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Cory's Corner: The NCAA is failing its quarterbacks

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Cory's Corner: The NCAA is failing its quarterbacks

Something was sparked in my brain while watching Colin Kaepernick play — or feebly try to — on Thursday night.

And it wasn’t that Kaepernick has drastically regressed since getting within a few plays of a Super Bowl title — which he mightily has by the way.

The college game is not doing a good enough job of preparing quarterbacks for the NFL game.

Take a look around college football on a Saturday. The entire sport is in love with spread offenses and the read option. Scoring has become trendy as evidenced by Baylor being favored by 45 a couple weeks ago in a conference game at Kansas.

In 2000, Boise State led the NCAA in scoring offense with 44.9 points per game. This year, Baylor is averaging 63.8 and Texas Christian is second with 50.1. Those numbers may look imposing and impressive but it shows the widening gap between offenses and defenses in college.

Then again, it also shows how many quarterbacks are playing in a cookie-cutter offense. There are no pre-snap reads to make, just snap and sling it. Oregon with its patented quick-strike attack has the market cornered on this category with Akili Smith, Joey Harrington, Kellen Clemens and Dennis Dixon as quarterback flops. It’s still too early to tell on Marcus Mariota.

Of course there are exceptions, but for every Andrew Luck and Aaron Rodgers there’s Johnny Manziel, E.J. Manuel, Geno Smith, Robert Griffin III, Kaepernick and yes, Tim Tebow.

No matter how many read option quarterbacks come trickling into the NFL, the same principles will always apply. You must be able to make a three to six-step drop, be able to read a bevy of defenses and most importantly, be accurate.

A good case study is Kaepernick and Griffin. It looked like Kaepernick and Griffin might stick and stay in this league. Kaepernick became a scampering gazelle with a record-setting 181 rushing yards in a NFC Divisional Playoff against the Packers. Griffin dazzled in his first year with 20 touchdowns and only five interceptions en route to a 9-6 starting record, which led to him being selected as the 2012 Offensive Rookie of the Year.

The problem is, both guys prospered when the playbook was tapered and they had two reads to make. And if they didn’t like both of those reads, they just tucked and ran. Basically, they were running a college offense to start their NFL careers. When the playbooks got thicker and the responsibilities got more intense, it became harder for Kaepernick to understand the concepts — which is why former coach Jim Harbaugh threw Kaepernick’s work ethic under the bus last year. And after Griffin got hurt from having premature happy feet, his confidence took a nosedive and now looks to be a career NFL backup.

The NFL has always used the college game has its feeder program. The NFL loves that players must be three years removed from high school in order to be eligible for the draft.

However, the college game isn’t holding up its end of the bargain. The majority of college coaches have sold their soul for highlights and offensive plays, but actual concepts are getting left behind. Teams cannot teach the quarterback position with a plug-and-play attitude.

Teams may have success, because there aren’t enough quality defensive backs in college to stand up to the passing tidal wave. But the true measure of success is when quarterbacks come into the league with a blueprint of how to read and react without being confused or flustered.

I haven’t seen that from the read option crowd yet.



Cory Jennerjohn is a graduate from UW-Oshkosh and has been in sports media for over 15 years. He was a co-host on "Clubhouse Live" and has also done various radio and TV work as well. He has written for newspapers, magazines and websites. He currently is a columnist for CHTV and also does various podcasts. He recently earned his Masters degree from the University of Iowa. He can be found on Twitter: @Coryjennerjohn

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (48) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Bearmeat's picture

I used to be a big time Badger fan. Then I realized that not only was the product inferior to the NFL, but the majority of big time money athletes in schools across the country weren't college material in the first place. I got my doctorate at UT Austin. While there, I got a close up view on how dysfunctional the NCAA and complicit college administrators, coaches and boosters were.

College athletes should either be students first and athletes as a distant extra-curricular second, or they should not be students at all and there should be an established developmental league for football that pays the athletes for their work. Like the farm system in baseball or the U 17/20/23 system in soccer.

This is especially true in football, where effectively semi pro athletes are being paid nothing (at least legally) outside of a watered down "education" in sports management or something like that, and can have any play be their very last due to the constant threat of injury.

And now, as a college professor, I can view up close the finances of my university and how they are spent disproportionately on athletics. And further, how the football team funds all the other programs due to title IX laws.

