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Quarterback makes the most likely player-coach

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AJ Mast / Associated Press
Think Peyton Manning would make for a great player-coach? Think again.


The Chicago White Sox flirted with the idea of hiring Paul Konerko as a player-manager, and why not? It worked out so well the last time it happened. (Don't bother looking it up, that was a subtle Pete Rose joke.)

But it does hearken back to a time when players sometimes would coach the professional teams they were on. And if you are not old enough to remember that, think of Paul Walker taking over for coach Kilmer on "Varsity Blues". (Seriously, were there no other assistant coaches around? Its hard to believe that a big-time high school coach in Texas would have no other coaches on its staff.)

So that gets me thinking: What kind of current NFL player could pull off the player-coach deal? Your initial gut reaction is going to be Peyton Manning, but we are talking a player-coach here. Peyton does not play. And I might be a jerk for even bringing this up, but do we know if he is ever going to play again? This is a neck injury, the same one that knocked Edge out of the WWE. Manning might not ever come back.

So here are six players who could pull this off.

And without further ado …

6. Brett Favre
All right, he's not playing right now. But this one is perfect, because he is older than some NFL coaches but still has the game to actually be an NFL quarterback. The only question that Favre would have to wrestle with would be how to get his media-starved quarterback to actually show up to training camp.

5. Stephen McGee
Take a look at some of the top young coaches in the NFL -- Jason Garrett, Sean Payton, etc. The common thread? They were anonymous third-string quarterbacks (well, Garrett was known for one Thanksgiving Day game). Put McGee at coach and let him go. Then he could make this move.

4. Tim Hightower
Not sure if Hightower even has coaching aspirations, but this one has a strategic reasoning. With Hightower as coach, I just figure he would pick one running back -- presumably himself -- and stick with him, instead of Mike Shanahan waging war on your fantasy team every week. I know, it's genius.

3. Cam Newton
Newton wants to be an entertainer and icon, so let's add NFL coach to the mix, too. And when you watch Newton play, you figure the team just would be better off if Newton was out in the huddle drawing up plays in the dirt, like it was a school yard. Plus the team is way better when he calls his own number anyway.

2. DeSean Jackson
Dial up the video of Jackson returning that winning, walk-off punt against the Giants last year. Notice how he was killing time at the end of the run to make sure there were no ticks left in the game? Well, that proves he is already a better clock manager than his current coach, Andy Reid.

1. Jay Cutler
After watching Cutler sit emotionless on the sidelines in last year's NFC Championship Game, you could not help but conjure back to some of the more stoic NFL coaches of yesteryear, such as Bud Grant and Tom Landry. And if being a stoic statue was good enough for the Cowboys and Vikings, it should be good enough for the Bears.

Lord knows Rank should be coaching, given the way he rules at NCAA 12. Talk about it via Twitter or via Facebook. Be sure to catch the latest on the Dave Dameshek Football Program.

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