Commentary

Are You For Real?: Croyle, Darling, Jets D

Updated: November 20, 2007, 3:34 PM ET
By Hector and Victor | ESPN.com

"It's not easy being green."

Truer words have never been spoken. Actually, if we're talking only about frogs, not too many other words have been spoken, but we digress. Hector and Victor can get all cutesy and try to convince you all that we are environmentally friendly and touchy-feely, but the truth is that Hector actually was the man behind the creation of Judge Doom's "dip," and Victor helped him dump vats of it into the Charlie Brown ice skating pond back in the mid-'80s in an attempt to cover up his involvement. So environmentalists, we are not.

We are, however, becoming increasingly aware of the influx of young talent in the league. Yes, we can continue to ignore it and offer up players like Priest Holmes and Vinny Testaverde, but that's not so much fun now, is it? Instead, we're going to focus on some "green" players this week and help you decide if they are roster-worthy.

Brodie Croyle, QB, Chiefs

Hot wife. Hot wife. Hot wife. Hot wife. We get it. Anyone who watched "Hard Knocks" on HBO knows that Croyle has a hot wife. We'd normally make a snarky reference to her, but it's been done so much, we're going to eschew that for some actual analysis.

A third-round draft pick out of Alabama, Croyle had more passing yards, touchdowns and completions than any other QB in the Tide's history, a list that includes Bart Starr, Joe Namath and Kenny Stabler. He has supplanted Damon Huard as the starting signal-caller for the Chiefs and made his mark in his first NFL start on Sunday by outplaying Peyton Manning (6 more passing yards, one more touchdown, one fewer interception). Still, outplaying Peyton on one of the star QB's worst days may not be something to hang your hat on; outplaying him on one of his best days, though, just might. So, we have to ask, Brodie: Are You For Real?

Hector: Sorry, Brodie. You're no Brady. And I'm talking Quinn, not Tom. It's real simple. The offense that he's running, I mean. A lot of handoffs. Not too many complex routes. Once teams catch on to the diminished playbook, Mr. Croyle is going to get all black-and-blue. And then, as those bruises heal and the team attempts to acquire the services of Derek Anderson in the offseason, they too will turn to green, and we're talking color, not Trent.

Victor: Yes. And as Diane Turner said in "Back to School," "And then he asked me would I yes to say yes." Croyle has a great arm, a standout college career and an electric receiver in Dwayne Bowe. There will be some growing pains, but if he can get his quarterback IQ up a little bit and stop making poor decisions (I watched "Hard Knocks"!), the sky is the limit for him.

Hector: Leave it to Victor to give the attribution to a Rodney Dangerfield movie over James Joyce's master work. Who's next, great cultural sinkhole?

Devard Darling, WR, Ravens

Cool things about Devard Darling:
1. He was born in the Bahamas.
2. The Bahamian government celebrated "Devard Darling Day" with a parade three weeks after the Ravens drafted him in 2004.
3. His favorite food is conch.
4. After being fined $7,500 for jumping into the stands following a TD by his teammate, Darling paid up, then stated, "I won't be jumping into the stands anymore."

Sad thing about Devard Darling:
His twin brother, Devaughn, died in an offseason conditioning program. When it was discovered that Devard had sickle-cell, he was told he could not play for Florida State (although they would honor the scholarship). Darling then transferred to Washington State.

Let's end on a happy note, though:
Devard exploded in Week 11 for 107 yards and a touchdown.

So will this keep up? Can the Bahamian produce again? Or will he fall back to the green earth while paying greenbacks for more ill-advised leaps into the stands? Devard Darling, Are You For Real?

Victor: I'm on the line with Darling, but I'm going to lean towards "For Real" on this one, and here is why: The situation with Baltimore's offense is grim, to say the least. And there's no real reason for it to be that way. Maybe with Boller behind center, Darling will start to see more passes come his way, and the offense will show signs of life. He moved up the depth chart thanks to a couple key injuries, but nobody in Baltimore's receiving corps has stepped up to do anything of note, and Darling's breakout game could be the sign of things to come. This could go either way, but as a cartoon fantasy football prognosticator, I am going to say he keeps it up, and becomes Boller's No. 2 -- if not his No.1 -- target the rest of the way.

Hector: I find it highly unlikely that Boller or anyone else would even think of looking Devard's way if a certain Mr. Heap were healthy and scampering around the field. Is Darling a better option, and easier, if not a tad more embarrassing to say than Sypniewski? Sure. But I can't foresee any quarterback worth his contract who is going to want to scream "Darling, come here! I need you, Darling" in the huddle.

Gang Green came up big in Week 11, sacking Ben Roethlisberger seven times, causing him to fumble once and intercepting one of his passes. This produced a total of 12 points for the Jets, who have been on a bit of a fantasy upswing as of late, putting up an average of nine fantasy points during their past three games. Of course, there was that little "minus-4" blip in the game against Cincy (thus why Hector and Victor didn't give you their "during their past four games..." line), and they started off the season with a minus-7 against the Pats and bubkes against the Ravens. The Pats and Bengals we can understand; the Ravens, not so much.

Still, they are on a bit of a run here, and this could be a sign of the team jelling. Sacking Roethlisberger seven times ("Steeler sacked seven times by Santonio's side" will be a popular tongue twister on Long Island for years to come) is no easy task, and the Jets have a fat plate of Dallas being served to them on Thanksgiving night. So, before the tryptophan kicks in, should you add the Jets' defense to your team? Or would it be better to treat them like the crunchy cranberry sauce and leave them on the table?

Jets, Are You for Real?

Hector: Gang Green is made of people! It's people! Sorry, had to get my inner Heston on. I think there's a new positive feeling on the Jets' sidelines. They're starting to believe in themselves and when people do that, they often can outreach their limitations. But they are only human, and a quick turnaround plus the prospect of stopping Tony Romo and Terrell Owens? Not gonna happen. However, if they can avoid letting the looming Thursday disaster linger longer on their minds, they could be a sleeper pick for the rest of the season. And then I'll be saying that you can pry that defense off my roster ... from my cold, dead hands.

Victor: No. It's the Jets. Need I say more?

Hector: No, Vic. The less you say, the better. Now, get your stinking paws off me and baste the darn turkey already.