Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

13 Aug 2012

MMQB: Rookie QBs Star

This week, Mr. King looks at the preseason debuts of this year's rookie quarterbacks, and logs his camp experiences from Washington, New York, Detroit, Chicago, and Buffalo.

Posted by: Rivers McCown on 13 Aug 2012

65 comments, Last at 17 Aug 2012, 10:07pm by BaronFoobarstein


by apk3000 :: Mon, 08/13/2012 - 10:39am

Really? He's never run into clerks checking to make sure the ID/CC you handed over is yours?

by Sophandros :: Mon, 08/13/2012 - 10:43am

I happen to agree with him that asking your last name is a pretty stupid way to verify that the person on your ID and credit card is you.

He sort of proved that point by jokingly saying "Schwartz". If you're clever enough to produce fake IDs and forged credit cards, then I think it's safe to assume that you'd be able to say the last name on the cards that you provide.

In other words, the clerk's question gives people a false sense of security.

Sports talk radio and sports message boards are the killing fields of intellectual discourse.

by apk3000 :: Mon, 08/13/2012 - 11:21am

That's true, but King was writing like this is the first time he's ever heard of clerks doing this. It's not that uncommon at all.

by Steve in WI :: Mon, 08/13/2012 - 3:38pm

I've probably had this happen to me less than a half-dozen times, and each time my reaction was about the same as King's. I agree - asking someone to verbally confirm their name when they've handed you two pieces of identification with their name on it is at best a waste of time.

It's akin to when I've gone to a liquor store and been asked not for my ID, but for my birthdate. If I'm underage, do you think I'm going to tell you that?

by jebmak :: Wed, 08/15/2012 - 10:02am

I could see the birthdate thing tripping up someone who is nervous or stupid. And I would be willing to put underage kids buying alcohol into one or both of those categories most of the time.

by Karl Cuba :: Mon, 08/13/2012 - 11:38am

The best example of meaningless security questions tend to coincide with air travel. The US immigration card asks whether you are a terrorist attacking the United States, I don't think I'm afraid of the bad guy who can't think his way past that one.

by jackiel :: Mon, 08/13/2012 - 6:52pm

Apparently, King and some of the above posters are unaware that hotels are havens for people who want to engage in behavior that's not "kosher". The question is meant to gauge the guest's mental/physical condition, not whether he or she is being truthful. People who check into hotels alone at 3 am are more likely to be drunk, high, skittish, or looking to do shady stuff than typical travelers. Hotel managers don't want someone who'd be better off drying out in jail for a night staying at their property, for example.

The clerk was most likely screening King to see what his deal was.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Tue, 08/14/2012 - 9:09am

To be fair, there isn't that much difference between Peter King and a prostitute.

Although a prostitute probably wouldn't steal a baseball from a little kid.

by Dean :: Tue, 08/14/2012 - 9:11am

Maybe at "the hotel by the airport that charges by the hour," but as King gleefully points out over and over again, he's staying at high-end hotels that charge a sufficiently substantial rate to deter most of the riff-raff. I'm sure they get discrete, high-end riff-raff, but you just don't get random drunks off the street, etc. checking into $200/night hotels.

by justanothersteve :: Tue, 08/14/2012 - 9:24am

As someone who worked the night shift at hotels to get through college (admittedly 25+ years ago), you get all sorts of people who need to check in at 3AM. It usually wasn't a big deal. But I did once check in a couple of gals into a hotel in Green Bay at about 3 AM who turned out to be "escorts." They were there for about a couple weeks before they got busted. They never needed their room cleaned, but it was probably because they were sleeping all day. The room was a mess when they "checked out." It wouldn't be $200/night hotel even today. But I've also had friends who have worked at such establishments and they all had similar stories.

by jackiel :: Tue, 08/14/2012 - 1:59pm

Only poor people do shady/destructive things at hotels? Off the top of my head, I give you Matt Prater (great story), Ike Ibeabuchi, Mike Tyson, Kobe Bryant, and Charlie Sheen. Neither one was staying at a Motel 6.

You have much to learn about the world, my friend :)

by Dean :: Tue, 08/14/2012 - 2:26pm

Guys like that don't go to the check in desk visibly intoxicated. They don't even check in at all. They have handlers to do that sort of thing for them.

by jackiel :: Tue, 08/14/2012 - 4:56pm

And whose personal assistant are you? Have you ever worked at a hotel?

by Dean :: Mon, 08/13/2012 - 11:21am

Go figure - Petey lets his politics get in the way of his column. Despite starting out by saying "Not a lot of debacle plays over the weekend" he promptly goes and rips on the replacement officials anyway.

by Jimmy :: Mon, 08/13/2012 - 11:58am

Mr Pot this is Mr Kettle, I believe you have something to say to him.

