Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

04 Oct 2007

The Week in Quotes: October 4, 2007

compiled by Ben Riley

BY THE TIME WE GET TO ARIZONA (YOU MAY HAVE FINISHED READING THIS EPIC QUOTE)

"Not maybe the perfect scenario."

-- Arizona Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt's initial description of the quarterback controversy between Matt Leinart and Kurt Warner, after Warner efficiently led the Cardinals' "no-huddle package" against the Baltimore Ravens (USA Today)

"I know that this is my team. I know I'm the quarterback of this team. I'm competitive. I'm not just going to throw in the towel and give in to what everyone is saying. I'm going to go out there, work harder."

-- Matt Leinart, prior to the Cardinals-Steelers game last Sunday

"If you're saying it motivates me, maybe, maybe not."

-- Leinart, during the same interview (Arizona Republic)

"[It] is a little bit weird. And yet, 'Why not?'"

-- Kurt Warner, describing the Cardinals' unusual quarterback-by-committee situation (also prior to the Steelers game)

"If you take away the four drops from his stats and ... compare the protection ... I don't think you can say Kurt played that much better."

-- Whisenhunt, comparing the performance of his two quarterbacks against the Ravens

"If Matt continues to work on his game and make plays like he did against Seattle, like he did in situations in this game [against the Ravens] where if the balls had been caught ... I don't think there becomes a controversy. If Matt doesn't play well and continues to not play well, that's something you have to look at. But that's not the case here. That's not what happened."

-- Whisenhunt, fooling exactly no one (East Valley Tribune)

"I'd be lying if I said it was easy to handle. In the middle of the game [after he was benched] I wasn't sure what was going on."

-- Leinart, after being benched for a second time and after Warner led the Cardinals to victory over the Steelers (East Valley Tribune)

"I just want them to ride or die with me. If I'm the franchise quarterback, play me and let me stumble, because I'll fight through it, and that will help me and our team in the long run."

-- Leinart

"I know coaches want to win now, and I guess they have their reasons. But I don't understand it, and this switching back and forth is almost worse than getting benched."

-- Leinart (Yahoo! Sports)

"None of that was said. I don't really recall ever saying any of those things to anyone. I'm not sure why it was written that way or said that way. But that's not my problem."

-- Leinart, issuing a half-hearted denial of the quotes reported by Yahoo! Sports

"Let me just give a little advice to Matt Leinart: Shut up."

-- Cris Collinsworth on Inside the NFL

"We have two guys who are unique ... two unselfish guys who have a very good relationship ... There's no question in his demeanor on the field and his relationship with Kurt and what he does ... that he's committed to doing whatever it takes to win. I have no questions about that whatsoever."

-- Whisenhunt, half-heartedly denying that Warner is the new Cardinals starting quarterback (East Valley Tribune)

"I joke with Matt, 'Hey, I'm pretty good,' but that's part of this, too. It's a hard situation for him; if I were the starter, I'd be upset. As the backup, I have no complaints. All I can ask for is a chance to play every week. It's working, for now. We'll see how it plays out."

-- Warner, after beating the Steelers

"The whole thing is weird. He sits Matt all that time, then puts him back in and has him throwing deep? It's just weird. I don't see how it can work. But that's just me."

-- Steelers quarterback -- and vocal Whisenhunt detractor -- Ben Roethlisberger, after the Cardinals beat the Steelers (Yahoo! Sports)

"I know what Matt's going through."

-- Roethlisberger, commenting on the Warner-Leinart confusion prior to the Cardinals-Steelers game

"Is that good or bad? I think Ben had a couple of perfect passer ratings and I think he won a Super Bowl, so if that's a product of it, then that's not bad."

-- Whisenhunt, reacting to Roethlisberger's comment (Arizona Republic)

ARE YOU READY FOR SOME AWKWARDNESS!?!

"The [Bengals] fans getting all lathered up for a third-and-2 stop, and Mr. Cool, Mr. Magazine Cover, Mr. Photo Spread just strolling on over..."

-- Mike Tirico, describing Tom Brady as he walked to the Patriots sidelines at the end of the third quarter during the Monday night Patriots-Bengals game

"TONY'S BOY!"

-- Ron Jaworski, interrupting Tirico

"Are you suggesting I have a man-crush on Tom Brady?"

-- Kornheiser, after a pause

"Yeah I am."

-- Jaworski

"Have you seen those photos? I've seen the girlfriends, c'mon."

-- Kornheiser

"He [Tom Brady] is 'The Boss' of New England sports. To the fourth quarter, Patriots by 14."

-- Tirico, as Bruce Springsteen played in the background before the commercial break

ZOINKS! (THE SOUND THE BALL MAKES WHEN DARRELL JACKSON DROPS A PASS)

"I couldn't see the ball. My helmet sat too high on my head."

-- 49ers wide receiver Darrell Jackson, explaining why he dropped the likely winning touchdown catch against the Cardinals in Week 1. Jackson later reduced the size of his afro.

"I just had problems with one dude. It just so happened it was the head dude. Everything else was cool."

-- Jackson, describing his contentious relationship with Seahawks general manager Tim Ruskell that led to his trade for a fourth-round pick

"His personality, he acts like a hippie in the late '60s as a laid-back guy."

-- 49ers head coach Mike Nolan, describing Jackson (San Francisco Chronicle)

ORCH DORK IS THE MADDEN KING, GOOD AT EVERYTHING EXCEPT TIPPING

"It's my Madden belt. I just let everybody know I'm the champ."

-- Lions wide receiver Roy Williams, explaining why he was giving a press conference while wearing an imitation boxing championship belt

"I'm good at everything we do. If we had a bowling champion, I'd be the bowling champ."

-- Williams, who's about eleven times funnier than a certain wide receiver in Cincinnati

"If we had a cooking champ I'd be the cooking champ."

-- Williams

"I'm good at everything."

-- Williams (Oakland Press)

"The pizza man knows when he comes to my address, he's coming for free. But I am real polite and I say, 'Thank you, sir.'''

-- Williams (on WDFN Radio in Detroit and as quoted by Peter King in Sports Illustrated)

SPEAKING OF A CERTAIN WIDE RECEIVER IN CINCINNATI...

"If you don't want to be on this team, please don't show up! You don't call the offense, you don't call the plays. You just play."

-- Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis, delivering a "profanity-laced tirade" to his team after the Bengals lost to the Patriots on Monday night

"Nowhere in the NFL do guys act like this. We've got to figure this out."

-- Lewis, during the tirade (ESPN.com)

"I'm just as upset, obviously, as I can be. Right now, we're finding a way to play not well enough to win. We're going to see who we're going to fight with. If we have to make changes, we'll make changes."

-- Lewis, after calming down a bit, during the post-game press conference (Cincinnati Enquirer)

DON'T SUGER-COAT IT, KRIS, TELL US HOW YOU REALLY FEEL

"You all ready? All right, I'm going to be honest. I think the players owe the fans an apology. I would be as upset as they are if I had to sit in the stands for four hours and look at that garbage. I'm going to be honest with you. That's what it was, garbage."

-- Panthers defensive tackle Kris Jenkins, venting after the Panthers lost to the Buccaneers, 20-7

"As a team collectively, we have no heart. We have no energy. We have no drive."

