1) The “Elite Quarterback” Discussion Got Blown Up
The Super Bowl essentially was the induction of Joe “Gummy Bear” Flacco into that silly media-created status of “elite quarterbacks.” Joe Montana’s Right Arm has the best run-down as to why even the most ardent Flacco-haters now have to stifle themsleves, but this piece is more about how the whole discussion about “elite” is obsolete.
Not only is it a silly notion, but it got destroyed by the emergence of a crop of dynamic young signal-callers. In his piece, JMRA makes reference to “Game Manager University,” and I’m going to extend the academic concept to rate NFL quarterback in 2012 on a simple grade scale.
A – The Head of The Class
- Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Joe Flacco, Aaron Rodgers
B – Not Quite Living Up To Their Potential…But Still Above Average
- Jay Cutler, Andy Dalton, Robert Griffin III, Andrew Luck, Eli Manning, Peyton Manning, Russell Wilson
C- C’s Still Graduate
- Sam Bradford, Philip Rivers, Cam Newton, Kyle Orton, Matt Schaub, Matt Stafford, Ryan Tannehill
D – You Might Want to Think About Community College
- Ryan Fitzpatrick, Matt Flynn, Josh Freeman, Jake Locker, Christian Ponder, Michael Vick, Brandon Weeden
F - Hope You Enjoy The Food-Service Industry
- Blaine Gabbert, Ryan Lindley, Kevin Kolb, Carson Palmer,Mark Sanchez, John Skelton, Brady Quinn,
Incomplete – Course Work Not Yet Completed To A Point Where An Accurate Assessment Can Be Made
- Kirk Cousins, Nick Foles, Colin Kaepernick, Thaddeus Lewis, Terrelle Pryor, Tim Tebow
On “Double Secret Probation”
- Ben Roethlisberger
To me, Roethlisberger has been a complete enigma until Mrs. Dubsism cleared it up for me. Her theory is that Big Ben is like that guy who shows up on campus on an athletic scholarship. He totally has his shit together and is dead-on target for his freshman ans sophomore years.
Then he turns 21.
Next thing you know, having a legal relationship with John Barleycorn fucks up everything. The former “golden boy” is now on academic probation and sleeping on his buddies’ couch because he got kicked out of the dorms. Roethlisberger is the inverse of that guy. He won two Super Bowls while living like an overgrown frat boy, then he cleaned up his act and now is an 8-8 quarterback. You explain it to me and we will both know what he is all about.
2) Tim Tebow Deserves A Legitmate Shot
FACT: Tebow did fine with the Broncos. He’s got more play-off wins as a Bronco than Peyton Manning does.
FACT: The situation with the New York Jets was a complete debacle.
FACT: There are a shitload of teams who need a quarterback.
Let’s start with that last one. The teams who need a quarterback are looking for that “classic” pocket passer because that is what the conventional wisdom of the NFL says you need to win. But, there’s a new generation of quarterbacks coming along who don’t fit that mold. In other words, the same people beating on Tebow are the same ones who back in the day didn’t want to draft Drew Brees, or more recently Russell Wilson.
This begs the question…what do you do if you are an NFL general manager who needs a quarterback? There just aren’t enough “pocket passers” to go around, and there isn’t another Russell Wilson or Andrew Luck in this upcoming draft. Like it or not, Tebow is available, he has experience, and he’s a proven winner.
But here’s the trick. To make Tebow your guy, you really have to build your offense around him. You are going to have to reject conventional wisdom and go to an offense that isn’t predicated on throwing the football. People are going to recoil in horror at this, but it might be time for some general manager and head coach to get ballsy and trot out an old offense with some tweaks. Mike Shanahan already teased us a bit with the modernized “triple option” stuff the Redskins did for Robert Griffin III, but somebody is going to full on embrace some sort of revisited “Single-Wing” or (gasp) “Wishbone” offense.
Face it, Tebow is a leather-helmet era quarterback, and the college game is going to produce more like him. Somebody is going to have to go back to the future at some point.