Posts Tagged ‘quarterback’

Would Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow start if he were black?

January 11, 2012

Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow’s rapid ascent in popularity has been validated by results on the field. His record as a starter is 8-4 in 2011 including Sunday’s thrilling 29-23 overtime playoff win against Pittsburgh.

If Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow were black, it’s unlikely that he would ever get a chance to play quarterback in the NFL. With an awkward and inaccurate throwing motion but a strong running ability and excellent leadership skills, Tebow would most likely be converted to another position such as running back or tight end. History shows that unconventional quarterbacks who happened to be black were either moved to different positions, given a very short time to prove themselves as quarterbacks or weren’t even given chances to become backups.

 To see the rest of my article on bleacherreport.com, click here.
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Byron Leftwich

December 15, 2008

I originally wrote this in August.  Byron Leftwich had a great game in relief on November 3, leading the Steelers to a win against the Washington Redskins. You better believe that as good as Ben Roethlisberger is, he won’t sit as long as he can walk because he knows how good Leftwich, a fellow Mid-American Conference (MAC) QB, is.  I do feel somewhat vindicated now that David Garrard has led the Jaguars to a 5-9 record so far.   

 

I’m kind of shocked that quarterback Byron Leftwich wasn’t signed by an NFL team this year until August 9, when the Steelers signed him to backup Ben Roethlesberger.  Leftwich has been criticized for having a very long throwing motion, which combined with his inability to run much hurts him at a time when mobility is increasingly important for NFL quarterbacks.  He has a career passer rating of 80.3, and a touchdown to interception ratio of 54-38.  Solid but not spectacular numbers.  But what about being a winner?  Doesn’t production matter?  Leftwich was 24-20 as a starter for the Jacksonville Jaguars.  Has the NFL changed that much since Leftwich had his best season and led the Jaguars to a 12-4 record in 2005?  Everybody acted as if when Jags coach Jack Del Rio replaced Leftwich with Garrard two years ago, that it was a no-brainer.  Not only was it not a no-brainer, it was the wrong decision.

 

I heard the most ridiculous thing on Sirius NFL Radio this summer.  Former NFL quarterback Tim Hasselbeck said that last year proved Leftwich couldn’t get the job done.  He didn’t join the Atlanta Falcons until week 3 of last year so he missed all of training camp, the preseason, and the first two weeks of the season.  It’s true that he has a long windup that takes a lot of time, but he has a strong arm, he is still in his prime, and he has been a winner.  He led some great comebacks in both college and the pros. 

Trent Dilfer

December 15, 2008

It seems like this blog is turning into cases in which I believe that the majority of so-called experts and fans are wrong about certain players or teams.  On the subject of quarterbacks, I think Trent Dilfer was a good, solid quarterback who never got enough credit.  He had a winning record overall (58-53).  He never played for a great team except the 2000 Ravens, and even then the team didn’t have great wide receivers.   

 

People always said the 2000 Baltimore Ravens won the Super Bowl despite Dilfer and because of their defense.  Unfortunately, this is a label that stuck – that Dilfer just managed the game and that anyone could have won that Super Bowl.  If the Ravens defense was so great, why couldn’t they get to another Super Bowl after they let Dilfer go, especially since every year the media says they have a great defense?  And the Ravens were 5-3 the first half of that season without Dilfer, including the last four of those games without scoring an offensive touchdown, and 10-1 including playoffs with Dilfer. 

 

Check out what the Washington Post’s Les Carpenter wrote on November 13: 

 

“Through all the winning seasons, through the playoff runs and the Super Bowl season, in which Baltimore’s defense thrived, the team perpetually lacked the one essential piece that kept it from being a dynasty.

 

It never had the right quarterback.

 

Suddenly, as the old stars start to fade away and the team builds again with a new coach, that quarterback has arrived.”

 

I love the way Carpenter puts the middle sentence on its own for emphasis.  Great.  So Joe Flacco, at 9-5, is already better than Dilfer, who went 10-1 and won a Super Bowl?  Let’s not anoint him just yet.  Sorry that 10-1 and a Super Bowl win wasn’t good enough for you.  You prefer 10-6 (the Ravens’ likely record this year) and a probable first or second round playoff exit.  I admit, what Flacco has done so far is impressive, but don’t put him ahead of Dilfer yet. 

 

As far as I’m concerned, I hope that the Ravens never win another Super Bowl.  You don’t cut your Super Bowl winning QB in favor of someone (Elvis Grbac) with better stats but less heart and lower leadership skills.  Too often, people go for style over substance.  (Thank God the Ravens finally got rid of the incredibly pompous and pretentious Brian Billick after the 2007 season).  Former Ravens tight end Shannon Sharpe said it was a big mistake to let Dilfer go.  I’ve never understood the anti-Dilfer sentiment.  He started out his career in Tampa Bay and admittedly didn’t play great, but at least he got them to the playoffs – something that neither Steve Young nor Vinnie Testaverde could do in Tampa Bay.   

 

All I know is that none of the Ravens QBs since Dilfer have fared as well, and now they’re starting over with another first round pick.  Dilfer went from Seattle to Cleveland to San Francisco, and in each case got passed over in favor of a younger QB who wasn’t as good at the time but seemingly had more potential (Matt Hasselbeck, Charlie Frye, and Alex Smith).  Only Hasselbeck turned out to be good, and I’m not so sure Dilfer couldn’t have done the same thing if given the chance in that west coast offense.

Doug Flutie

December 15, 2008

I just think teams are too quick to focus on a flaw rather than whether a QB wins.  Doug Flutie, the former Heisman Trophy winner and Boston College star, is a perfect example.  They always told him he was too short, and he had to go to the CFL and win three championships and six MVP awards before he got another chance at the NFL with the Buffalo Bills in his late 30s.  He proved he could be an effective quarterback but even then he got passed over for more traditional quarterbacks like Rob Johnson.  Johnson was a bust.  It was a terrible decision to start Johnson over Flutie in the Music City Miracle game in 1999 when the Tennessee Titans beat the Bills on a last second touchdown.  Flutie had gotten the team there.  It was a classic case of playing a prototype QB rather than someone who won despite how he did it.  Flutie later started for the Chargers and retired as a backup for the New England Patriots at 43.