NFL notes: Wheeden's great, but he's 28

Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden has looked terrific during workouts for the Senior Bowl...

Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden has looked terrific during workouts for the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala. But he's 28 and that could hurt his chances of being taken early in the NFL draft. (Getty Images)

BILL LANKHOF, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:40 PM ET

NFL teams, scouts and coaches keep trying to find reasons why it is a bad idea to make Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden a top draft pick.

All Weeden does is keep proving to them that they’re wasting their time with such thoughts.

He has been the best quarterback in Mobile at the Senior Bowl week workouts, according to media observers and draft gurus.

Weeden, who has a strong arm, has outplayed Nick Foles, of Arizona, San Diego State’s Ryan Lindley, and Kirk Cousins, of Michigan State. That should mean he has filled the vacuum in the quarterback pool after the top three of Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and Ryan Tannehill.

Weeden is 6-foot-3, 219 pounds and is by consensus closer than anyone this side of Luck or Griffin, to be pro-ready. In Mobile, he has shown accuracy and the ability to squeeze passes between defenders.

Some rank him a legitimate first-round talent except ... he’s 28 years old.

The question is, will any team gamble on a player who, when his rookie contract expires, will already be 32 years old?

Sometimes being good just isn’t good enough. Or, so it seems.

THE COMPROMISE COACH

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have hired Greg Schiano, from Rutgers, as their new head coach.

Schiano, 45, is a defensive specialist and he gives the Buccaneers someone who they hope can identify and communicate with their young roster, including quarterback Josh Freeman.

Schiano agreed to a five-year contract, which is also about as long as it seemed to take for the club to find a coach. Actually, it was closer to one month since the firing of Raheem Morris. But the Bucs’ search was exhaustive and it included one aborted hiring when Oregon’s Chip Kelly backed out of a deal Sunday night.

Schiano has NFL experience and his teams are marked by discipline and conservative play. He worked under Dave Wannstedt in Chicago and Patriots coach Bill Belichick gave him a solid endorsement.

This is not the first time Tampa Bay didn’t land its first choice. In 1996, after the Buccaneers fired Sam Wyche, they tried to hire Bill Parcells and Steve Spurrier before hiring Tony Dungy.

In 2002, after firing Dungy, they tried to hire Parcells and Steve Mariucci before trading for Jon Gruden.

Mike Sherman, the other candidate to get a second interview with the Bucs, was scheduled to interview Thursday in Miami for their offensive coordinator job.

Schiano went 9-4 in 2011 at Rutgers after a dismal 4-8 season in 2010. Evidently the Buccaneers looked beyond the numbers, not to mention that getting Belichick’s backing didn’t exactly hurt his chances either.

Besides, they’ve grown accustomed to settling for the compromise candidate.

JOHNSON REMINDS FORD OF BARRY SANDERS

Detroit Lions’ owner Bill Ford Jr. says Cris Carter was right: Calvin Johnson isn’t “one of the NFL’s elite receivers.”

Never mind “one of”, in Ford’s mind Johnson is the NFL’s elite receiver. And, it sounds like he’s prepared to pay him as the best, as well.

Ford says the club wants to work out a long-term deal with Johnson, who has already indicated he’d like to remain in Detroit to play with quarterback Matt Stafford.

“We really want Calvin here long-term and I think it’s important for us, important for Matthew, it’s important for the fans and he’s a great guy,” Ford said via the club’s website. “He’s a great guy on the field, he’s a great guy in the locker room and he’s a great guy off the field. They don’t make many better people than Calvin Johnson. We really want to get this done with him.”

Ford said Johnson reminds him of Barry Sanders, as an elite offensive weapon. “I’ve never seen anybody like him ... his ability to run, to jump, to get in and out of cuts at his size, and his hands. That’s the other thing: people keep talking about how fast, big and strong he is, he also has great hands. I couldn’t even begin to find a hole in his game, even a slight one. He’s got it all and then add to that that he’s also a great guy on and off the field ... he’s terrific.”

And, any day now, he’s also going to be terrifically rich.

BIG BEN’S NOT HAPPY

For Art Rooney this may be a case of Hear No Evil, See No Evil, Speak No Evil.

The Steelers say offensive coordinator Bruce Arians retired.

Arians claims he was pushed out by club owner Art Rooney II.

Rooney says it doesn’t matter what happened. He also doesn’t deny he’s responsible for Arians’ departure.

“Bruce did a good job for us and we appreciate everything he’s done,” Rooney said. “I think the questions of how we got here are not really relevant.”

But Ben Roethlisberger is reported to be most displeased. When your No. 1 quarterback is unhappy, it is relevant. And, Rooney suggesting it isn’t relevant is well, irrelevant.


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