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michael89156

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: May 27, 2009, 08:17:23 PM



Can players standing at crossroads avoid sinking out of limelight?


   By Pat Kirwan  |  NFL.com
Senior Analyst
 




The NFL can be an unforgiving place. The motto "What have you done for me lately?" is a way of life for most players throughout their careers.

Every season, a number of marquee veterans find themselves at the crossroads of their careers. This year is no exception, as 2009 will be crucial for a number of players hoping to rekindle a career or keep their stars shining. Of course, big money and prestige also are on the line.

Guys such as Arizona Cardinals quarterback Matt Leinart and Tennessee Titans quarterback Vince Young can't do anything about their situations except be prepared to deliver if the opportunity arises. They'll have a chance somewhere else before their NFL journeys are over, but it will not be with the same fanfare with which they entered the league. In a way, I feel bad for both men because they have to sit on the sideline and watch. Many others, though, will receive a chance to play and make the most of the situations they are facing.







Daunte Culpepper, Detroit Lions: The former Pro Bowler faces one of his last chances to re-establish himself as a legitimate starter in the NFL. He knows the top draft pick in the 2009 class, Matthew Stafford, is waiting on the sideline for the green light. Culpepper has bounced around with four different teams in the last four years and has been active for just 23 games -- but he started 22 of those. At 32 years of age, Culpepper still could go out and have a solid four years. Is he the next Kerry Collins or Kurt Warner -- ready to hold off a first-round draft pick? Culpepper has thrown 146 touchdown passes compared to just 100 interceptions in his 10-year career.




Byron Leftwich, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Leftwich has a much tougher road than Culpepper because, quite frankly, he doesn't have the same credentials. Leftwich has never completed a 16-game season, and he has played in just eight games over the last two seasons. In his favor, though, is that from 2003 to 2005, he did throw 44 touchdown passes compared to just 31 interceptions. If he can't beat out Luke McCown, which will not be easy, or hold off first-round pick Josh Freeman, Leftwich's career probably ends in 2009 at a crossroads.


OKC PAC

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#1 : May 27, 2009, 09:10:07 PM

I can see Leftwich really pushing McCown this season.  Regardless, I think whoever wins the job will be named MVP!  They both need fresh starts and an opportunity to thrive which is what 'rah and co will provide them.

Bring back GRUDEN!!!
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