The entire situation is just a cancer. Either separate college athletes entirely from being a "student". Or make them true student-athletes where classroom ability is more important than athletic ability and the funding for the sports themselves aren't out of control.

There. Rant over. Sorry for hijacking the thread Corey.

4thand1's picture

Good one Bear, I'm still laughing. Students first,lmfao.

GVPacker's picture

Great thought Bearmeat. Your post peels like a church bell.

Bearmeat's picture

Thanks GV.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

I spend a good portion of my career teaching in Universities and still pick up adjunct classes from time to time because I like students. It's not the job of universities to prepare athletes for some league. You don't get credits or a degree for playing sports.

Bearmeat's picture

Your dang right you don't jeremy. For over half my life now I've wanted to work at a University. Opening young adult's minds to new possibilities and helping refine graduate students to be the very best they can is an intoxicating and rewarding profession. That said, with how much universities have changed since the recession of 2008, I'm not sure this profession is financially viable anymore. The university has lost its own mission - both because of administrative and athletic bloat, and because the politicians know that cutting higher education funding is an easy sell to 80% of the population (basically almost everyone that doesn't have a student in college or soon to be in college).

It's sad.

Portland Mark's picture

Another thing that I hate about college football: The highest paid "state employee" is either the state school football or basketball coach. People complain about pubic employee retirement money. Here in Oregon Mike Belotti, formerly of the Oregon Ducks, pulls down $500,000 annually from the system while, as a retired teacher, pull about $24,000. They shouldn't be considered public employees. They are only there to create football machines, not educate people.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Portland Mark's comment is interesting. I can defend Bellotti's salary but not his pension amount. I note that Bellotti took a moribund football program and transformed it into a national powerhouse. His program produced the first 4 10+ win seasons ever for OU. Only perhaps 50 or probably at most a few hundred coaches can do that. The skill is extremely rare, and rarity coupled with huge financial gains leads to large salaries. That is called the free market at work, and explains why a successful coach makes millions.

As to the pension, PERS covers all people who work for the state of Oregon, including bureaucrats and local governmental employees - who teach no one - and universities and school teachers. Since Bellotti worked for the University, he was covered by PERS, and as a Tier One employee (which only means he started prior to 1996). As so often happens, the school looked for and found loopholes in the state pension plan to increase Bellotti's pay without having to justify it. [Bellotti only earned $150K in base salary in 2005 as HC and $299K as Athletic Director in his last year, 2009.] They decided to allow Bellotti to receive a % of the Nike shoe contract and television rights to the tune of $325k per year, and it also allowed Bellotti to earn 30 to 50% of season ticket sales. The university decided to have Nike pay all the money to the university and then have the university pay Bellotti his $325K per year, thus making the $325K income treated as reportable salary for pension purposes: it could have allowed Bellotti to have Nike pay Bellotti directly and thus make that money outside non-salary income. Same with the season ticket money, which seems almost gross to me. It makes me wonder whether the university/State used the same scheme with professors they wanted to retain, (grant money paid to the university which then paid the professor), or if such a scheme was used in other situations. The article does indicate that Bellotti's example demonstrates "how the mechanics of the PERS system can generate huge benefit flows for a fortunate few." I'd sure like some examples of the other fortunate few, but that probably doesn't fit the narrative. Another example of how public pension plans tend to hide the true total compensation of its employees is the "money match" under which at retirement PERS doubles the employee's retirement balance (which consists of state contributions, employee contributions, and all investment earnings over the years). I've never heard of a 100% match of employer, and employee contributions and investment earning before. Ever. It led to massive increased liabilities in PERS due to the rapid growth of investment earnings during the 1990s. Finally, federal law put caps on reportable salary for pension purposes, but courts ruled that it only applied to persons newly hired, so all employees hired before 1996 were grandfathered in under the old system.

The PERS website reports that the average employee who retired in 2014 had 22 years of service and received $2,347 per month ($28,164) plus a COLA (which can be meager or generous depending on how it is defined), and that this amount is 44% of their 2014 salary. Employees who retired in 2014 with 30 years of service received 66% of their 2014 salary.

