Now they can pick a seat on the bench

Times Staff Writer

Alex Smith, Matt Leinart, Vince Young . . . three reasons that prove it's getting harder and harder for top draft picks to make it big as starting quarterbacks in the NFL.

Smith, the No. 1 pick in 2005 by the San Francisco 49ers, and Leinart, the 10th pick in 2006 by the Arizona Cardinals, already know they're going to be carrying clipboards on the sideline instead of calling plays in the huddle when the NFL finally gets cranking.

Young isn't getting yanked, but the No. 3 pick and the first quarterback taken in 2006 isn't exactly blossoming in the preseason and his quarterback rating is only slightly higher than the speed limit in a school zone.

Their employers certainly hope all three find their way.

Here's how much their teams are on the hook for in guaranteed money: Smith, $24 million; Leinart, $14 million; Young, $11.075 million.


Trivia time

What's the salary of J.T. O'Sullivan, who replaced Smith as the 49ers starter?


Paint him then

This is from Roy Cummings in Sporting News Today on Tampa Bay quarterback Jeff Garcia's two-interception performance against Jacksonville: "[He] didn't look rusty in his preseason debut . . . he looked downright corroded."


Dolled up

Who's going to win the election? The results will be purely unofficial when the Sacramento River Cats of the Pacific Coast League give away a total of 1,500 bobbleheads of Barack Obama and John McCain to fans before a game Saturday. Whichever doll they run out of first will be declared the winner.


Or 'Wicked'?

Rafael Nadel took time out from getting ready for the U.S. Open by going to see "Phantom of the Opera." To get himself in the mood to play tennis, maybe he should also take in "Stomp."


Snooze buttons

Pick on somebody your own size. Mismatches of the opening college football week: Georgia vs Georgia Southern; Oklahoma vs. Chattanooga; Ohio State vs. Youngstown State; and Arizona State vs. Northern Arizona.


Trivia answer



And finally

London Mayor Boris Johnson, about the city hosting the 2012 Olympics, according to NBC's "Nightly News": "London is not going to top Beijing. We are going to be just as fantastic in our own particular, sweet, ingenious, British way."


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