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Saban gives off QB signals

Page 2 of 5 -- At this stage, Saban continues to insist he has no sure idea what direction he'll go, but he let one thing slip last week when he said, "It's like having a nice big bag of diamonds, and you kind of sort through those diamonds to find the one that has the least amount of imperfections. That you feel you can get the best person to help your team long term and maybe solve a need, but also long term to give you the best opportunity to be successful.

"I wish someone out there, one of our fans, would invent a test that we could give and that means the guy will be a good quarterback. I'd love to have one -- 20 questions, true or false, multiple choice -- that is, this guy scores high, then he's a good quarterback."

Was the use of the word "quarterback" just a general statement or a Freudian slip?

No one will know for sure until Saturday, but don't be surprised if commissioner Paul Tagliabue takes the card from the Dolphins' representative and reads the name of the best available quarterback rather than the best available football player.

Blocking out bad ideas about Moss

Raiders coach Norv Turner admits he never spoke with Randy Moss before Oakland traded for him, but he didn't have to. He learned all he needed to know about Moss one day in Miami when he was the Dolphins' offensive coordinator.

"I remember when I coached against him in Miami, and if we won the game, we won the division," said Turner. "They had a third and 16 and they just ran him down the field, threw it up to him, and he outjumped two defensive backs and it's the deciding play of the game. So I've seen him firsthand."

Turner insists that Moss's play on the field and desire to win will supercede any off-field problems. If not, Turner feels he has controls in place.

"He's a football guy," Turner said. "He's excited about the opportunity that we present, the style of offense we have. Everyone we talked to -- guys on our team who played with him -- everything was positive in terms of the way he competes and the way he practices. So you make the deal and you go.

"I'm not going to minimize it and I'm not going to blow it out of proportion, but when you really look at it, he's had two or three things you would have liked to have handled differently, but it's nothing where he's had problems. I mean, you get guys who don't report to camp or don't want to practice. He's never had any of those issues. His things have been more split-second kind of deals and it's over."   Continued...

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