Posts Tagged ‘Trent Dilfer’

Should Jay Cutler be Immediately put in the Pro Football Hall of Fame?

November 12, 2009

I’m thinking that Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, because of his arm strength and passing yardage, should be automatically voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  It’s not too early to consider Cutler the best ever.  Meanwhile, Titans quarterback Vince Young should be kicked out of the NFL.

Cutler has a career record of 21-25.  Young has a career record of 20-11.  But winning doesn’t matter.  It’s how you do it.

I’m exaggerating just a bit.  But how about judging players on the same criteria, or at least make winning even just part of the equation?

Sorry, Mark Schlereth, Merril Hoge, Trent Dilfer, Tim Hasselbeck, and Rich Gannon.  Gannon:  can you say anything other than Vince Young can’t read defenses?  How long did it take you to become a good quarterback?  Give Vince Young a chance.  Don’t judge him using different standards than Cutler.

In reality, Young does have some deficiencies, and Cutler has a lot of talent.  But do you get the picture?  Could it be that Cutler is overrated and Young is underrated?  Why the vitriol against Young?

***

Switching gears for a minute, I’ll admit that sometimes I’m wrong.  In an earlier post I suggested that Browns fans were wrong in wanting Brady Quinn to start at QB ahead of Derek Anderson.  Both players have had terrible years.  I have an idea, though.  How about putting Joshua Cribbs at QB, or at least running the Wildcat with him?  He has a great arm and game-breaking speed.  He can’t do any worse than Anderson or Quinn.  He started at QB at Kent State.  In fact, according to Wikipedia, Cribbs is “one of only four players in NCAA history to both rush and pass for 1,000 yards in at least two different seasons, the others being Beau Morgan of Air ForceVince Young of Texas, and Pat White of West Virginia. Cribbs, in fact, accomplished the feat three times. He is one of only three quarterbacks in NCAA history to rush for 3,500 yards and throw for 7,000 yards in his career (the other two being Antwaan Randle-El of Indiana and Brad Smith of Missouri. Cribbs is also the only player in NCAA history to lead his team in both rushing and passing in four different seasons.”

I saw Cribbs play a game against Ohio State in the Horseshoe and I knew then Cribbs would be an NFL player.  Mid-American Conference QBs Ben Roethlisberger, Chad Pennington, and Byron Leftwich all made it as starting NFL quarterbacks and Charlie Frye is a backup. Cleveland, get your best player into the lineup, if not at quarterback, then at Wildcat quarterback, and if not there then start him at wide receiver.

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Cleveland Clowns Fans

September 29, 2009

Are Cleveland Browns fans smart enough to deserve a winning football team?

In 2005, the fan base clamored for a rookie, local product Charlie Frye to start over Trent Dilfer, who had won a Super Bowl.  Frye went on to go 6-13 with the Browns and he is now on his third team, the Raiders, and won’t likely see the field.

Once again, most Browns fans wanted the local player this year, Brady Quinn, over the better player, Derek Anderson.  Anderson was 10-5 as a starter in 2007, but the Browns went with the heralded unproven Quinn who is 0-3 so far this year.  He makes more money, so he must be better, right?

This forlorn franchise should stop listening to its fans and let players earn their positions instead.

Note to NFL GMs: Winning should Matter

March 15, 2009

Last year, I wrote that Byron Leftwich wasn’t getting a fair chance to be an NFL starting quarterback, and that NFL people were concentrating too much on his deficiencies instead of his winning record (24-20) as a starter.  A lot of NFL owners, general managers and coaches prefer style over substance, and they’d rather have a player who has what they believe to be the necessities to be a good quarterback (height, arm strength, mobility, etc.) than someone who is great at winning football games. 

Another example of this – NFL people putting a higher priority on style than substance – was Doug Flutie, who if he were given a fair chance would have been a very good NFL starting quarterback for 15 years.  Still another example was Trent Dilfer, who was the starting quarterback during the 2000 season for the Baltimore Ravens who won the Super Bowl.  Dilfer was 58-53 for his career, and he didn’t play on many good teams other than the 2000 Ravens.  For that 10-1 record and Super Bowl championship, Dilfer got kicked out of the door in favor of Elvis Grbac and then Kyle Boller, the poster boy for the first round draft choice who doesn’t work out. 

(At least Boller started for a few seasons.  Top 3 overall draft picks Tim Couch, Ryan Leaf, and Akili Smith were all out of the league after a few seasons).  I guess it’s high risk/high reward, like stocks.  A good veteran quarterback (value stock) who can lead you to winning seasons is often passed over for a younger quarterback (more volatile, aggressive stock) who fits the mold but ultimately may not become a winner, but at least seems to have more potential. 

I was reminded of this oddity – how NFL teams don’t always like winners – when Denver Broncos QB Jay Cutler was in the news lately.  Not because of Cutler’s anger at almost being traded, but because it made me remember that Cutler’s predecessor, Jake Plummer, went 40-18 with three playoff appearances with Denver.  Plummer was 7-4 in 2006 when he was replaced by Cutler, who lost 3 of the final 5 games of the season for the Broncos.  Denver failed to make the playoffs that year.  Ok, so you say the Broncos had to sacrifice a year for the future. 

But Cutler’s record as a starter is 17-20 with no playoff appearances.  Denver coach Mike Shanahan replaced Plummer with Cutler at the time because Plummer hadn’t played well in the playoffs, but he missed the point.  First you have to get there, and once you get there, you have an excellent chance to win it all.  The point is putting yourself in a position to win, which Plummer did.  Look at the Cardinals this year, the Giants last year, and the Steelers three years ago.  Each team barely made the playoffs but won or made it to the Super Bowl.  You have to get to the playoffs – after that, there is some luck involved.

There are two sides to every story, and Plummer did make too many mistakes, while Cutler has a very strong arm and will probably have success one day.  But at some point, production – wins – should matter.  Substance should matter over style.  Unfortunately, too often in the NFL, it doesn’t.     

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.