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Peter King's Corner
Peter King
December 11, 2006
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December 11, 2006

Peter King's Corner

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When Marvin Lewis became the Bengals' coach in 2003, the former defensive coordinator had in mind the ideal middle linebacker for Cincinnati: a defensive quarterback who looked and played a lot like Ray Lewis, the Ravens' 6'1", 250-pound sideline-to-sideline playmaker. He's tried six players at the position over four seasons and still hasn't found a guy who fits that profile. But while 6'3", 220 pound Caleb Miller doesn't measure up to Ray Lewis physically, he's playing like his Baltimore counterpart. Since being inserted into the starting lineup after the Bengals gave up 49 points to the Chargers on Nov. 12, the rangy Miller (above) has keyed a three-game Cincy winning streak in which the Bengals (7--5) held the Saints, Browns and Ravens to a combined 23 points; Miller had 30 tackles, one sack and a fumble recovery in those games. "There's more than one way to play middle linebacker," said Miller after last Thursday's 13--7 win over Baltimore. "At my weight, I've got to be quick to the hole and play with perfect technique."


In the Packers' four wins, Brett Favre has thrown eight touchdown passes and no interceptions. In the team's eight losses, he has seven touchdowns and 12 interceptions.


"I did have a lot of doubts in the off-season," Bills coach Dick Jauron said last week of mistake-prone quarterback J.P. Losman, "but every game this year he has taken a step forward. He's going to be a really good player." Losman (left) has completed 63.0% of his passes, up from 49.6% in 2005, and he impressed Jauron with the way he directed last-minute, game-winning drives against the Texans and the Jaguars in consecutive late-November games. Such performances have mostly answered questions about Losman's long-term viability, and Jauron says Buffalo will not be in the market for a quarterback to compete for the starter's job next year.


1 The big question on early NFL draft boards: Where does Ohio State quarterback and Heisman Trophy lock Troy Smith fall? Some teams have him in the top 15, others in the second round. Considering that Smith is an inch taller than Mike Vick, nearly as athletic and a more accurate college passer, why isn't he certain to go in the top three or four?

2 Lions president and CEO Matt Millen may be overseeing the NFL's biggest disaster, but he won't resign unless his patron, owner William Clay Ford, asks him. Ford isn't planning to.

3 It's crazy that coaches are so afraid to make a quarterback change. Lovie Smith should give Rex Grossman one more week to get on track. Smith can't afford to drag the Bears down by sticking with his ill-performing passer any longer than that.

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