Shut-Down T-New Shut Out

more votes than either of the Bears' Pro Bowl defenders, Tommie Harris or Lance Briggs.

That's more votes than Ed Reed or Shawne Merriman.

Ridiculous.

Here's what I want to know. I want to know how wide receivers in the NFC voted. Make 'em fess up. They are now making the college football writers fess up on how they vote in the polls. They are making the college football coaches fess up on how they vote in their final poll.

Come on receivers, let's see it. Obviously, coaches must know a thing or two about Newman. They are the ones who game plan, right? And if they think he's just another corner, why aren't they torching him with pass attempts? Why aren't they throwing to his side of the field?

And it's not just about blanketing his side, either. Newman is so versatile the Cowboys move him into the slot when they go to their nickel defense. That's one of the toughest positions to play in the NFL. Probably right up there after quarterback.

The receiver gets an either-or release. And if that is not enough to worry about, offenses like to spread defenses out with three wide, get them in their nickel and then run right at the guy in the slot because he normally is 30 to 40 pounds lighter than the linebacker he replaces. In the Cowboys' case, he's 55 pounds lighter.

Newman does that. He does that really well. Evidently, too well.

Now this is not to say Newman has been perfect this season. He hasn't been. He gave up a couple of big throws in the season-opening Jacksonville game. He dropped one sure interception that likely he would have taken to the house. But there hasn't been much more.

Oh yeah, this past Saturday, put down unable to cover Ashley Lelie for 10 seconds, missing by a hair of making a great diving breakup in the end zone after the Falcons wideout had time to run a post, which he stuffed, and then come all the way back across half the field for the catch on the sideline.

But other than that, there hasn't been much to bash.

So here's the deal for next year. I got this idea. T-New, you just got to quit covering guys so well early in the season, and then these offensive coordinators might start attacking your side of the field. Then you can jump 'em.

Or maybe this. Start baiting quarterbacks. See, if you're covering guys so well, you are discouraging quarterbacks from throwing that way. So what you got to do is, only kind of cover guys, make it look like they're open and then use your track-recovery speed to pick the ball off.

Yeah, that's it, play some opossum. Then you'll get some numbers.

Also, quit being so darn nice and polite. Start jabbering out there. Start getting in guys' faces. Start yanking some jerseys after guys catch balls in front of you. Tussle with them. And for goodness sakes, start waving your hands "incomplete" after breaking up a pass.

Sometimes it doesn't pay to just go about your business doing your job.

Oh yeah, and while we're remaking your image, let's intercept some spit now and then, too.

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