There is nothing political at all in what PK has wirtten about the replacement officials.

by Dean :: Mon, 08/13/2012 - 12:02pm

If the story is that the officials were a non-issue, then leave it at that. No need to harp on mistakes. If the officiating really was sub-standard then why start out by suggesting otherwise?

by Jimmy :: Mon, 08/13/2012 - 12:17pm

It is more of a way of saying, 'No one got hurt due to bad officiating but they screwed plenty of stuff up. We need the proper officials.' I haven't watched many preseason games but I have seen bad mistakes in the limited action I have seen. They need the proper officals.

You are putting the politics in there yourself.

by RC (not verified) :: Mon, 08/13/2012 - 12:33pm

Officiating looked fine to me, despite teh commentators trying to suggest that absolutely everything they did was wrong, or the result of them being the wrong people.

It was honestly pretty tough to watch. Not the officiating, but all the union ball juggling going on by the announcers.

This sort of BS is typical king.

by Jimmy :: Mon, 08/13/2012 - 12:44pm

Some people will find evidence of pro union bias at a girl scouts bake sale. The NFL is locking the officials out, they have to say something.

by RC (not verified) :: Mon, 08/13/2012 - 1:07pm

Thats fine, but don't tell me that the official is doing a shitty job when hes doing fine. EPSN/NBC/Etc should be telling us whats going on, on and off the field, not carrying a political flag.

I guess some neutrality is way too much to ask from sports "journalists"

Frankly, I think more Umpires/Officials/Referee's unions need to be locked out and dealt with. Most of them have very little accountablility, and fight back against anything proposed to improve their job performance.

by Sophandros :: Mon, 08/13/2012 - 2:25pm

The only one showing a bias here is you.

It's clear to anyone with a pair of eyes and some football knowledge that the replacement officials are not as good as the real officials.

Now do I agree that the announcers don't need to beat us over the head with it? Sure. But I think that's another indication of how most American sports announcers are worthless. If it isn't the officials, they'd be beating us over the head with something else that detracts from the game watching experience.

Sports talk radio and sports message boards are the killing fields of intellectual discourse.

by Chill (not verified) :: Mon, 08/13/2012 - 5:32pm

You would be wrong. Have you ever watched the first preseason game for the regular officials? They need the preseason every bit as much as these replacements to get tuned up. In what I saw, (which admittedly was only one of the games) they made slightly fewer and slightly less important mistakes than most regular crews at the same point.Thus it is entirely unclear about the difference in quality between the two groups.

by Steelers fan (not verified) :: Tue, 08/14/2012 - 1:48pm

One of King's answers in his mailbag today actually shows that he is "skewering" them becuase they "crossed a picket line". His motive seems to be solely politcal. He didn't even argue that regular officials don't make the same mistakes at this point of the year.

by tuluse :: Tue, 08/14/2012 - 1:58pm

I think that was an implied argument even if he didn't state it outright.

Peter King is a bad at writing so it is hard to follow sometimes, and he's bad at research so he didn't provide any evidence. However, neither of these things mean he doesn't believe the replacement officials are doing a worse job.

by Insancipitory :: Mon, 08/13/2012 - 6:26pm

From the several games I watched, I thought it was slightly better than the regular officals. The regular officials are definately more organized and keep the game moving better (what TV networks care about). But the replacements, while they called the games tighter, seemed to be far more consistant in calling the game the same way for both teams (what I care about). I don't know why exactly why that should be, it somewhat contradicts my expectations.

by Karl Cuba :: Mon, 08/13/2012 - 11:46am

I completely agree with his take on Chandler Jones, did he remind anyone else of Willie McGinnest?

Griffin looked scary good, flicking his wrist and the ball rips its way to the target. Luck is Luck.

AJ Jenkins ran a couple of nice routes and dropped a couple of passes, I am beginning to think he could be a headache with the drops. Brandon Jacobs looked good, lowering his pads and running north to south, which probably confirms that it's preseason and he'll have his dancing slippers on for the regular season.

by akn :: Mon, 08/13/2012 - 12:40pm

I lost count of the amount of times King dropped in the name EvoShield in that article. Then he referenced its potential stock value.

by Jimmy :: Mon, 08/13/2012 - 12:42pm

lol very true.

by bernie (not verified) :: Mon, 08/13/2012 - 12:44pm

I enjoyed Andrew Luck's debut outing, but I'm not jumping on the hype machine just yet.
I thought the Colts-Rams game said more about the Rams than it did about the Colts...the Rams depth doesn't look too good, so they better do a stellar job of avoiding injuries if they want to have any chance this year.