Funding for the pension benefits (1970 to 2014) come from 3 sources: employee contribution ($5.55), employer contribution ($20.65) and investment income ($73.80) per $100 dollars paid out. [In fairness, this is over a 34 year time line, and one might assume that the employee contribution was probably nothing in 1970 and is a higher percentage now, but I can't find any numbers on this. OTOH, my brother has worked for the same company for 38 years now - since 1976 - so if his company would just be so obliging as to double his retirement account balance, he could retire tomorrow and take home more than his current salary plus benefits.]

Other top pension earners: School Superindendent ($240K/yr)
Atty gen +law school dean +3 terms as a state repe ($240K)
Director of Human resources Portland School District ($258K/yr)
Head Radiology 18 years of service ($357K/yr)

Bearmeat's picture

Well done Reynoldo.

WKUPackFan's picture

Agree with Bear 100%. The situation has become absurd. We're dealing with the ramifications here in Louisviile as a result of the Katina Powell situation. Amazingly, a lot of the talk is: Can Pitino keep his job? Can we win this year before the sanctions come? How will this effect recruiting?

Fortunately, there are voices stating the true issues: How can a University rely on football/basketball to improve it's image? How can we tolerate the treatment of women by our athletes? Exactly how did we get to the point that anyone would think it's acceptable to have prostitutes available for high school students and their fathers?

Bearmeat's picture

Do you know what offends me the most about the Pitino mess WKU? The fact that UL is in its own right an EXCELLENT institution of higher learning. It should not NEED basketball to positively affect the people of Kentucky. It does it every day by educating the young people in the area and via one of the best engineering and business schools in the country (among many other choices). But instead of relying on its deserved academic reputation, it caters itself as a great place to come watch games, drink beer and join a frat and spends 80% of its discretionary funds on capital improvements in order to convince 19 year olds that UL is better than UK.


(just to be clear the above is a nationwide problem - not just UL)

WKUPackFan's picture

I, and my U of L degree, thank you for the compliment!

To be clear: I'm all in favor of college athletics. CHTV runs a Vince Lombardi quote it. Western Kentucky's move up to Div. 1 football a few years ago has been an overall success (despite getting thumped by LSU). I believe it is a part (just a part) of President Ransdell's effort to raise WKU's profile. But, as a trade off, one year of Bobby Petrino was deemed necessary. Personally, I feel that was unacceptable, and unnecessary.

Cory Jennerjohn's picture

No problem Bearmeat. That was pretty interesting, and I agree with the whole thing. Big money has spoiled the student-athlete. I also didn't know that you were a professor.

4thand1's picture

With a handle like "Bearmeat", who'd thunk he would be a professor?

Bearmeat's picture

Everyone needs a hobby. And Packers football is mine. It's the time where I can yell and scream and occasionally curse in a way that would get me in big trouble in the classroom! Me got smrt. ;)

4thand1's picture

With a handle like "Bearmeat", who'd thunk he would be a professor? He also looks a lot like Kermit de frog.

Bearmeat's picture

Did you click on the image? Read the meme. It goes along well with my handle. :D

4thand1's picture

I lived through the dark times too. These blogs are a good way to blow off steam. I also come here to vent. Just keep things in perspective and don't try to manage and control what TT will or won't do. Its football, enjoy the ride.

TommyG's picture

Bearmeat has hit the nail on the head. It's not so much that colleges aren't holding up their end of the football career cycle, it's that they just don't care. Spread offenses and PPG are what sell tickets and merchandise. These high scoring offenses bring high rankings and, in a round about way, more money. Colleges do not care if their senior QB finds success in the NFL. They know a desperate pro team will select their superstar high in the draft, and they will then use that as a recruiting tool for other players. "Look at our pro-pipeline" they will say to young high school kids whom dream of madden covers. The list grows longer each year: Tebow, RGIII, Mariotta, Winston, Manziel (just to name a few). Did anyone really think these guys were going to be good NFL QB? If they did then they got caught in hype. None of these players ran pro-style offenses in college. But woe to the GM who doesn't pick the hype player when their team doesn't have a QB. so who is truly to blame? The colleges or the GM? I say both!

Ferrari Driver's picture

I agree with da teacher.

Ibleedgreenmore's picture

I know its not a big deal but we lost Gaston to the bears. I thought he was a good player but you can only keep so many. Also Sebetic has been signed and since I am from Kenosha its neat to see him back.

Dan Stodola's picture

The whole premise of the article is that the NCAA is somehow responsible for producing NFL players. No doubt they do produce NFL players, but that is NOT the responsibility of the NCAA, nor the teams of the universities in the NCAA.