-- Jenkins

"This is not a 9-to-5 job. This is a game. It is a street fight. It is a gladiator sport and I apologize that sometimes I don't look the part for what people want me to be. I'm not the weight that everybody wants me to be. But when I step on that field, what you are going to see is pride and heart because I value this game."

-- Jenkins

"Right now, my heart hurts."

-- Jenkins

"It is a professional sport and you have people out here, such as myself, who love this game enough that they're going to put it all out on the field. Tampa Bay came and they did that and they royally broke their foot off in our butt. I have nothing else to say."

-- Jenkins (Charlotte Observer)

IS LINEHAN OUT OF HIS VULCAN MIND?

"Logic isn't always the answer for a number of reasons."

-- Rams head coach Scott Linehan, struggling to explain why he played an injured and ineffective Marc Bulger against the Cowboys

"Last year, he played with a very similar injury, and played his best football. He's our quarterback."

-- Linehan, making a dubious causal inference

"We have no other options right now."

-- Rams offensive coordinator Greg Olson, apparently unaware of the continued existence of Gus Frerotte. Yesterday, the Rams announced that they will start Frerotte against the Cardinals this Sunday. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

WHO CONTROLS THE PAST CONTROLS THE FUTURE: WHO CONTROLS THE PRESENT CONTROLS THE PAST.

"I loved holding the touchdown record for the past 13 years. But if someone was going to break it, I'm glad it was someone like you, who has always competed at the highest level and always played to win."

-- Dan Marino, issuing an Orwellian-like video statement of appreciation to Brett Favre after Favre broke Marino's career record for touchdown passes. Favre appeared to ignore Big Brother Marino's statement in its entirety. (ESPN.com)

"I didn't have anything in my contract about the ability to control trades, which is why I'm riding this bus right now.''

-- Former Atlanta Falcons head coach -- and current head coach of the Portland State Vikings -- Jerry Glanville, Brett Favre's first coach in the NFL, pondering how his life might have been different had the Falcons not traded Favre to the Packers.

"Jerry kept telling me what a problem Brett was. When the season ended, he made it clear that Brett would be nothing more than a third-team quarterback for us. He told me, 'If you can get a first-round pick for him, you're a genius.'''

-- Former Atlanta Falcons general manager Ken Herock, having none of it(Sports Illustrated)

CITY LIGHTS ARE OH SO BRIGHT, AS WE GO SLIDING/SLIDING/SLIDING THROUGH

"Brian is our quarterback, yes."

-- Bears head coach Lovie Smith, who seems to have developed a reflex muscle in his throat to answer the "Who is the Bears' quarterback this week?" question.

"It's not a good sign when the Bears are throwing 52 times."

-- Bears right tackle Fred Miller, accurately diagnosing part of the problem

"I think that's where we're all kind of scratching our heads around here."

-- Miller, when asked why the coaching staff had Griese throw 52 times against the Lions (ESPN.com)

IRONICALLY, HOLMGREN TRADED SHAUN ALEXANDER AND D.J. HACKETT TO ACQUIRE BRANCH

"I think the first week Coach Holmgren didn't have [Deion Branch] on his fantasy team, and then he was able to trade for him and it really changed everything."

-- Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, explaining why Deion Branch's numbers have improved since Week 1

"I got a real team. It's not fantasy. It's real, live."

-- Hasselbeck,, when asked whether he too participated in fantasy football (Tacoma News-Tribune)

MAKING LOVE WITH HIS EGO/ZYGI SUCKED UP INTO HIS MIND

"There has been a bad rap that all you're doing is further enriching an owner if you give public funds for a new stadium. But that is not the case. It's a fallacy."

-- Vikings owner Zygi Wilf, explaining why it's a fallacy to think that taxing the public to build a private stadium does not enrich the owner who receives the benefit of playing in the new stadium. (Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune)

"We're built to be consistent on the long term. We have a commitment to getting a team that is not built for a one-shot affair, so to speak. We want to build a team that's consistent for many, many years to come. For decades to come."

-- Wilf, failing to elaborate on what sort of consistency the Vikings are seeking (CBS Sportsline)

"I told them they need to win games."

-- Minnesota State Senator Tom Bakk, on what it will take for the Vikings to secure public financing for a new stadium (Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune)

BLACK IN THE SADDLE

"When you look at it, it's so true because we're still slaves in so many ways. If you look at the things the slaves were doing when we didn't have any rights, we're still doing them now but without chains. We have more freedom, but at the same time, if we get out of line, [the establishment] will get us back right, real fast."

-- Jaguars wide receiver Dennis Northcutt, describing the first takeaway point from his summer book reading, "$40 Million Slaves: The Rise, Fall and Redemption of the Black Athlete"

"I don't think a black person, ever in a million years, would know that black jockeys at one time dominated the sport. Have you ever seen a black jockey? That chapter was amazing."

-- Northcutt, describing the second takeaway point (Florida Times-Union)

REJECTED FLAVORS INCLUDED 'JOCK ITCH,' 'HGH-FORTIFIED RAGE,' AND 'CONCUSSED HEAD'

"It pays tribute to football players. The amount of sweat they go through, and they're eating dirt and grass and using sports creams -- those were the four flavors that really resonated with them."

-- Peter van Stolk, CEO of Jones Soda (the official soft-drink provider for the Seattle Seahawks), explaining why Seahawks-related Jones Sodas come in Dirt, Sports Cream, Perspiration, and Natural Field Turf flavors (Seattle Times)

THE WEEK IN HERM

"I called the team up, and I said, 'You're doing great.'"

-- Herm, describing his halftime speech (at the time, the Chiefs were trailing the Chargers 16-6)

"They all looked at me, like, 'Do you know what the score is?' and I said: 'You're really doing good. We're fine.' They trust me enough to when I say something, they know I'm telling the truth."

-- Herm

"What we've done well is we survived. We got into that (0-2) wreck again, but we had our seat belts on, and we got out of the car, took it to the auto shop, knocked out the dents, and we're starting to roll again."

-- Herm (Kansas City Star)

"People ask me what was I thinking last week? It's the truth. I was thinking that. But you can think a lot of things; but until you react it's just a thought. There are a lot of things you think but you don't react. That's just part of football."

-- Herm, explaining his comment a week ago that he "thought about" replacing Damon Huard with Brodie Croyle (KCChiefs.com)

THE REST

"There's a lot worse things. I could be over in Iraq right now."

-- Rams quarterback Marc Bulger, putting his rib injury into perspective (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

"We're forced into a situation [where] our backs are against the wall. This is a must-win for us. Write it how you want to write it. We will win on Sunday."

-- Dolphins linebacker Joey Porter, prior to the Dolphins home game against the Oakland Raiders. The Dolphins lost, 35-17. (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)

"When the ball bounces off your head, you can't use too many excuses other than, "I'm an idiot.'"

-- Colts wide receiver tight end Dallas Clark (Colts.com)

"Everything goes from HD to regular TV, and that's the truth."

-- Dolphins linebacker Zach Thomas, describing the effects of his concussion (

-- Patriots tight end Ben Watson, offering to switch roles with linebacker Mike Vrabel (Providence Journal)

"That's the passion of the fans. That's the way they are. It's never going to change."

-- Chargers general manager A.J. Smith, describing Chargers' fans newly discovered passion for chanting "MAR-TY, MAR-TY." (North County Times)

"Everybody was saying, 'It looked like a video game out there for you.'"

-- Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora, after sacking Donovan McNabb six times and possibly singlehandedly ending the career of Eagles left tackle Winston Justice. (Sports Illustrated)

"The day before I got called by the Seahawks, I got pooped on by a cow."

-- Seattle's newly signed long snapper, Jared Retkofsky, who had been working on a ranch in Texas (Tacoma News-Tribune)

"No."

-- Text message sent by Corey Dillon to his agent, Steve Feldman, after Feldman texted Dillon to ask if he was interested in playing for the Buccaneers (ESPN.com)

Send your quotes -- along with a link to your source -- to quotes-at-footballoutsiders.com, just like Andrew and "bobman" did this week. This week's TWIQ is offensive to any man or woman, whether black, white, or purple.

Posted by: Ben Riley on 04 Oct 2007

84 comments, Last at 06 Oct 2007, 5:33pm by Alex

Comments

1
by Penrose 10,000 (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 11:26am

Does it seem that Whisenhunt could handle this QB situation better? Instead of a "controversy," just say Warner is part of a different personnel package. Does a starting running back complain when he leaves the field for a power back in a short yardage situation? No, and Leinart should be no different. This is innovation of the QB position.

2
by James, London (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 11:26am

Crazy week for quotes. Herm looks almost sane this week.

3
by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 11:29am

1. I completely agree.

People are making this a story for the wrong reason. Wisenhunt is doing what his team needs to do to win. He's playing the better player (Warner) while giving the future (Leinart) as much playing time as possible. When Leinart gets better than Warner, Warner won't be playing anymore.

4
by JasonK (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 11:45am

I meant to send this one in, but I never got around to it. From Jesse Palmer's blog on TSN.CA:

I can say from experience that cheerleader distraction during games is real.

While starting for the New York Giants in week 16 versus the Dallas Cowboys in 2005, I found out just how distracting cheerleaders can be. In that game we started several drives inside our own 20-yard line, with each drive following a TV timeout. With my back to the end zone in the huddle, I became frustrated because I couldn't make eye contact with any of my 10 teammates as I was trying to call our plays; they were all staring right at the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders who were performing in the end zone.

I remember our offensive linemen shaking their heads in utter amazement, but the classic line came from our tight end, Visanthe Shiancoe, who interrupted me in the middle of a play call and said, "Jesse you really need to turn around and see this..."

5
by JJcruiser (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 11:50am

1: Instead of a “controversy,� just say Warner is part of a different personnel package.

He did. Whisenhunt said it exactly that way after the Ravens game.

The problem isn't the idea, or how Whisenhunt portrays it. It's that Leinart is a selfish little prick who demonstrates the antithesis of a team-winning attitude.

Can you imagine anyone on the Patriots saying "I want them to die or ride with me" and that it's "better to lose" together?

Never. Because there, and probably in most teams, such me-first attitude would not be tolerated. Leinart should say publically "whatever we have to do to win" and "I want to be out there as a competitor, but as a member of the team, I just want us all to win" and "it's a team sport." Instead he says he wants to bring everyone down with him?

Of course that's what he might think privately. Rex Grossman might think that. [Insert obscure backup QB] probably thinks that. But saying it makes him sound like a whiner and I'd be tempted to bench him just for that reason if I were Whisenhunt.

Herm wasn't very funny this week, but Linehan was. I think it must have something to do with losing making one funnier.

6
by kevinNYC (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 11:52am

Put me in the group that thinks this QB switching can't possibly help the younger player's growth. Reading defenses, seeing all types of defenses, and recognizing adjustments seems to be a part of the learning process that occurs only with experience.

My question about Whisenhunt is does it say something about him that he might have another strained relationship with a young QB?

7
by Insancipitory (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 11:59am

1, 3: but as a Seahawks fan I can only hope that I get to watch it implode the Cards offense before Leinart find his happy place. In fact, I need to figure out some way to get him and Brittney Spears together. A couple kids, a couple rehabs, that's the kind of stability I want for my friends in the AZ.

8
by dryheat (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 12:02pm

#4,

I can tell you for a fact that the Cheerleader distraction was real. In fact, the Washington Sentinels' cheerleaders were a fairly large ingredient in their improbable run.

9
by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 12:07pm

6. Romo didn't need to play to develop. Neither did Brady. There are plenty of others who rode the bench and then worked out fine as starters.

I think riding the bench is better for a young QB than playing. Why is it that everyone seems to think that QBs are these fragile primadonnas? I think this will HELP Leinart's development. Yeah, hes the franchise QB, but only if he plays like one, and he hasn't been doing that.

He IS getting experience, they're just not leaving him in the game when it would lose them the game.

10
by Insancipitory (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 12:10pm

The Washington Sentinals is clearly ranked too high because Brook Langton is a stone fox. Swingers is way better than this. Shane Falco was ass in Chain Reaction and hesn't been good since Bill & Ted II.

11
by lobolafcadio (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 12:10pm

I love this one :
Strahan was more concerned with Justice.
"That poor kid that they had over there," Strahan said. "Why didn't they help him? I felt, in an odd way, you could ruin the guy. It's his first start, and that's what he gets. It's not a good thing."

from the ap recap of he game.

Strahan is a good guy, I mean, he feuded with his wife and had an hold-out etc but he cares for the young guy and it's surreal he saw Justice was in disarray and tell the Eagles staff what to do to protect him...

12
by lobolafcadio (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 12:12pm

Strahan was more concerned with Justice.

"That poor kid that they had over there," Strahan said. "Why didn't they help him? I felt, in an odd way, you could ruin the guy. It's his first start, and that's what he gets. It's not a good thing."

From the recap of the game.
A shame for the Eagles staff...

13
by kevinNYC (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 12:25pm

#9... You gave 2 examples out of how many QBs? Plus, it's safe to say that both those players are better now with experience under their belt than they were with none. Even QBs like Chad Pennington who sat a long time are exceptions rather than the norm.

I just think they should either start Leinart or bench him. I can't see how this gets him to where they want him to be. This assumes that Whisenhunt wants/thinks he can get to that point with Leinart. I certainly wasn't arguing that playing IMMEDIATELY is best for a player. As a Giants fan, I think the team would've been better off sitting Eli his entire rookie season. They didn't because Kurt Warner started single-handedly losing games for them and they thought Eli couldn't be any worse. However, I just think that when the decision is made to play a young QB, he needs to PLAY.

I think the interesting thing about the QB position is you can normally tell by a player's second 16 games what level of performance he's going to give.

14
by Sergio (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 12:30pm

Geez. I haven't finished reading the article yet; when I got to the Bengals quotes (and finished the corresponding articles/comments), I just had to say this:

ARE YOU PEOPLE BLIND???*

Seriously. Ok, so you're 1-3. So your players are restless. But folks, come on... look at the calendar. Look at your coaches. Look at the roster! You have loads and loads of hope! You think *this* is a bad situation? Do you not remember what it's like to be 2-14??? When you start talking about the first overall pick of the draft, I have an urge (to paraphrase a comment on the second Bengals article) to shake your head all over the board and ask, once again... are you people blind?

Signed,

A Miami Dolphins fan.

*cc:Philadelphia Eagles' fans (well, some)

15
by mactbone (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 12:51pm

Re 3:
Really, because it sounds an awful lot like what Jaruon did in Chicago - and it failed miserably:
Dick Jauron showed he's not afraid to be unorthodox.