It's hard to judge if the Colts played well, or if St Louis was just that abysmal.

by Will Allen :: Mon, 08/13/2012 - 1:04pm

It is hard to comprehend that the Rams have won 15 games in five years, without employing Matt Millen.

by t.d. :: Mon, 08/13/2012 - 3:04pm

I think the Rams have a worse track record than the Lions did under Millen. At least as Millen was getting fired, they already had Calvin Johnson and were set up to draft Stafford. Who have the Rams gotten from five awful years? Laurentis and Long are the only two above average players I see on that roster, and neither of them are really better than 'good'. So many bad drafts (I hated Bradford over Suh, but the jury is still out on that one)

by Dean :: Mon, 08/13/2012 - 2:22pm

I watched the first half of that game and it seemed to me like the Rams really were that bad.

• Sam Bradford – the numbers looked good, but I thought he was fairly scattershot the first drive. He only went downfield once and he had to pick himself up off the ground after the throw.
• Kellen Clemens – has a big gun. Didn’t see any touch. His deep pass was one of the ugliest throws I’ve ever seen. His first pass – underneath to Quick – was an absolute stick throw. He had about a 12” window to fit that ball in. Beautiful.
• Isiah Peed – absolutely cover your eyes awful.
• Lance Kendrick – the king of the preseason. Looked great. Let’s see him do it when it counts.
• Steve Smith – caught two balls, both short, neither particularly impressive. Didn’t move the chains on either one.
• Austin Pettis – had a nice grab on a pass Bradford threw wide.
• Danny Amendola – exact same comment. He was open on 4th down, but Bradford was under pressure and the pass was nowhere near him.
• Richardson – was so bad I wanted to see Jason Smith back in there. The delay of game probably should have been a false start call. Toss up between him and Peed as to who was worse.
• Jason Smith - I should be careful what I wished for. Gave up 2 sacks.
• Harvey Dahl – struggled to pick up the blitz.
• LEFT SIDE – got zero push in the running game.
• The Kicker – made his first FG and kicked the ball out of the end zone. So at least that’s something.
• The Punter – 67 yard and out of bounds at the 2. Too bad the rest of the team didn’t come to play. Too bad 3 plays later, Indy was at the 30.
• Michael Brockers – we didn’t draft him to get sacks, but I didn’t see a single stop in the running game out of him. Not one. Way too quiet.
• Kendall Langford – had a nice stop at the line on the 2nd drive.
• DEs – if you’re going to chase Luck around all day, you may as well catch him.
• Laurenitis – overpursuit again. The one knock on him and we saw it on the 1st TD.
• OLBs – didn’t make any plays at all. Didn’t contain against the run. Didn’t cover out of the backfield. Didn’t rush the passer. Complete nothing.
• Craig Dahl – should have covered for Laurenitis on the 1st TD and didn’t. Then got burned again on the 2nd. He’s probably scared for his job right now. And it’s only going to look worse when coach looks at the tape.
• Jerome Murphy – He made a great tackle out in space right at the line on a 3rd down to get the D off the field. Such an aggressive play that I thought it was Finnegan at first.
• Janoris Jenkins – the fact that we didn’t hear his name is a good thing. Held down his end. One of the few bright spots.

Man. That’s a lot of observations and not a lot of good ones. Overall, that was as ugly as a hat full of assholes. Even if you just look at starters vs. starters, the Rams lost that part 14-3.

by Will Allen :: Mon, 08/13/2012 - 2:55pm

Be careful; you're about to blow that interview with the Rams' marketing department!

by chemical burn :: Tue, 08/14/2012 - 1:26pm

Ah, Dean - you had me convinced in that other thread that the Rams had some upside this year! I should have known if your team is planning on Kellen Clemens, Jason Smith and Steve Smith making any kind of contribution, you're screwed.

by justanothersteve :: Tue, 08/14/2012 - 1:29pm

I don't think they're counting on Clemens being anything than a backup. I do think they are hoping both Smiths improve from last year. I agree with you if the Rams are planning on the three all being significant contributors they're screwed.

by chemical burn :: Tue, 08/14/2012 - 2:00pm

I was just thinking Bradford had struggled with injury last year, but I wasn't sure if they expected him to miss time or if the nature of his injury might be lingering, so Clemens would likely make a start or two. I honestly don't know anything about the state of Bradford. I will say Steve Smith was the WR I have ever witnessed play for the Eagles. I'm sure they've had #4 and #5 guys buried on the depth chart who were worse, but they just never made it on the field. Steve made Pinkston, Thrash and Fred-Ex look like all-stars. And Jason Smith... oof. I'd be curious for FO to do a study of the success rate of 1st rounders who are labelled "Projects." On the one hand you have JJP. On the other, guys like Jason Smith, Alex Smith and Vernon Gholston.

