NFL news of September 21, 2002

He is the NFL’s highest-rated quarterback. He has more touchdown passes than anyone. He has 8.76 yards per completion, best in the league.

These are heady days for the man who replaced Dan Marino. Yet the Dolphins starter knows he is never far from unsatisfied fans, like the ones who got on his case after he threw three interception in a preseason game against the Saints.

…The way Jay Fiedler sees it, he doesn’t need accolades for his performance – 31-of-45 for 394 yards with 5 touchdowns and 1 interception – and he doesn’t need to address his doubters.

“I’m not a stick-it-in-your-face kind of guy,” Fiedler said. “I just go out and do my job week in and week out and hope to put up the same numbers. It’s going to be a long season.”

His father agrees that respect is earned over time: “Let’s see where he is at the end of the year.”

For now, Fiedler’s numbers are better than those of the Rams’ Kurt Warner, the Packers’ Brett Favre and the Colts’ Peyton Manning.

— The St. Petersburg Times “Miami’s Fiedler still target for critics despite his play”

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