In settling the Bears' quarterback situation Wednesday, the rookie head coach announced Shane Matthews will start the season opener Sept. 12 against Kansas City and get a "vast majority" of the playing time. But first-round draft pick Cade McNown also will play, probably a series or two in the middle of the game, with Matthews likely to finish.

Jauron hopes this setup will solve a big quandary after McNown struggled to win the job outright in the preseason

Re 1:
Spurrier is notorious for this, it isn't new and it has failed in the pros before.

16
by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 1:11pm

"I just think they should either start Leinart or bench him"

In this case, it would be "Bench him" because Warner is playing better. I think hes better off splitting time right now than being benched.

"However, I just think that when the decision is made to play a young QB, he needs to PLAY."

Why? How is sitting him 20% of the snaps during his sophomore year going to hurt his development? Hes still getting thousands of snaps during practice every week. I have a hard time believing that 15 snaps a week in game time is going to hurt him.

17
by dryheat (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 1:15pm

Really, I don't see the difference between having a quarterback who is your "no-huddle specialist" any more than having a running back who is a "third down specialist" or a "left-handed relief pitcher". I think the entire thing is overblown, especially since they're winning. I remember two times off the top of my head (Mike Buck and Michael Bishop) when a backup quarterback was brought to throw a Hail Mary. As a Coach why not take advantage of the unique skills of the 45 players you have at your disposal?

18
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 1:17pm

Wealthy people who allude to themselves as slaves are obnoxious. Extremely wealthy people who seek taxpayer subsidies while maintaining that the subsidy won't make them wealthier are even more obnoxious.

19
by matt (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 1:18pm

re: 5
bingo. leinart's attitude that what's best for him is exactly coincident with what's best for the team is silly at best and team-damaging at worst. shut up and get better, and you'll play more.

re: 6
i may be contradicting myself, but put me in the "maybe" category. if leinart's not ready for the no-huddle, but the team needs it, maybe it's not in his best long-term interest to use him in that way. it's not in anyone's interest, long - or short-term, to be put in a position where failure is more likely. just ask winston justice.

20
by mawbrew (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 1:20pm

The craziest thing about Leinert's comments was this - "I know coaches want to win now, and I guess they have their reasons. But I don’t understand it..."

If that's not the most absurd thing I've ever heard, it's got to be close. I keep returning to the image of Herm Edwards trying to explain to Matty why they play these games.

21
by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 1:21pm

15. Will, I completely agree. I'm sick of hearing rich athletes talk about how they were held down by the man (whether black or not). These are the same people who have been coddled, who had other people do their homework in college, etc.

If they want to know what a 'slave' is, go down to your local 7/11, or McDonalds, etc, and talk to the 40 year old man who is supporting his family on $7.50 an hour.

22
by matt (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 1:23pm

re: 13:
wait, wait...because it didn't work with shane mathews and cade mcnown, it will never work with a former mvp and former all-american?

maybe, just maybe - it was the talent level that doomed dick jauron's attempt.

23
by Eddo (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 1:24pm

13: The major differences between Arizona now and Chicago then:

Kurt Warner >> Shane Matthews
Matt Leinart >> Cade McNown

24
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 1:32pm

Well, given that there are still actual, real-life, people who are enduring the real agony of being enslaved on this planet, I'd prefer that no person who was not actually being enslaved would allude to himself or herself as a slave. It's really distasteful, and not much different than somebody saying, in all seriousness, that a very unpleasant work environment was like being in Dachau. Shutting up is a good option that people far too often overlook.

25
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 1:34pm

Matt Leinert may approximate Cade McNown's work ethic and maturity, unfortunately, and I say that as somebody who has always kind of liked watching him play.

26
by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 1:52pm

23. Yeah

But being told hes not good enough to play the whole game MAY (and I'm not saying it will) give him a reason to improve his game, and work harder. It may also give him a reason to just quit.

27
by Schrodinger_cat (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 2:18pm

I sympathize with Leinart in this. Regardless of all the other questions surrounding the qb situation in Arizona, or how qbs develop best, to me the most unusual thing is that this seems to have been a surprise to everyone.

If Wisenhunt was planning this the whole time, why didn't anyone seem to know what's going on? To me that's bad coaching. ..he could have prepared both qbs mentally for this during training camp and then everyone would be on the same page.

28
by emcee fleshy (sd/atl) (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 2:26pm

“The pizza man knows when he comes to my address, he’s coming for free. But I am real polite and I say, ‘Thank you, sir.�’

-Roy Williams, explaining his insatiable appetite for delivery-guy spit.

29
by Randy S. (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 2:31pm

I remember reading an article here about the Eagles using Randall Cunningham as a "third down QB", and how it contributed to a historically bad offense. I personally think that Whisenhunt's "innovation" is going to blow up in his face. But we'll see.

Loved the Jesse Palmer quote. Who knew that the guy would end up being a good analyst?

30
by Tom (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 2:31pm

The other difference between what happened in Chicago and Arizona, is that the young QB is getting the majority of the snaps, and the veteran is the one getting one or two series.

31
by Rex Grossman: Eyebrows of DOOM! (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 2:50pm

As a Bengals fan, Marvin's "selfishness" comments tick me off. Yes, Chad has a tendency to overreact to things in the heat of the moment, but he's one of the few players keeping us alive on the field. (If you want selfishness, look at Willie Anderson and Levi Jones, who are complaining to the media and generally being melodramatic for no good reason.)

But selfishness isn't the main issue. I know that injuries are a factor--our o-line is playing musical chairs, and we have seven wounded linebackers (Pollack, Brooks, Landon Johnson, Miller, Jeanty, Henderson, Marshall, plus Odell is still suspended)--but we look completely unprepared, and the playcalling/schemes are practically nonsensical. I worry far more about our coaching than our players. We're getting killed by the same things over and over, and it's like we can't or won't adapt.

With the schedule, and the assumption/hope that this spate of injuries will swing back towards the norm, I'm not giving up on the season...but at this point, it's more about the younger guys getting experience. We have a lot of youth in our secondary, and we need to gauge the talent of relatively untested role-players on both sides of the ball. But it won't matter until we actually try new things, and maybe that means new coordinators, or even a new coach.

32
by Rob (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 3:03pm

Woo, Public Enemy in the first quote group! I look forward to these quotes all week.

33
by mmm... sacrilicious (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 3:07pm

#13, 20, 21:
Playing a young, developing QB over an older, established QB in situational packages also worked in at least one notable case. Maybe Whisenhunt might want to mention to Leinart the names Walsh, Montana, and DeBerg.

34
by Bobman (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 3:08pm

26 ROFL That's a weird quote and you hit the nail on the head.

Also, I sense some internal FO conflict as to Dallas Clark's position.

35
by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 3:35pm

29.

They showed an interesting graphic in the Pats/Bengals game: Defensive players the bengals had drafted on the first day since Marvin Lewis became the coach. There were 6 of them.

Even a "defensive genius" of a coach can't win without talent.

36
by pete c (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 3:38pm

put me in the category supporting the Whiz. If you think warner can give you 5-6 quality series per game, then why not ride that out? It didn't work for spurrier because he never sent QB's out on the field, he sent tackling dummies. and lets not compare a 2-time mvp and heisman winner with the likes of cade mcnown and shane matthews!