(And a comparable list of "Pro Ready" guys would be interesting too. That's all you heard about Sanchez and Leinart for months. Brady Quinn, too, if I'm remembering correctly.)

by tuluse :: Tue, 08/14/2012 - 2:04pm

I don't think you could find reliable information on which players are actually projects or pro ready. It's usually just one or two poorly informed guys that every parrots. Unless you got actually GMs to comment, I don't think it's worth time to investigate.

by chemical burn :: Wed, 08/15/2012 - 2:01pm

Well, that's my point - I doubt there's any veracity to guys being pro-ready, but it is a phrase you hear thrown around constantly about some guys (like Sanchez.) I'm more interested, though, in the "project" players like Tim Tebow, Jason Smith and Percy Harvin who no one is quite sure how their college skill-set is going to transfer into the pros. It obviously couldn't be an exact science because so much of those labels are the echo-chamber effect, but every draft they're 3 or 4 reasonably high picks (1st or 2nd round basically) who get labelled one way or the other very consistently. Tebow was a project, Alex Smith was a project, I'm sure there are tweener LB/S types who got the label. And the Leinart is "the most pro ready QB in the draft" by every account... Not saying those labels aren't total bullshit, I'm interested to see if you could prove they are. Personally, I would guess the "pro ready" label is meaningless and the "project" label meaningful.

by Dean :: Tue, 08/14/2012 - 2:25pm

There's still the possibility that the team can get their act together. And none of the 3 guys you mentioned are actually starters. But yeah, Sunday was a bit of a reality check.

by chemical burn :: Wed, 08/15/2012 - 2:03pm

It's funny - half-heartedly root for the Rams these days because I know you gave up the Eagles for them because of Vick and I feel a little guilty I didn't get a Vick-divorce from the Eagles myself...

by Dean :: Wed, 08/15/2012 - 4:50pm

Wow. That's actually really flattering - not to mention completely undeserved. I mean, I'm just some dude on the internet. And I have tried very hard not to get all sanctimonious and turn my decision into some kind of crusade. Just because I made that decision doesn't mean that I think everybody should have.

And if he keeps his nose clean for another couple years, we're not that far away from wondering if he has defied the odds and genuinely made a legitimate, real change in himself as a person.

by chemical burn :: Wed, 08/15/2012 - 8:36pm

Nah, it's just you remind how morally bankrupt cheering for athletes can be. Am I really forgiving that heinous guy (and the heinous guys who never got caught) just because they play for my team? But you're one of the more thoughtful, even-keeled regular posters here at FO and therefore (along with Tanier) a role model for all Eagles fans (even former) who like to pick fights and argue.

Also, the Rams seem full of good guys like Bradford, Long, even Jason Smith who is... oof, not much of a player. Plus, I always liked Spags even though he's gone and they've been so bad there's no reason to dislike them. If they bounce the Eagles in the divisional round, my fondness for them will dry the hell up.

by Arjen.Robben :: Mon, 08/13/2012 - 3:39pm

Tebow-talk makes me thing Shonn Greene's going to lose touches... particularly, a few of those valuable ones around the end zone. Assuming Sanchez can ever get 'em down there.

by Insancipitory :: Mon, 08/13/2012 - 6:31pm

All I see with Tebow is he would walk into the hall of fame as a fullback. If the Jets drafted Russell Wilson and had Tebow as his FB, man I don't know if they would be better than Sanchez with those recievers, but that would be the most fun offense to watch.

by chemical burn :: Wed, 08/15/2012 - 2:04pm

Do fullbacks go into the HOF anymore? What the most recently retired FB to get a nod? (Not that I disagree with your point that Tebow is built to be hammered into the line 12 times a game, not throw the ball...)

by BaronFoobarstein :: Wed, 08/15/2012 - 6:37pm

Maybe he could split the difference and throw the ball into the linemen 12 times a game.

by chemical burn :: Wed, 08/15/2012 - 8:30pm

Isn't that what he spent last year doing? He certainly didn't seem to be throwing anywhere in the vicinity of wide receivers.

by BaronFoobarstein :: Thu, 08/16/2012 - 2:13am

As a Steelers fan... I don't know to finish this thought. But, well, forlornness.

by Insancipitory :: Thu, 08/16/2012 - 12:33am

Well they might if they were successful with lots of gadget plays. Personally, I think Mack Strong would have a good case if he played in a bigger market. Blocked for somewhere north of 15,000 yards rushing, played forever, beatup some of the best LBs to ever play the game.