Each college program is responsible for producing only a product that represents that university. In doing so, it SHOULD (we know its not the case) use students that are committed to earning themselves a degree from that university. It should build university camaraderie and pride for its community. To some degree it does that.

Beyond that it should be the goal of the universities teams to win and create winners in life.

Winning games is where the author fails here. Winning can be done in many ways and the idea that the football teams are failing because they are somehow supposed to provide quality NFL QB's. The football teams at these universities should not care in the least if they are creating NFL QB's. They should care only about winning football games, and building a better community in the confines of their campus. Beyond that to create successful people. Certainly its debatable if that's actually the case, but it irrelevant to its football players become good NFL QB's.

Its completely laughable to be honest to say that colleges are failing in some way because they aren't producing NFL QB's. Clearly they aren't, but that is not a mission, a goal or a responsibility of the universities football programs!

All that said, college football is not producing good NFL QB's. Its a problem the NFL faces and it goes down to the Pop Warner and HS programs. Those programs take the best athletes and put the ball in their hand as QB's. And it works for them. The problem is that NFL QB's don't need to be the best athletes, they need to be good athletes, great passers and the best LEADERS.

So the colleges aren't producing good NFL QB's w/o a doubt, But that isn't and shouldn't be the goal of ANY college football program. To think it should is completely flawed and irrational thinking!

4thand1's picture

The goal is to make lots and lots of money through sports. The economic professors must be laughing all the way to the bank.

Dan Stodola's picture

In my rant I didn't include that. But that kinda fall under the umbrella of building its community.

Overall, the NCAA is a completely flawed concept and for some reason the universities either don't recognize this or chose to ignore it.

But yes, you are right, its all about the $$$.

Bearmeat's picture

No. Most econ profs are beyond angry that the mission of the university has been hijacked by "student-athletes" that are not by and large students. And further, that only about 80 universities across the country actually even make money on sports. The vast majority of programs are money drains for the truly important programs that a university offers.

Evan's picture

All true. College football is and should be about winning games, not developing NFL players.

Which is exactly why the NFL needs a real developmental league.

You always insisted that the NCAA was the NFL's developmental league. It's nice to see you now admitting that it's not.

Dan Stodola's picture

The fact that college football is a developmental league, is different from whether of not its supposed to be a developmental league. There is no doubt that it is to some degree, but its not the universities responsibility to produce NFL players.

I don't see the NFL using a developmental league of its own due to monetary issues. And why should they, when they have what amounts to a free feeder system from the NCAA.

An NFL based developmental league would almost undoubtedly create better NFL QB's. And if the NFL is that concerned about having bona fide NFL QB's for every NFL team they should create a developmental league to assure there are more good NFL QB's. But I don't think the NFL should or will create its own developmental league, because they would have fund it, support and and the NFL would lose money doing it.

So I haven't changed my thinking. I don't think the NFL will have its own developmental league, but its all about dollars and has nothing to do with providing good NFL players.

Evan's picture

An NFL developmental league would undoubtedly create better QBs?

You've convinced me. I'm in.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

It seems clear to me that the NCAA is a developmental league for the NFL. At present it is not sending many NFL-ready QBs, and perhaps the offensive linemen tend to be behind in their pass protection skills, but overall it is pretty much the sole talent pool from which the NFL obtains professional players.

Dan S is absolutely correct that the NCAA owes no duty to produce NFL-ready QBs. I suppose the answer is for young QB prospects with professional aspirations to choose schools that have pro offenses and shun the gadget type schools.

Dan Stodola's picture

Exactly TGR. If a HS QB wants to play in the NFL, its in his best interests to go to a Stanford, USC or hell even Wisconsin. Schools where they will play in Pro Style offenses and help them develop the passing skills among other skills that lead to successful NFL QB's.

For the life of me, I can't figure out why UW can't seem to find ANY capable QB's. It would seem a great school to attend for HS QB's w/ Pro aspirations. Yet we've had to put up w/ Stave for 4 F'in years!

As for the OL, they are all being trained now for pass blocking. Few OL are going into the NFL ready for the run blocking. All the OL in the college programs are mostly adept at moving back and sideways, not actually blocking in the run game so much. At least, power run blocking. All zone blocking in college and moving sideways and back in pass blocking again due to the proliferation of the spread offenses.

