Every year there are players who come out of nowhere to become stars. Of course, for them to become stars, someone must go. Sometimes it's due to injury or poor play. Then again, there are some players who don't need any competition at their position to fail. The season hasn't begun yet, but there are already some players who'll be feeling the heat. Here are ten of them in alphabetical order.
Jay Cutler- In 2006, the Broncos were quarterbacked by Jake Plummer and were in prime position for a fourth straight playoff appearance. Then, Coach Mike Shanahan abruptly named rookie Cutler the starter. There went the playoffs. Somehow, Cutler had convinced Denverhe was the guy and Plummer was traded. The Broncos then finished under .500 for only the second time under Shanahan’s tenure and first since 1999. If another occurs, this will go down as the worst quarterback decision since Buffalochose Rob Johnson over Doug Flutie.
Jake Delhomme- As many as four different quarterbacks started in place for the injured Delhomme, which might actually demonstrate how much the team needs him, but if another injury or poor play comes this season, the Panthers will not be as forgiven. Add in the fact that coach John Fox could very well be on the hot seat, and Delhomme better resort back to his 2005 form.
Rex Grossman- What is Chicago thinking by not only resigning this flop, but not bringing in anyone to challenge him or replace him when he inevitably fails? Sure, there’s Kyle Orton, and expect him as the starter by the end of the first month if he’s not named the starter immediately. In the past, Rex the Hex was able to keep his job by simply not making mistakes and letting his defense handle the workload. But when the time came when a quarterback was needed to lead the team, he just could not respond.
Marvin Harrison- Shocking, isn’t it? The best receiver in Colts history on his way out? Last season, Harrison’s injury enabled Reggie Wayne to take over as the number one receiver in the Colts offense. Further, Harrison’s key fumble in the playoff game against San Diego cost his team an important scoring drive. Add to the fact that he’s getting up in years, and he might have to look over his shoulder.
Edgerrin James- Joined the exclusive company of Tiki Barber and Warrick Dunn as a running back who left his team the year before they won the Super Bowl. James arrival sparked expectations in the desert for the first time in, well, since the last big name running back to arrive, Emmitt Smith. Although James has been able to rush for 1,000 yards both seasons in Arizona, he has failed to be the playmaker he was in Indy.
Jon Kitna- the only person whose place on this list might be a positive. Kitna finds his way on this list not necessarily for poor play, but because of his mouth. He has been making outlandish predictions for the Lions that usually include a ten win season and playoff berth. Even after two miserable seasons, he still makes the same claims. For him to keep his job, I’d say Detroit needs to get at least eight wins. However, Kitna might be on another team because he actually DOES play well, but the Lions will have to once again rebuild. And rebuilding means a young quarterback with room to blossom.
Deuce McCallister- Another player who’s suffered from getting hurt and seeing someone fill his role. Reggie Bush was drafter in 2006 and the two of them were one of the league’s best one two punches with Deuce as the starter and Bush as his backup. But now that Deuce has gotten hurt and Bush has emerged as a key to the offense, old Deuce might have to get used to the situation being reversed, or find a new home.
Donovan McNabb- Pretty much every year now this becomes a stronger possibility. Had he not led the Eagles to a .500 finish by winning his last three games, he might have been wearing a different jersey this season. It’s not just his injury problems, but it’s the way his backups have played in his place. We all know the job Jeff Garcia did in winning the 2006 division title, and even AJ Feeley has had his moments. If the Eagles fail to make the playoffs again, McNabb will be chased out of town faster than you can say Randall Cunningham.
Any Miami Dolphins Player- Bill Parcells isn’t afraid to rock the boat with this team. It doesn’t matter who the player is, how many Pro Bowls he’s been to, or how many reality shows he’s been on. Any poor play from anyone will not be tolerated. And with the Dolphins currently being the laughing stock of the league, no job is safe.
Alex Smith- 2007’s least valuable player. Could be joining fellow first pick bust David Carr as a backup. What else can be said about Smith? His disappointments could fill volumes of books. His successes would only cover about a paragraph. An NFL Network commercial showing Alex Smith bowling with kids features a child narrator say, “Bowling may not be his game.” Well, doesn’t look football is either. The 49ers haven’t been to the playoffs since Jeff Garcia and Terrell Owens were still in the city by the bay. With him under center, they won’t be going back any time soon. Luckily, he’s been banished to the bench. But if an injury occurs to current, and keyword current quarterback J.T. O’Sullivan, Smith could come back in and the nightmare will continue.