My case for Tebow as a great fullback is that I think he's probably an enthusiastic bully, a hardworker, an effective runner, and a credible enough passing threat that it would mightily challenge a defense's discipline.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Thu, 08/16/2012 - 1:15am

Larry Csonka -- 1968-1979. We could argue about whether Riggins was a HB or a FB.

by BaronFoobarstein :: Thu, 08/16/2012 - 2:15am

I don't know whether he's the most recent, but Franco Harris played through '84.

by Jerry :: Thu, 08/16/2012 - 3:27am

"Fullback" doesn't mean the same thing now that it did then.

by chemical burn :: Fri, 08/17/2012 - 12:44pm

Yeah - that's definitely my point. Has anyone been inducted as modern version of the FB, a guy who mainly blocks, catches a handful of passes and runs the ball 4 or 5 times a game (at most)? If Alstott can't get a whiff of consideration (not that he deserves it, just that he was the last high profile, beloved, productive FB I can think of) I think can't imagine what a FB would have to do to even enter the conversation these days...

by Dean :: Fri, 08/17/2012 - 2:08pm

I would vote for Lorenzo Neal in a second. But I would be stunned if he were ever even so much as a finalist. Maybe some day the old timers committee will put him in?

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Fri, 08/17/2012 - 2:47pm

The full list of "FBs" in the HOF:

Jim Brown (FB) 1957-1965
Larry Csonka (FB) 1968-1979
John Henry Johnson (FB) 1954-1966
Marion Motley (FB) 1946-1953, 1955
Joe Perry (FB) 1948-1963
Jim Taylor (FB) 1958-1967

Riggins and Harris are listed as RBs.

No primarily-blocking back or end has made the HOF, with the possible exception of Bill Hewitt in the class of 1971.

by BaronFoobarstein :: Fri, 08/17/2012 - 10:07pm

I'm not sure where that list comes from but Harris, Nagurski, and Nevers are all in the HoF and were all primarily fullbacks, though not the blocking type you see today.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Fri, 08/17/2012 - 2:38pm

"Fullback" hasn't had its original meaning since the death of the Single Wing. Although Tebow is occasionally resurrecting the original role of the quarterback.

by Jim C. (not verified) :: Mon, 08/13/2012 - 3:53pm

"How many columnists on a major American daily newspaper have spent their entire journalistic lives with one newspaper?"

Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post for one. Others?

by dbt :: Mon, 08/13/2012 - 5:35pm

He's not a sports columnist, but Roger Ebert comes to mind.

(meant to reply to jim c's comment above)


by TomKelso :: Tue, 08/14/2012 - 12:53pm

Given the usual attitude towards PK on here, you might find this odd -- but I've tried for two days now to access the article and the link doesn't work -- anyone else having this problem?

by tuluse :: Tue, 08/14/2012 - 1:02pm

I usually just read the comments, so I didn't even try it. It appears to me that there is no link.

by justanothersteve :: Tue, 08/14/2012 - 1:26pm

I don't know if SI is experiencing periodic DoS attacks. But yesterday evening I did have a problem where instead of the page I was expecting I got some sort of checkerboard pattern on my screen several times. I checked other sites to see if maybe my computer had fallen victim to a virus, but I only experienced the problem at SI's site for about 5 minutes. I haven't seen it since, but it could be a random thing.

by Jimmy :: Tue, 08/14/2012 - 3:37pm

My browser doesn't even pick up that there is a link. They may just have missed it. Some of FO's pages have been displaying pretty borked for me though.

by VCS (not verified) :: Wed, 08/15/2012 - 12:20am

On that note, it would be nice if FO supplied a stand-alone link to the content. On most blogs, the header is an internal link, not the link to external site, and it wasn't immediately obvious (to me) that's where you're supposed to click.

by JonFrum :: Wed, 08/15/2012 - 1:02am

now you know. Next week, we teach you the secret handshake.