Handsback's picture

Charlie Strong, who I consider a great coach and life coach for these HS kids, has been criticized by Texas HS coaches because he wants to run a pro style offense. All of the Texas high schools QBs are using the spread or a variation. So as a college coach do you force them into a pro-style offense right out of HS and don’t expect them to really contribute for only a few years or go along with the spread. The bigger question are the HS QBs that are the 5 star recruits…..will they want to slow down and learn the pro offense or make a splash right away.
These are hard choices for all when looking at HS QBs.

Bearmeat's picture

....and here you've underlined ANOTHER problem with athletics and its over-inflated importance in our culture. High School Athletic programs should NOT be a daily activity for 4 hours over the course of 4 months. And more over the summer IF the student actually wants to start.

High school spread offenses are ridiculous. Sure, they create matchup problems. But do they teach the fundamentals of the game? No. Are they serving the long term benefit of the student or just trying to win games in the easiest way possible? I think the latter.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

You suggest that athletics in high schools has an over-inflated importance in our culture. Of course that begs the question as to what importance our culture should attribute to athletics. As it happens, varsity sports were important to my socialization, but in their absence I imagine that I would have joined clubs or other activities.

I would posit that teaching high school students the fundamentals of football does not serve the long term benefit of 99.9% of students, since almost all high school players stop playing organized football after graduating from high school. In most other sports, one already knows the fundamentals of the game: if one does not, that person would not have made the team in the first place, and therefore would not have received any teaching. My tennis coach was a kind man who spent a lot of time on the logistics and complying with all WIAA rules, but I did not pay any heed to his suggestions regarding form and little heed to his suggestions about tactics, and quite rightly so.

It seems to me that in order to field a football, basketball or volleyball team (for example), substantial practice time is required. Many of the players need work on their individual skills and to learn the schemes. IIRC I practiced about 2 hours per day, M-F, for about 3 months, much of it of questionable value since I played an individual sport.

Bearmeat's picture


To be clear - I'm not arguing that sports should be eliminated from the academic curriculum. They have value. Things like lifelong fitness, teamwork, comradery, work ethic, healthy competition, goal setting, kinesthetic intelligence , etc... These are all good things. I'm just ruing that by and large on a nationwide level, they have taken over what it means to attend a school - whether collegiate or high school.

I'd personally like to see less of a "Cadillac" education system - and more of a targeted skills based one. Not everyone is going to be in the NFL - we know that. But not everyone is going to be an engineer or a musician either. So why spend 12 years (or often 16) requiring advanced math or civics lessons for someone who is very skilled at writing? Or even being a farmer? Switzerland, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland have tracked education figured out very well. And in those countries, there's no stigma to being a blue collar worker like there is here.

But that is another discussion. :)

4thand1's picture

A lot of the countries you mentioned Bear, are way ahead of us in higher education . Finland, you can go to college for free. As usual in the good ol USA, its all about profit. I played hockey in high school, and hockey is the main sport where I come from. We jocks got a lot of attention. But , in my school you had to keep your gpa up or you didn't play.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

A little anecdote for Bearmeat: a friend transferred in to Wisconsin from Germany where they had lived for several years in 1975. This friend claimed that while attending school in Germany he got an A on every test, quiz, and assignment, but at the end of the year the German teacher gave him a B. My friend (and apparently his parents later) pointed out to the teacher that he had a solid A average, to which the teacher replied: "In my judgment, you are a B student." And that was that. There was of course no recourse, and the teachers in Germany apparently were disgusted with my friends parents. As you may know, at least at that time grades were very important, as the decision whether a student would be attending trade school or be eligible for advanced studies came earlier in Germany, at least back then.

My friend and his twin of course finished high school here in Wisconsin with close to perfect 4.0 GPAs. I guess there was no grade inflation in Germany, to say the least.

Tarynfor12's picture

The NFL is doing and giving the fans exactly what they want whether the fans know it or accept it.

Having 32 Rodgers,Brady's,Manning's etc in the league at one time would be as boring as having 32 Ponder's,Hoyer's etc.Each would be a Roc'em-Soc'em boxing game with either no knockout punch or every punch is a knockout.

The NFL doesn't want either of those scenarios but wants to maintain the upset possibility to its maximum and that is allowing or creating actual or hyped facades in the evolution of the game via the QB play.....the running athletic QB vs the pure pocket QB.

