Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home1/bigdog/public_html/wp-content/plugins/wpadshare/wpadshare.php on line 867

QB Emergency? I Don’t Think So

Updated: October 25, 2013

Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home1/bigdog/public_html/wp-content/plugins/wpadshare/wpadshare.php on line 867

Photo from sportsbetweenthelines.com

The current QB curse word (well, phrase) is “game manager”; translation: he can’t win the game for you. This has become a most pejorative handle to put on any QB. Andy Dalton and Alex Smith have been cursed with the title “game manager”…which really just means they’re not Peyton, Brady, Brees or Rodgers.

At the same time we have current reports of a crisis in the state of QB play in the NFL, how there aren’t enough real NFL-caliber QB’s to staff 32 clubs. Geez, the Rams even called on Brett Favre about lacing ‘em up again.

How did we get to this emergency? What happened to all the good QB’s and why do we have to settle for a game manager?

Courtesy of prosportsextra.com

The question isn’t what happened to the QB’s but rather what happened to the NFL game? It’s what happens to a game when a league office decides it needs to juice up their game to stimulate fan interest. We’ll get back to the QB’s but first a little history…

The 1970′s NBA was a backwater of pro sports marked by fan apathy and a drug epidemic. David Stern stepped into this situation with the good fortune of having Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, and Michael Jordan. He crafted NBA merchandising around star players rather than the game or the franchises. It was brilliant and worked magnificently.

The problem is that now you’ve turned the asylum over to the inmates. Once the Dream Team had moved on you had a lull. And what happens if one of these showcase stars has a problem? Your marketing becomes a liability. Conspiracy theorists (like myself) suspect this is the real reason why Michael Jordan ‘retired’ at the height of his career…that Stern suggested he needed to ‘go away’ for a little while until the heat died down. Michael reportedly had gotten crosswise with gamblers which could explain why his dad was murdered. Bad for NBA business.

Photo by cthoyes on flickr

In the 1994 baseball strike MLB lost two months of a season PLUS the postseason. Fans were furious, vowed never to come back. Meanwhile there had been this dirty little secret called steroids going on for a few years where middle infielders were jackin’ HR’s to the opposite field. Chicks dig the long ball.

MLB looked the other way…it seemed like a great diversion for fans disaffected by the strike, culminating in the McGwire/Sosa HR Derby of 1998. And then Barry Bonds went on to make a farce out of the PED phenomenon. Again, inmates took over the asylum, BIG black eye for the game.

Oh yeah, the NFL QB’s…several years ago after a rash of QB injuries the NFL realized how much the game (i.e. ratings) suffered with backup QB’s playing. So they put in rules to protect QB’s…hands off the QB’s, liberalized blocking rules, etc.

At the same time they realized that if they kept hands off the receivers they could really open up the passing game. Once again, chicks dig the long ball.

So for merchandising purposes the NFL has changed the game to emphasize QB play. At the same time they’re asking QB’s to do things like never before…you need to complete 70% of passes, throw 40 TD’s and keep interceptions in single digits. Even Joe Montana and Johnny U didn’t do that. Terry Bradshaw had 212 TD’s, 210 INT’s and a 52% completion rate, and that was a great career. They would sling it and INT’s were part of the deal.

Photo by Raziel45

I’d say there are probably more good QB’s around now than ever before due to the early grooming with the pro game in college. There are 4 other-worldly QB’s (previously mentioned), probably 15 you’d classify as at least being pretty good, and maybe 20 clubs who seem to have their answer at QB. Based on what they’re asking QB’s to do, the talent pool may be the best ever.

Which brings us back to the so-called “game managers”. There have always been game managers, probably most QB’s at any given time were game managers. And you could win with them. But in Super Bowl history not too many game managers win…in the last 20 years only Brad Johnson (2002 season) and Trent Dilfer (2000). Historically SB-winning QB’s have been great QB’s.

Today the Chiefs (with Alex Smith) and the Bengals (with Andy Dalton) get no love. They both have stout defenses, excellent skill players…and game managers for QB’s. That’s the knock. Can they win the big one? We’ll see.

So have QB’s changed or has the NFL changed the game? I think we know the answer to that one. The question is how does changing the game of football to emphasize the long ball work out for the NFL?

This post was written by

Dave Graziano – who has written posts on Big Dog Sports Blog.
Short Hills, NJ USA


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Get Big Dog Sports' latest news, features, and more info delivered to your inbox!
  • Fresh perspective on the latest sports news
  • Big picture sports discussion
  • Informed analysis on controversial topics

Enter your email and stay on top of things,