Thursday, November 30, 2006


The Best of the Worst Quarterbacks

You are the owner of an expansion NFL team. The football gods have smiled on you, and said you can have any quarterback from any NFL team, with two important stipulations: the quarterback's passer rating must be below 80, and no rookie quarterbacks. That leaves you with the following choices:
1. Steve McNair - 79.9
2. Byron Leftwich - 79.0
3. Jake Delhomme - 78.7
4. Brett Favre - 78.1
5. Matt Hasselbeck - 77.7
6. Rex Grossman - 77.6
7. Brad Johnson - 77.3
8. Daunte Culpepper - 77.0
9. Eli Manning - 76.0
10. Ben Roethlisberger - 72.3
11. Michael Vick - 72.1
12. Joey Harrington - 71.6
13. Jake Plummer - 70.5
14. Charlie Frye - 69.5

Steve McNair would be the obvious choice for any team, EXCEPT an expansion team. For this scenario, you would want a young quarterback who can peak when the team peaks. McNair, in his 12th season, is on the downside of his career. If he is lucky, he may have 2-3 seasons left in him.

I certainly would not want anyone who is a statue in the pocket, like Byron Leftwich. Expansion teams are notorious for giving up a lot of sacks. Leftwich would get killed.

For the same reason, Daunte Culpepper gets excluded. Since his knee injury last year, his mobility has been missing. Until we can be sure he will get it back, he would be a bad choice for this team.

Age has to be considered also. Guys like Brett Favre and Brad Johnson won't be around much longer.

We can also exclude guys who have proven they cannot get it done: Charlie Frye, Jake Plummer, Joey Harrington, and Michael Vick.

As Clint Eastwood once said, "I know what you're thinking...". Vick gets excluded because he will NEVER win a championship in the NFL. Vick is a "me first" player. While I like confidence in quarterbacks, even arrogance sometimes, selfish quarterbacks never succeed. Jim Mora was right: Vick is a coach killer.

As for the other young quarterbacks, Roethlisberger makes me wonder if he has lost the fire in his belly. You can say the Steelers as a team got over-confident after the Super Bowl. However, a true team leader would have rallied them. I see Roethlisberger as a product of the system, not a quarterback who made the rest of the team better.

Eli Manning might be a good choice IF you have a good quarterback coach (Kevin Gilbride ain't it). Eli is not, nor will he ever be, Peyton.

Rex Grossman has too long an injury history to make me comfortable putting him on an expansion team.

That leaves us the two experienced quarterbacks with strong histories, Jake Delhomme and Matt Hasselbeck. I lean towards Hasselbeck only because he spreads the ball around more. Delhomme seems to need a lot of talent around him, while Hasselbeck can work with what you give him.

As an owner of an expansion franchise, take Matt Hasselbeck, but draft a good young quarterback to sit behind him and learn the game.

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