rookie contracts (Did someone say JaMarcus Russell?), then an overachiever like CJ isn't out of line if he chooses to ask for more money and withhold his services if he doesn't get it. It looks like it should be a two-way street to me.
2. Like most preseason games, OTAs are a good way for teams to identify and develop promising young players. So when veterans don't show up for these things, who cares? I loved 49ers coach Mike Singletary's reaction when asked if it concerned him that starting cornerbacks Nate Clements and Shawntae Spencer weren't there for the team's OTAs. "I told Nate and Shawntae, `Hey, guys, you're men. You do what you have to do," Singletary told reporters. Not only was Singletary a great player, I think he's becoming a sold head coach as well. He probably sees the OTAs as a way to get corners Tarell Brown and Karl Paymah, the former Viking, some much-needed work.
3. Am I the only person who thinks the Vikings actually have a decent fall-back plan if, for some reason, Brett Favre doesn't come back? In a perfect football world, there would be 32 Steve Youngs to back up 32 Joe Montanas. The reality is there is a significant drop off between starter and backup. On some teams, the drop off is significant enough that the offense has no chance to function. At least with T-Jack, you'd have an experienced starter who's been in the same offense with the same coach and offensive coordinator going on five years. And you'd have Sage Rosenfels, who might be the most overqualified No. 3 QB in NFL history. T-Jack and Sage aren't Steve Young. But they aren't Spergon Wynn either.
4. I agree with new Lions DE Kyle Vanden Bosch, who says rookie No. 2 overall pick Ndamukong Suh won't have trouble adjusting to life in the NFL. Suh reminds me of Kevin Williams. When you're that big, that strong and that developed, why shouldn't Suh be an instant success, much like Williams was?
5. I have to divert from the NFL for one second cuz I've had it up to here (my right hand is a foot above my head) with people saying LeBron James' supporting cast let him down. No, it was LeBron who let them down. I watched every second of every Cavs playoff game. LeBron was AWOL in an embarrassing Game 5 home loss and very un-King-like in the Game 6 loss that eliminated the Cavs in Boston. Yeah, he had a triple-double in that game. But he also couldn't make a shot, turned the ball over nine times and refused to take the game over. He's supposed to be the difference-maker, not throw bad passes at Varajao's feet with the season on the line.
6. SI's Peter King ranks the Packers No. 1 in his May power rankings. But as he points out he had the Bears No. 1 and the Saints No. 24 last May. I did pick the Saints to win the NFC last year. But I also picked the Patriots to win the Super Bowl, not get blown out at home in the first round of the playoffs. Rankings are fun, but not to be taken seriously. I give Peter credit for attempting this in May. He obviously won't be getting any slaps on the back in Minnesota after picking the Vikings No. 13.
7. If I had to rank the NFL right now, I'd probably reach a little bit like Peter did. I mean how boring would it be to simply list the Saints No. 1 three months after they won the Super Bowl. I don't know how much of a reach it would be, but the team I'd reach a little for is the Jets. They're such a daring franchise and I think Rex Ryan is going to be the next great NFL coach.
8. Zack Thomas, who had more concussions than he could remember during a 13-year NFL career, tells the Palm Beach Post that he has no regrets and was proud of how he played through concussions. "You don't want that [concussion-prone] label, because it will run you out of the league," he said. He also said, "I knew the risks and chose to take them. ... I'd do it all over again." We'll see if he still feels that way in 30 years.
9. The NFL Network lists the 1969 Vikings and the 1998 Vikings among the greatest teams never to win a Super Bowl. At some point, the Vikings will win one. Then again, I'm 45 and have been saying Cleveland will win a sports championship in my lifetime. Still waiting ...
10. It looks like Denny Green and Daunte Culpepper will be reunited in the UFL. Green is the head coach in Sacramento. Culpepper apparently isn't willing to re-retire just yet.