37
by PHn (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 3:42pm

I too have always enjoyed watching Matt Leinart play. I suspect the current arrangement is terribly hard to stomach for any starting QB.

It seems to me the classy-yet-honest approach would be to say, "Do I like it? No. Do I think I'm better off with this arrangement? No. But I'm paid to win, paid to do as I'm coached, and paid to think about the team. So I'll do my best with what's going on, and I'll practice and perform so that my coaches will know that I'm the best QB for any situation.

38
by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 3:44pm

"I suspect the current arrangement is terribly hard to stomach for any starting QB."

But why is that any different than any RB, or WR, or DE, or CB?

The fact that QBs have traditionally been treated like princesses doesn't mean its needed, or helps.

39
by Phil (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 4:06pm

"Logic isn’t always the answer for a number of reasons"

This quote is so funny....on so many different levels.

40
by Joe T. (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 4:07pm

QB tandems were not uncommon prior to the rules changes of the 70s which opened up the passing game and made offenses more sophisticated.

41
by slo-mo-joe (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 4:15pm

The question is whether any psychological and practical (offense timing and "gelling", sharing of limited practice time) difficulties inherent in a 2-QB system would be offset not just by the complementarity of skills of the 2 QBs, but also by the problems a defense may face in preparing for 2 QBs instead of one.

It often happens that when a new QB shows up during a game, defenses tend to have some problems with him, but that's mostly because of lack of info on that QB's play (in the case of a rookie or a rarely used back-up), or because the subsitution was unexpected, and the defense did not specifically prepare for the back-up.

But once the 2 QBs are well known, and are both known to play, how much harder can it be for a defense to prepare for both? Once the "Warner surprise" wears out (and it will, as of next week), I think it will become pretty obvious whether one QB is better than the other, and Whisenhunt would be crazy to play both (and if they are about equal, he should of course play Leinart).

42
by PatsFan (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 4:18pm

With respect to the Jesse Palmer cheerleader quote, he mentions on his blog that the NFL commanded teams to not allow their cheerleaders to stretch, warm up, or perform in front of the visiting team during pre-game warmups.

What incident prompted that memo? Or is this more of the usual NFL = no fun league?

43
by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 4:23pm

slo-mo-jo, its not as simple as one is better, or one is worse, or they're the same. They're each better at certain things.

"But once the 2 QBs are well known, and are both known to play, how much harder can it be for a defense to prepare for both?"

Well, you have to practice twice as many defensive plays each week. You have to run your coverages differently. The way to beat Leinart may be to blitz heavily, so you practice that. Warner will kill you doing that, so you have to spend half the practice time playing more conservatively.

If you can cut your opponent's practice time in half for your base offense by cutting your own by only 20%, you're more prepared than they are.

44
by Purds (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 4:41pm

Re #32:

I still don't get the reason for FO's reclassifying of Dallas Clark as a WR. And that renaming helps us understand the game better because...?

I mean, I know Clark splits out most of the time, but he's also more than 250 pounds. I can't think of more than a handful of useful WR's who weigh more than 220. So, can we at least call him a WR+, because if you just call him a WR, then statistically the Colts rushing offense in a 3 WR set will look much better than most teams 3 WR set rushing offense, solely because you call a 250+ pound guy a WR because he splits out. But, the truth is many times Clark is just a traditional TE in the position he plays, even if he leaks out into a pattern.

I mean, has FO taken a close look at all the other good receiving TE's to see if they split out often, and is splitting out 40% enough to reclassify? 50%? 60%?

Again, I just don't see the usefullness of changing the classification of just ONE guy in the entire league.

45
by slo-mo-joe (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 4:43pm

slo-mo-jo, its not as simple as one is better, or one is worse, or they’re the same. They’re each better at certain things.

I fully understand that this is the logic, but that's also a major danger, since the QB substitution would also be telegraphing the kind of plays the offense is more likely to play. Imagine a team with the hypothetical QB tandem of Vick and Bledsoe in their prime. Sure, you can put the first in when the blitz is killing you, and the second one whenever you want to throw bombs, and they'd be great at it, but it's not like the defenses will not know what's coming. And if you play them against type to mix it up, you end up just hurting yourself (I still remember Bledsoe's "scrambles" with the Pats with sheer horror).

I dunno, it seems like a novelty thing - it may work if you can surprise a defense for a game or two, but they'll catch up eventually.

46
by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 4:48pm

Slo-mo-jo, there is some bit of predictability, but with 2 minutes left in the half, does anyone NOT know what a team is going to do?

Its not like either one of them SUCKS at something... Leinart can throw screens and bombs, and so can Warner. The difference between Leinart and Warner isnt as significant as the Vick/Bledsoe example...

47
by Jim (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 4:53pm

Re 42:

I believe that's exactly what FO has done, and Clark splits out as a receiver SO MUCH more often than other TEs that they've decided to reclassify him. Aaron or somebody said as much in another thread.

48
by Purds (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 5:08pm

I understand, but how does that help us understand the game better? If we have a RB who splits out more often than most (R. Bush), do we call him a WR? And, how often is often enough?

Now, I can see if they want to do this so he's in the WR grouping as a middling WR, and not in the TE grouping as a higher-tier TE, but I hope they don't call him a WR when describing offensive sets. And, again, I ask: how often must he not be next to the tackle to be called a WR? When he lines up next to the tackle, is that a 3 WR set, or a 2 WR 1 TE set?

Mybe someone can point me to the original reasoning. I can't seem to find it.

49
by Purds (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 5:10pm

Re: Clark

And then, do we just "crown his ass now" as the best blocking WR in the league?

50
by Peter Libero (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 5:20pm

This Warner/Leinart thing is kind of a weird situation. If it's really the case that Warner is better on average, and you want to win games now, why would you play Leinart at all? If you're willing to hurt your team's chances now, why not just play Leinart the whole time? If you're not, why play him at all? Unless you're so awesome that you're guaranteed to make the playoffs, I don't think you can really play the odds on this and try to slip Leinart some playing time.

If the only difference is in the no-huddle, then I can see why you'd want to put in Warner on occasion, and let Leinart do everything else.

The real reason I don't think QBs get rotated is that there is not a whole lot of difference between QB skills. The biggest change I would expect is in mobility, and so in college it makes sense to do the UF Tebow/Leak thing for different looks. Since QB runs are so rare in the NFL, that isn't really an issue; instead we're purely discussing differences in ability to throw the ball. Sure, QBs have strengths and weaknesses, but unless you're going to be really obvious and only wing it down the field with the strong-armed guy and throw slants with the weak but accurate one, why not just figure out who's better on average and keep him in? The benefits of gelling/leadership (whatever you might think, players and coaches associate the QB with leadership, so you kind of have to bow to that) surely make more difference than the slight advantage you can get by throwing long slightly more or less with the different QBs.

The real reason RBs aren't a fair comparison is that fatigue is not a serious issue for QBs. Most of the time good RBs don't get benched for anything but rest; committees are to reduce injury dependence and put fresh legs out there. Also you can put both RBs out at the same time, which is truly a problem for the defense. Unless you start going to a 2-QB offense, the defense can probably adjust to your rotation.

Rich, I think that if I knew the opponent would do the QB switch 20% of the time, that I wouldn't divide my practice exactly in half to combat it. I'd probably do 80%/20%. Plus I doubt you fail to practice blitzing or zone coverage or whatever on most occasions anyway.

