After watching five Sundays of NFL football, it has become painfully obvious which teams are good and which teams are not. In a nutshell, the good teams have good quarterbacks playing at a high level, and the bad teams have poor quarterbacks playing terribly. I have compiled a list of the top 5 teams in need of a quarterback in the very near future, and 3 teams that might need to shop around for a new signal caller after the season ends. I don’t believe it’s a coincidence that 6 of the 8 teams to make this list are most definitely going to be competing for worst in the NFL this season. The other two teams have enough talent around their quarterbacks to win without a top-notch signal caller.
In most of the cases, good quarterbacks have simply started to show signs of age, and have lost the ability to play like starters in the NFL. Players like Marc Bulger and Jake Delhomme appear to have overstayed their welcomes, and definitely could be faced with retirement after the season.
In the other instances, once promising prospects like Jason Campbell and Brady Quinn have not demonstrated an aptitude for quarterbacking, and should be relegated to back-up status. For some of these unfortunate fellows, their hefty contracts are the only thing keeping them on the team.
Redskins Five seasons for Jason Campbell in Washington. Analysts have attributed his lackluster play to constant changes in offensive schemes. Looking at his stats, there may be some credence to such an argument. After all, his completion percentage, touchdown/interception ratio and passer rating have increased in each of his years in the league. But I have to say, he just isn’t cutting the mustard in D.C.
I absolutely do not blame the Redskins for flirting with Jay Cutler and Mark Sanchez in the off-season. And frankly, I was astonished to here how upset Campbell was after finding out that Zorn wasn’t happy with his quarterback’s play. He hadn’t done much to warrant confidence from the coaching staff, and still hasn’t. In fact, he allowed the Lions, THE LIONS to beat them, for crying out loud. Detroit hadn’t won a football game in over a year, and the Redskins dropped the ball against them, and almost did the same thing with the Rams the previous week.
Browns Still not sure what the Brownies were thinking when they hired the Mangenius, who by the way could use a more fitting nickname. I didn’t think it was possible but this team looks even worse than last year’s horrific team. It took until week 4 for the coaching staff to realize that Derek Anderson is a better quarterback than first rounder Brady Quinn, which brings me to my main point here. It is high time that Cleveland gets themselves a play-making quarterback. And Brady Quinn is not that player. I didn’t like the pick when they chose him because of his inability to play under pressure. In college, he caved in all the games that mattered.
Derek Anderson has at least shown he CAN play at a high level (2007), if only for a short while.
Cleveland will be faced with a difficult decision after the season. If they invest a huge sum in a new quarterback, what will they do with Quinn and Anderson, who are both being paid heaps of money?
If the Browns are interested in winning quickly any time soon, then drafting a QB would impact the team more than any other position.
Panthers 34 year old Jake Delhomme has been a solid, yet unspectacular quarterback for as long as I can remember. However, the aging bug seemed to have hit him suddenly in the playoffs last season. Delhomme has defied the odds by staying in the league for so many years, but like fellow quarterbacks Kurt Warner and Marc Bulger, he seems to be losing his touch.
The Panthers are much better than their record suggests. Yet, the struggles at quarterback have killed their ability to maintain balance on the offensive side of the ball. Watching Delhomme struggle to connect with his favorite receiver, Steve Smith, the one whom he could always throw the ball to in crunch time tells me something is terribly wrong. Drafting a quarterback has to be a top priority for Carolina in 2010.
49ers I am extremely impressed with the way Mike Singletary has turned San Francisco into a formidable team in such a short time. His no-nonsense style has brought out the best in a squad full of underachievers like Vernon Davis and Nate Clements. And most importantly, he has restored pride in running the ball and playing aggressive defense, both of which the 49ers do very well.
Nevertheless, Singletary has to realize that Shaun Hill is not the kind of player that will strike fear into opposing defense, and Alex Smith probably won’t ever move above back-up status. If the 49ers want to take the team to the next level, upgrading the quarterback position is a great way to do it.
Rams Not sure what to say about a team that has scored a less than a touchdown a game. Marc Bulger and Kyle Boller are very bad options at quarterback. Ever since Kurt Warner left, the Rams have been trying to fill the position with journeymen like Trent Green, Marc Bulger, and Kyle Boller.
To be fair, Bulger had a few good years in St. Louis, (remember when he was a viable fantasy starter?). I recall a friend pulling up the fantasy files on Youtube, and Marc Bulger was there on the screen, throwing ball after ball at a sign, each time hitting right on the money. I don’t think he can do that anymore, especially since he seems to be injured all the time.
Enough is enough, it is time to get a real quarterback in St. Louis.
Titans Isn’t it shocking that the team with the best regular season record last year is tied for worst in the NFL? Veteran quarterback Kerry Collins was able to lead Tennessee wonderfully last year, but that is no longer the case. Perhaps the changes on defense (losing defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz and Pro Bowl DT Albert Haynesworth) have destroyed the delicate balance that the Titans had going for them in their ball control offense and stymieing defense, in which case Kerry Collins and his offense are being asked to play high risk football- a game they are not comfortable playing.
Collins is not the type of player who will air it out and score 30 points a game. Struggling backup Vince Young is a terrible fit for this conservative Titans offense. You can’t expect him to succeed in a pro-style offense. And giving him a few special plays is not going to work either. He needs an offense that is catered to showing off his supreme athletic ability because he is not a natural pocket passer, and any attempt to force him into that role is asking him to play with one arm tied behind his back.
After seeing him play, I don’t believe Vince Young will ever be a good fit in Tennessee. Simply put, he doesn’t make sound decisions, and throws too many high-risk passes. Like I said before, the Titans game plan is predicated on ball control and stifling defense.
They should shop around for a quarterback that actually fits their scheme.
Cowboys If it were put to a fan vote, Tony Romo would no longer quarterback the Dallas Cowboys. But Jerry Jones locked Romo into a blockbuster contract that will make Romo very difficult to replace. It’s not his fault that the man writing his paycheck put one too many zeros on his paycheck. In my opinion, Tony Romo is a better-than-average quarterback who never really regained his confidence after blowing a playoff victory against Seattle in 2007. But he may be shipped out of Dallas along with Wade Phillips if the Cowboys don’t show some signs of life.
Raiders My instincts tell me there is very little chance that the Raiders will give up on JaMarcus Russell any time soon, despite the heavy pressure to escape mediocrity coming from outside the organization. Unfortunately, there is too much money riding on Russell to dump him now. He seems to be getting better, and the coaching staff is hoping that he will succeed if they give him more weapons. But I never have been too excited about Russell, and can’t help but feel that the fan base has also lost faith in his ability to lead the Raiders.
Even after only five games, fellow #1 overall pick Matthew Stafford has shown more promise than Russell has in his 24 games as a pro. Something has to change at quarterback for the Raiders, they can’t keep on this losing track much longer.
Ponder this question: would Russell be gone if his contract wasn’t so huge?