Those who love the strategy of football want a pocket guy and those who take football for merely an excuse to scream etc on the weekend want the long list of athletic crap(IMO) that has brought us to having this discussion in the first place.

The NFL doesn't care what the college does as to playbook for the QB,as long as they can have the required number of Elite Pro Style QB in the league to offset the video game horror that business and media brainwash the masses in thinking is good for it.

The Bills GM mentioning E.J.Manuel has 'Elite QB' qualities,much less the daily/weekly bs that comes from the bought pundits,should be a wake up call for any/every fan of football on either side of the argument.

The NFL has maintained the 5 Elite status QB's in any ten year period for a long time, even if those not in the top 5 rank played a little different or simply worse or like today with the Kordell 'Slash' Stewart upgrades many assumed has taken place will not change.It will always be the '5' against the rest no matter the new type that comes about and their success will come in the first few seasons or never at all.

I will offer an applause to those calling games as I have not heard as often as before the infamous ranting after a play..." Only he can make that throw" used for any QB outside the 'Elite' that actually merit it's use.Perhaps a baby step to reality but a step no less. :)

Evan's picture

Having 32 quality QBs would be boring?

Couldn't disagree more. I like quality football. Some of these Qb match ups week in and week out are an embarrassment. I'd much rather watch Brady and Rodgers play than EJ Manual and Ryan Mallet. Give me more good QBs.

marpag1's picture

American colleges and universities charge obscene amounts of tuition, and they graduate a product that is perfectly pedestrian in comparison to their international peers. The REAL educational systems in places like China, Finland, Korea etc routinely kick our scrawny academic asses, especially in ultra-important subjects like math and science. Hell, half of the US population can't even add or subtract unless they crank up the calculator on their iPhone, and even then its touch and go.

And here we are. mortified that American colleges are failing in their sacred trust to produce high-quality NFL quarterbacks.... y'know, the kind that don't just run spread offenses and the read option.


Tarynfor12's picture

Football is nowhere near the reason other countries kick our asses in math etc.The PC mandate and extreme personal agendas of many of the tenured Professors have a hand in it. Wouldn't the same logic apply to countries who have ten times the fan base and passion for soccer be a reason for their failings in education...though I would lean more towards that being legit than our football on our college education.

I don't think the college kids after graduation are less knowledgeable,I believe it simply takes them a few years in the real world to awaken from the induced PC coma they were induced into. Then they make decisions based on what is really in their eyes and ears.Proof of this IMO,is the number of college students that voted for Obama in each of his elections and after being in the real world a few years afterward,the severe drop in number that say they would do so again.They of coarse are hopelessly brainwashed and have not been given the college education merited by scholarship or the money they paid for it....loons.Thus, why I'm in favor of raising the voting age to 25 unless you are serving in the military,especially since it's those college students who voted in the previous two elections that are compelled to move in with Mommy and Daddy because the agenda they voted for has kicked their asses.

Blaming football for any decline in actual education in college is IMO...uneducated.

Lets not forget the high number of morons.both male and female,who go to college simply for the party and then complain even more so since McDonalds makes them serve breakfast all day...the horror of their own bed making. :)

marpag1's picture

I don't really know what your point is. But please note that I never even came close to blaming football for a decline in education.

I don't fault schools for failing to produce good quarterbacks. I fault schools for failing to be good schools.

tjm65's picture

Not to say there aren't thoughtful, intelligient comments here for sure (Bearmeat's for ex), but this is one of the dumber comments I've read on this site, and that's saying something.

Norm's picture

Cory, Kaepernick did not get "within a game of the Super Bowl", he actually played in the Super Bowl against the Ravens and threw for over 300 yards in defeat (nearly pulling out a comeback from a 22 point deficit). Not a Kaepernick fan at all, just want to set the record straight.

marpag1's picture

Meh. It's not the first time that Cory has trotted out this argument, but frankly it's always been just a bunch of wild speculation.

The entire article is apparently built on the premise that QB play in the NFL is going to heck in a hand basket, yet nowhere does the article make any serious attempt to prove that claim. I guess we're just supposed to take it for granted. Apparently, the logic (or lack thereof) is this: "Colin Kaepernick exists. Therefore the status of NFL quarterbacking is obviously circling the bowl."