51
by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 5:32pm

"Rich, I think that if I knew the opponent would do the QB switch 20% of the time, that I wouldn’t divide my practice exactly in half to combat it. I’d probably do 80%/20%."

And then what happens when Wisenhunt, in the 2nd quarter, realizes that you're doing a much better job defending the Leinart stuff than the Warner stuff? He plays Warner more, and you get beat.

"If it’s really the case that Warner is better on average, and you want to win games now, why would you play Leinart at all?"

Because Leinart is the future, and needs some playing time.

52
by seamus (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 5:35pm

Name one QB platoon system that worked in the last 30 years. The QB platoon is like having a threesome -- it may seem like fun over the short term, but it's only a matter of time before someone realizes they don't belong.
Also, Jesse Palmer played in a game?
Give Northcutt free! Give Northcutt free!

53
by PHn (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 6:15pm

Re: 50

The Leinart/Warner platoon system has worked. Just last weekend, as a matter of fact.

The strategy may or may not have any long-term viability -- I'll let game-day performance, not my second guessing, be the judge of that one -- but so far I'd give it a tentative thumbs-up.

Admittedly, there are a ton of things that could go wrong -- and Leinart's public complaints may be just the tip of a much bigger iceberg -- but so far Whisenhunt and his staff seem to be managing decently so far.

If they keep it up long after it's proven a failure, well, then Mr. Bidwell can just hire Norv Turner.

54
by Dired (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 6:24pm

Brings to mind the classic "M&M Guys" with Shawn Moore and Tommy Maddox trying to sorta replace Elway (who was hurt or something)? They would alternate plays (or was it series - 1992 was a long time ago), and suddenly everyone started to wonder if Reeves had lost it - his last year in Denver IIRC.

55
by throughthelookingglass (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 6:40pm

47: Not necessarily, Hines Ward is very good, and I'm sure there are others who may be better.

56
by Alex (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 7:25pm

Reading defenses, seeing all types of defenses, and recognizing adjustments seems to be a part of the learning process that occurs only with experience.

Sure, and he gets to do that every week, for most of the game. But when the game gets out of hand, and the defense is shutting him down, he might as well be on the sideline watching the game.

The only thing he learns from continuing to play in those circumstances is how much it sucks to get drilled by 300+ lb defensive linemen repeatedly. And while I've never actually tried it, I'd imagine one wouldn't need to learn that lesson more than once before it sunk in.

My question about Whisenhunt is does it say something about him that he might have another strained relationship with a young QB?

If a strained relationship with Whisenhunt is what helped Ben Roethlisberger get to the top ten in DPAR in each of his first two years, then I'd say that a strained relationship is not a problem.

If Wisenhunt was planning this the whole time, why didn’t anyone seem to know what’s going on? To me that’s bad coaching. ..he could have prepared both qbs mentally for this during training camp and then everyone would be on the same page.

What's to prepare? You're always preparing! Just go!

Seriously, though, they aren't 5 year olds. If Leinart doesn't have the mental toughness/emotional maturity to handle something as trivial as being taken out of the game for a few minutes every once in a while, then I'm sorry, but he doesn't belong on a football field. He needs to stop being such a baby, and shut up.

(whatever you might think, players and coaches associate the QB with leadership, so you kind of have to bow to that)

No, he certainly doesn't have to bow to that. He's the coach, he's in charge of the team. They answer to him, not the other way around. If they can't wrap their minds around a team leader that plays a position other than QB, then they can sit on the bench until they figure it out. I guarantee you, it won't take long before they get it.

Sure, QBs have strengths and weaknesses, but unless you’re going to be really obvious and only wing it down the field with the strong-armed guy and throw slants with the weak but accurate one, why not just figure out who’s better on average and keep him in?

When there's only two minutes left in the half/game, and you have to drive down the field to score, everybody in the stadium knows what kind of plays you're going to run. If you run any other kind of plays, you're not going to score anyway, so there's no need to disguise your intentions. Besides, it's not so much that they're calling different types of passes with Warner in. It's that they're running a no-huddle, where you can use the exact same plays to greater effect by catching the defense unprepared.

57
by DEW (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 9:21pm

Re: 50. David Woodley/Don Strock, 1981-82 Dolphins. 11-5 one year, 7-2 and Super Bowl losers the next (of course, then they dropped the experiment the next year, but Dan Marino was better than anyone this side of Joe Montana at the time anyway...still can't believe he fell that far in the first round!).

With regard to Dallas Clark, one problem with calling him a WR because he splits out more than most TEs is this: how many other WRs don't split out. I mean, you don't see Terrell Owens or Roy Williams, big as they are, lining up next to tackle on a routine basis... So how about this: what's wrong with just saying that he actually plays two separate positions? I mean, when Troy Brown was filling in for the Patriots at defensive back, no one said he was playing wide receiver just because he was, well, Troy Brown. It just happens that the two positions Clark plays are on the same side of the ball. Admittedly, it means that the stat-crunchers have to make a few more judgment calls about whether the Colts are running a three-wide-receiver set or whether Denver's inability to cover him means that their stats fall against opposing slot receivers or against opposing TEs, but that's what happens when you have players with multidimensional skill sets...

58
by Purds (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 10:21pm

Dew:

That's my point. Are the other AFC South defenses going to look better against TE's now, because against the Colts twice a year they shut out the TE's not named Clark? And, are they any better than before -- we don't know.

59
by young curmudgeon (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2007 - 11:48pm

In both 1973 and 1974, the Redskins went 10-4 and lost in the first round of the playoffs. Reasonably successful seasons, certainly by Arizona Cardinal standards. In 1973, Billy Kilmer had 61% of the Redskins' passes thrown, Sonny Jurgensen had 39%; in 1974, Kilmer had 57%, Jurgensen had 35% (the remainder were by Theisman.) I lived in the DC area then, and I seem to recall (I could easily be mistaken) that it was basically a "starter/relief pitcher" strategy. I don't think it was one replacing the other partway through the season, nor do I recall a season-ending injury. Does anyone else have a clearer recollection of how things went? I don't know if it has any application whatsoever to the Arizona situation, but it's at least a suggestion that, with the right guys, a 2 QB system has had some success in the history of the NFL.

60
by Peter Libero (not verified) :: Fri, 10/05/2007 - 12:27am

(whatever you might think, players and coaches associate the QB with leadership, so you kind of have to bow to that)

No, he certainly doesn’t have to bow to that. He’s the coach, he’s in charge of the team. They answer to him, not the other way around. If they can’t wrap their minds around a team leader that plays a position other than QB, then they can sit on the bench until they figure it out. I guarantee you, it won’t take long before they get it.

I mean, you (meaning a hypothetical coach) can be captain hardass about it if you want, but there's a reason the media, coaches, and players always focus on QB performance, QB intangibles, QB clutchness, and QB leadership. Just look at the whole "is Eli a real leader" nonsense to start this season. If you are right, the answer should have been "who cares, the REAL leader is OT _____" or whoever. I'm not saying it makes sense, or that QBs are inherently the only source of leadership, but as long as people think that way, it would be counter-productive for the coach who tries to buck the trend to start flaunting that perception and decide he's going to take leadership power away from that position. I'm sure it's possible to be a leader when you're switched in and out of the game (Jerome Bettis springs to mind), but probably not at a position where such switching is not the norm.

