Have Quarterbacks Become Second-Rate?
~ by Amy Lignor
There are many out there right now wondering about the QB role in the NFL. After all, these are the stars. These are the guys that actually get the ball down the field to the superstars waiting to receive it. Quarterbacks still own the minds of most NFL
lovers. When thinking about the history of the sport, those quarterbacks and how they handled themselves on and off the field, are still the people other people follow, idolize, and really miss.
Even though mistakes are being made today, that idolization is still going on – whether right or wrong. But now, the season coming forward is a lot like Darth Vader walking the Imperial March (It’s okay, Star Wars fans understand what I mean there). The quarterbacks from the draft are looking a little wary and the QB’s already playing are looking a little weary.
When you have headlines about Peyton Manning talking about his retirement, warning signs flash. And now, when speaking about the Jets – a team that needs far more than an actual working QB – Michael Vick has come forward to let everyone know that he is in New York only to help, and NOT to take Geno Smith’s job.
Vick states that he and the rest of the team are there to aid Geno in becoming the best quarterback that he can be. The Jets offensive coordinator seems to agree, saying that signing Vick was literally to help Geno develop; however, there are other assessments and rumors out there that say different – that say Michael Vick will be given the job because Geno simply can not get it done.
Vick is supposed to make Geno compete, work harder, become better; he is supposed to be a grooming tool more than anything else, but everyone in the Jets organization – not to mention, the screaming fans who want to see their team do SOMETHING this coming season – know that Vick has the ability to take over that job and not look back. Whether he has a shot at bringing the Jets out of the basement however, is anyone’s guess.
Yes, Vick is 34, so he’s not fresh out of the draft and raring to go. But everyone knows that this position is like the Kentucky Derby – 1, 2, 3, 4 – is actually earned by the ‘colts’ not by a coach sitting at his desk placing these guys in the line-up. The heart of football quarterbacking remains – if you can do the job better than the other guy, you will see the field and he will see the bench.
Now…is there a QB in the draft, coming out of obscurity when it comes to the pros, who will light the field on fire? Well…there is one, and he is either the best of the best or a new showman who will make a complete arse out of himself when he realizes that pro and college are not alike.
The talk is large about Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel, who has certainly already claimed legendary status in the Lone star State – including winning the Heisman Trophy when only a freshman. It only took two seasons for Johnny to land 10,000 yards of total offense and 93 touchdowns, and the guy is a lot like Kap – he strikes hard and fast, adding shock value to the game.
So what on earth could be the downside? Shouldn’t all teams be rallying for this QB? Well, based on talents, yes. However, this is what some have referred to already as the ‘Johnny Depp’ of football – actually tagging him with the title: “Johnny Football”. He’s a wild card who could, perhaps, deep down, believe his own press and become that showman that coaches are uncomfortable with. Fans say TAKE HIM! Especially fans of teams that have not seen glory or a Super Bowl trophy since their great-great grandpa was a fan.
Along with ‘Johnny Football’ are Bortles, Bridgewater and Carr, who will supposedly be taken in the first-round – by who, it remains to be seen. But what coaches and fans should remember is that the lower men on the totem pole are sometimes (a great many times) the best of the best who actually do become legends.
Just in case you forgot, there was a boy from Michigan who was actually selected in the 6th round back in 2000. Seven QB’s were chosen before the guy, but the Patriots and the Patriots’ fans have laughed all the way to the Super Bowl – try five, actually, with three wins!
Tom Brady may not have looked like ‘Johnny Football’ at the time of his draft, but what he did do was prove that he could come out on the field and kick the butt of any team ‘Johnny Football’ led!