(Just out of curiosity, does the existence of Tyrod Taylor, with his passer rating of 103.6 mean that the NFL is entering a new golden age? Or would it just be kind of silly to try to extrapolate the condition of NFL play based on just one guy... like Kaepernick?)

But it gets even more confusing. The article points out that college offenses are scoring more and more points. Land sakes, the Baylor Bears are averaging almost 64 per game! And this means... um.... that the QBs suck?

How about doing a little factual research instead of tossing out unsubstantiated speculation?

I understand that statistics can never tell the whole story. I also understand that the rules of the game have changed. But if the QBs coming into the league are so god-awful bad, how can we explain the FACT that qb ratings continue their inexorable march upward, that completion percentages have never been higher, and that interception percentage has tumbled to almost nothing?

Maybe these stats don't prove that QB play is getting better, but they sure as heck don't prove that QB play is getting worse.

So who exactly are these sucky QBs in the league today? I count a good four sure-fire locks for the HOF: Brady, P. Manning, Rodgers and Brees. Let me say that differently: 12.5% of the NFL's current starting quarterbacks are guaranteed Hall of Famers. That doesn't suck, does it.

If Superbowl winner Russell Wilson (whose career passer rating of 98.3 ranks #2 all time) continues as he has begun, he’s first ballot, no questions asked. Andrew Luck, despite his struggles this year, is legit and has a shot as well. Roethlisberger has played 10 years, has a 94 passer rating, 2 SB rings and 3 appearances. Eli Manning has two rings and isn’t
impossible for the HOF either. Maybe it's not likely, but is it that much of a stretch to say that 5 to 8 current starters could end up in the Hall? If all 8 made it, that’s fully one-quarter of the current starters.

Rivers is decent, as are Joe Flacco, Tony Romo, Matt Ryan and Cam Newton. Even “ordinary guys” like Carson Palmer, Andy Dalton, Stafford and Tannehill certainly don’t fall much below the historical average for QB play, if at all. And what does the future hold for Bridgewater or Derek Carr?

I've watched the NFL for a lot more years than I really care to admit. And over all those decades I cannot remember any time or era when the quarterbacking was clearly and significantly better than it is now. And I can't remember any time or era when there weren't a bunch of Chicken Little's fretting about the death and demise of the NFL QB.

Dan Stodola's picture

Its always been the case that there are a FEW QB who are just head and shoulders above the rest. I agree w/ the article in a small sense in that the spread offenses proliferating in college don't do a good job of getting QB's ready for the NFL. But then neither did the wishbone and option offenses that used to be used at Oklahoma and Nebraska.

The author does a rather poor job of making his case. But he's a member of the "media" having covered such things as polo. Yes polo. Personally if I was a member of the media, I would be very careful of every article I wrote, as it reflects on me professionally, even if its a "free site" like this.

Bearmeat's picture

If only you were as careful with your often insulting comments as you claim you would be when writing an article....

Look dude. If you don't like what someone has to say, you don't have to participate. Take your clicks elsewhere. Voice your opinion by causing the "free site" to lose ad revenue.

But don't be a jerk.

Dan Stodola's picture

Marpag was talking about the author and so was I, who's a member of the paid media, not the site. I was following up on what he said.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Well said, Marpaq1. I grew up with Bobbie Douglas, Jack Concannon, and Kent Nix (who was going to be the savior of the Chicago Franchise). Yikes! Then I moved to Wisconsin too late for Starr and had to deal w Scott Hunter, Tagge, Hadl then Dickey/Whitehurst/Dickey, etc. Detroit had sort of average guys, Sweetan (who was bad), Bill Munson who gave way to Gregg Landry. The latter two were decent. The vikings had Fran Tarkenton until 1965, which is really before my time, then Joe Kapp (exciting - yes; good? no), then they got Tarkenton (HOFer) back in 1972. This is a small sample size, but in our division there generally was one good QB, one, sometimes 2, that was average, one or 2 that were bad or godawful.

Compare that to recent times. Rodgers is great (HOF). Ponder was terrible, jury is out on Bridgewater. Stafford is mediocre minus. Before Stafford Detroit had Orlovski, Kitna, Joey Harrington. Cutler is a guy you can't win with, and is bad. Before Cutler there was Orton and Grossman. Not much difference in the quality of QBs, imo.

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