On the second point, I did allow that running the no-huddle is the sort of skill that it's reasonable to think one player would have and another would not, mostly because, as you said, there's no disguising your intentions. I think that might work; if that's all we're talking about, then I guess this conversation is pointless. I'm just saying I don't think there's an advantage to rotating QBs on a general basis.

“If it’s really the case that Warner is better on average, and you want to win games now, why would you play Leinart at all?�

Because Leinart is the future, and needs some playing time.

Okay, but again, unless your team is so good you KNOW you're making the playoffs, how do you have plays/games to spare? Either you are trying to win this season, or you're not. If you are, you should play whoever's best every snap. If you aren't, then play the young guy the whole time. Obviously this may be a special situation where it's only no-huddle, but if Warner really is the best, he should play all the time or not at all.

“Rich, I think that if I knew the opponent would do the QB switch 20% of the time, that I wouldn’t divide my practice exactly in half to combat it. I’d probably do 80%/20%.�

And then what happens when Wisenhunt, in the 2nd quarter, realizes that you’re doing a much better job defending the Leinart stuff than the Warner stuff? He plays Warner more, and you get beat.

Well presumably, you only have so many preparation snaps as well, no? So who's been getting all the preparation on the QBs teams? Probably the one you intended to play more, right?

I mean, sure, if your QBs are equally prepared, and it makes a big difference to the defense, the offense could shift the QBs in and out. Considering this almost never happens, even on teams where the backup is not clearly worse than the starter (Jacksonville before cutting Leftwich, Chicago, etc.), I'm inclined to think you can't adequately prepare two QBs to the point that you can out-guess the defense on who you will play. Considering you can't change your play style so much as to become predictable, how much advantage can such a swap have, especially if it's not a mobile QB for immobile, clearly the most influential QB swap (which is not the case in Arizona)?

61
by young curmudgeon (not verified) :: Fri, 10/05/2007 - 12:27am

re 57: Jurgensen's percent for '74 ought to have been 40, not 35.

62
by Pat (not verified) :: Fri, 10/05/2007 - 2:42am

What’s to prepare? You’re always preparing! Just go!

Just going. Sir, hadn't you better sit down?

63
by NY expat (not verified) :: Fri, 10/05/2007 - 4:30am

re: 48

While the recent RB tandems like Edge/Addai have been analyzed as being more about staying fresh and perhaps avoiding injury, there are plenty of other tandems that are about at least supposedly different skill sets. The Giants have a history of at least claiming they wanted a "thunder and lightning" attack, most recently with Barber and Jacobs before this season. The fine Dolphins trio of Csonka, Kiick and Morris all had different styles.

In general, the "QB timesharing doesn't work" arguments seem more based on tradition than fact. I can understand how there is a concern for Leinart's psyche, but his statements also seem along the lines of, "that's the way we've always done it." Granted, he's missing the opportunity to add TD's to his stats which will probably affect the salary on his next contract. But if he's going to get over things like throwing an interception that gets returned for a game-ending TD, I'd have to imagine his confidence needs to be able to handle getting subbed for when the Cards run their no-huddle.

Incidentally, checking out some more successful QB's, Ken Anderson threw just 131 passes in 11 games his rookie season, John Brodie threw 257 passes in his first 3 seasons (including just 64 passes in 12 games in his 3rd season), Len Dawson threw 45 passes in 28 games in his first 5 seasons ... and as a Giants fan I should mention Y. A. Tittle didn't play until his 3rd season ... I agree that you can't really get the feel of things until you're on the field, but waiting can be fine. One last point is that if the Cards were now 0-4 and Leinart had thrown a few more interceptions because he was playing more, I think his psyche would be under just a bit more pressure.

64
by dryheat (not verified) :: Fri, 10/05/2007 - 8:39am

Name one QB platoon system that worked in the last 30 years. The QB platoon is like having a threesome — it may seem like fun over the short term, but it’s only a matter of time before someone realizes they don’t belong.

Sir, you can say what you want about Kurt Warner, Matt Leinart, the NFL, or Me, but I will not sit here idly and let you disparage the menage.

65
by BadgerT1000 (not verified) :: Fri, 10/05/2007 - 8:50am

Jerry Glanville has been trying to cover his *ss for ten years on that topic. The Green Bay Press Gazette did a pretty thorough review of the Favre trade about two years after Favre was a regular in Green Bay. I am pretty sure the writer of the article was Chris Havel who has covered the Packers forever.

Glanville is quoted multiple times about how Favre was lazy, out of shape, more interested in partying than playing and pretty much a waste of time. And Favre doesn't dispute Glanville's statements replying that Jerry told him on Day 1 of training camp that Glanville didn't want him and that Favre would never see the playing field unless it was an extreme situation. Favre said he became despondent as he would stand on the sideline in training camp watching everyone else practice and that Glanville wouldn't even call him by name the few times he asked him to do something.

Favre was wrong to let himself get fat and spend his free time drinking. But the guy was 21 years old. Glanville was the head coach and should have and could have demonstrated a bit more leadership in the matter.

Anyway, Glanville is full of sh*t. He wanted Favre off the team the minute BF showed up at Falcons training camp. Any comment otherwise is a lie.

66
by mactbone (not verified) :: Fri, 10/05/2007 - 9:22am

Re 20:
Cade McNown = two time All-American
Shane Matthews at the time > anybody thought Kurt Warner (hey remember me killing the Giants!) would be this year.

The question is, what exactly can Warner do that Leinhart can't. Willie Parker can get to the outside faster than Bettis, Kevin Faulk catches the ball out of the backfield better than Corey Dillon, Mark Anderson rushes the passer better than Alex Brown (at the expense of run defense), etc. If Warner's just a better QB then stick with him, but they don't have different skill sets that work better in different situations.

I simply don't buy that one QB is better than another at just the two-minute drill. It's completely absurd to say that one QB can't execute the 50, 100? plays in quick succession when they can execute them perfectly fine for the other 56 minutes of the game. One of them is better than the other and that is the one who should get all the snaps.

67
by RickD (not verified) :: Fri, 10/05/2007 - 9:24am

Whether a QB platoon is a good idea or not, doesn't is seem bizarre that Roethlisberger is the person to criticize it? Rather than criticizing his former coach, shouldn't he be thinking about how his team lost the game?

Criticizing the coach that just beat you? Yeah, that looks clever.

68
by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Fri, 10/05/2007 - 11:24am

"With regard to Dallas Clark, one problem with calling him a WR because he splits out more than most TEs is this: how many other WRs don’t split out. "

The problem is, Clark spends the majority of his time as a WR. He lines up split out or in the slot more often than he lines up at TE. If you had to give him a secondary and primary position, WR would be the primary one.

Calling him a TE is silly, because he almost never plays TE.

69
by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Fri, 10/05/2007 - 11:28am

"Well presumably, you only have so many preparation snaps as well, no? So who’s been getting all the preparation on the QBs teams? Probably the one you intended to play more, right?"

Thats the point Peter, Warner needs MUCH less time in practice to be productive. He just needs to figuratively "shake the rust off".

Warner can only play 10-20% of the practice snaps, and still play fine. Leinart can't. (there is significant precedent of veteran QBs missing significant practice and still being fine: Tom Brady, steve mcnair, donovan mcnabb, etc.)

70
by Scott de B. (not verified) :: Fri, 10/05/2007 - 11:31am

They showed an interesting graphic in the Pats/Bengals game: Defensive players the bengals had drafted on the first day since Marvin Lewis became the coach. There were 6 of them.

I count 8 first day picks, out of a total of 16 picks. A 50/50 ratio doesn't seem out of whack.

71
by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Fri, 10/05/2007 - 11:32am

"The question is, what exactly can Warner do that Leinhart can’t."

Run the 2-minute offense. Haven't you been listening?

72
by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Fri, 10/05/2007 - 11:33am

"Whether a QB platoon is a good idea or not, doesn’t is seem bizarre that Roethlisberger is the person to criticize it? Rather than criticizing his former coach, shouldn’t he be thinking about how his team lost the game?"

Maybe Wisenhunt was suggesting that Batch get more playing time while the Steelers were blowing their season last year by playing an injured Roethlisburger who couldn't see straight or stay standing up.

73
by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Fri, 10/05/2007 - 11:34am

re:68

That may be true, I have no idea. Just reporting what was on the TV.

How many 1sts?

74
by Peter Libero (not verified) :: Fri, 10/05/2007 - 12:16pm

Thats the point Peter, Warner needs MUCH less time in practice to be productive. He just needs to figuratively “shake the rust off�.

Warner can only play 10-20% of the practice snaps, and still play fine. Leinart can’t. (there is significant precedent of veteran QBs missing significant practice and still being fine: Tom Brady, steve mcnair, donovan mcnabb, etc.)
But the defense doesn't have people that need fewer snaps to prepare? Everyone on the defense needs a whole week to get ready for one QB, but Warner can just step in with a couple reps and "shake the rust off" for Sunday?

I suspect that defenders would have an easier time preparing for the supposed differences in the two QBs (which are apparently only ability to run the no-huddle) than the QBs would have the ability to prepare for the various looks a defense can give them. I don't really think the preparation argument makes much sense; the defense and offense can equally prepare for each other's tactical shifts. You have to present a reason why shifting QBs is better than just one QB. Bettis gives something that Parker literally cannot; so having him take snaps is worthwhile. Having Warner get snaps for what he can do that Leinart cannot (the no-huddle) also makes sense. Otherwise, what are the skills that Leinart has that Warner doesn't? If Warner's better, why doesn't he just play all the snaps?

61: I don't disagree that tradition plays a strong role in this discussion. That's why I argued that the tradition of QB leadership is a reason to keep only one QB as the starter. Obviously there are RB pairings where each has their own skills; I am merely suggesting that the difference in QB skills is less obvious and less problematic for a defense than RBs or any other position. Ultimately a QB must be able to make all the throws if they are playing in the NFL at all; so what difference is there, really, except for mild tendencies? Surely one QB is bound to be better than the other, and should play more snaps, kind of like how RBs almost always end up with one guy getting more carries unless the specific situation that benefits the other player arises (Parker over Bettis, Barber over Jackson, etc.).

75
by dryheat (not verified) :: Fri, 10/05/2007 - 12:24pm

#68, the point the poster forgot to make was that all of them except one ended up injured and/or suspended and/or cut. Losing five top draft choices on the defensive side of the ball isn't a good formula for reloading the defense.

76
by keith (not verified) :: Fri, 10/05/2007 - 12:39pm

I know this is the wrong thread but the other one seems kinda dead so whatever.

Anyone try to get the Doc sport free picks via email from this weeks' Scramble for the Ball? Just wondering how long it takes for them to get back to you. Thanks!

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by mactbone (not verified) :: Fri, 10/05/2007 - 1:01pm

Re 69:
I simply don’t buy that one QB is better than another at just the two-minute drill. It’s completely absurd to say that one QB can’t execute the 50, 100? plays in quick succession when they can execute them perfectly fine for the other 56 minutes of the game. One of them is better than the other and that is the one who should get all the snaps.

But hey, why read the whole post when you can just post a snippy one line comment.

78
by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Fri, 10/05/2007 - 2:45pm

"I am merely suggesting that the difference in QB skills is less obvious and less problematic for a defense than RBs or any other position"

Peter, if you think thats true, you should watch the Jets under Kellen Clemens and under Pennington. The gameplan is completely different.

I haven't watched enough of Leinart or Warner lately to know, but I suspect there are differences in their skillsets too.

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by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Fri, 10/05/2007 - 2:50pm

75

I did read your whole comment.

I just think its ridiculous that you feel its not possible for one guy to be able to handle the 2-minute while the other isn't.

The crux of your whole argument is that theres no way one of them can be fine in normal play and not in the 2 minute.... I think thats an absurd assumption.

The entire two-minute offense is based on speed. Maybe Warner makes much quicker reads than Leinart?

80
by Tom (not verified) :: Fri, 10/05/2007 - 2:59pm

Have you guys considered that this is about keeping Warner fresh? It seems like the past few years, Warner has started strong taken a few big hits and then plays significantly worse.

By limited Warner's time, you get better QB play for a while, and you don't have the drop in play when Warner gets knocked around.

81
by young curmudgeon (not verified) :: Fri, 10/05/2007 - 3:18pm

Re 57, 59: (Jumping up and down, waving arms in air, shouting, "Hey, look at me."

Nobody remembers Kilmer & Jurgensen or is interested in considering it as a way to use two QB's? Was it just too long ago, before you guys were born? You'd rather just insult each other based on random speculation? Oh, well, have at it.

(Sighing, retreating even further into shell of solitary self-pity, muttering imprecations about 'kids these days'...

It's not just a post, it's a novel in miniature! :)

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by dryheat (not verified) :: Fri, 10/05/2007 - 4:14pm

The entire two-minute offense is based on speed. Maybe Warner makes much quicker reads than Leinart?

And more importantly, can call/audible to the right play quickly. Nobody comes out of the womb, or even USC, and runs an efficient two-minute drill at this level.

83
by thestar5 (not verified) :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 6:00am

As someone who has never understood the Leinart love, I find this situation hilarious.

At USC he was surrounded by unbelievable talent, yet still managed to look bad IMO. The winning thing doesn't fly, that the same excuse people use for Rex.

He is inaccurate, slow, can't read a defense at all, and doesn't have great arm strength. I'm no expert but it just seems so obvious to me that he's not an elite quarterback. Even now he has two elite receivers.

I think its in the Cards best interests to start Warner if they want to win this season.

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by Alex (not verified) :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 5:33pm

I mean, you (meaning a hypothetical coach) can be captain hardass about it if you want, but there’s a reason the media, coaches, and players always focus on QB performance, QB intangibles, QB clutchness, and QB leadership. Just look at the whole “is Eli a real leader� nonsense to start this season.

Yes, and we all know that the Giants were unable to play well and win games because everybody was calling their QB's leadership ability into question. Look, the media can make a big deal out of it all they want, but ultimately, the media doesn't decide who wins the game. If your team wins a bunch of games with a "non-leader" QB, they'll still make the playoffs, no matter how much the media insults them. And honestly, if a QB is unable to be a leader because he's switched out of games from time to time, then he probably wouldn't be a very good leader regardless of the circumstances.

61: I don’t disagree that tradition plays a strong role in this discussion. That’s why I argued that the tradition of QB leadership is a reason to keep only one QB as the starter.

And Whisenhunt is keeping only one QB as the starter, so I don't see why you have a problem with it.