The NFL has a flawed concept of how to find a Super Bowl quality quarterback for their franchise.
Essentially they choose one, and mostly they choose only one and that’s the flaw.
Then they adorn him with all sorts of gifts, like a great coach, a great defense, solid playmakers on offense and giant lineman to protect, all on the premise that he can stand under pressure, with the weight of a city on his shoulders and hit the open man.
And, on top of it all they pay him giant amounts of money before he ever really proves he can be “that guy.”
What most teams do is they spend tens of millions of dollars on a guess.
They engage in calculated risk.
On the surface it sounds entirely American, invest in a business, put in resources and time and materials and watch it compete and grow.
The problem is when they don’t compete and they don’t grow.
Take our beloved Bears as exhibit A. The first thing Ryan Pace said when taking over as GM is that he would draft a quarterback EVERY YEAR.
How many has he actually taken? ONE!
Forget about whether or not it’s in the first round. The point is you never know when you’re going to catch lightning in a bottle. Who knows who the next Tom Brady or Joe Montana is.
If you had to guess how many Super Bowl winning quarterback WEREN’T drafted in the first round how many would you guess?
Try 16. Here they are:
Tom Brady——————6th round
Nick Foles——————-3rd round
Russell Wilson————-4th round
Drew Brees——————2nd round
Brad Johnson—————-9th round
Brett Favre——————-2nd round
Steve Young——————supplemental draft
Mark Rypien——————6th round
Jeff Hostetler——————3rd round
Joe Montana——————-3rd round
Joe Theismann—————-4th round
Roger Staubach—————10th round
Ken Stabler———————2nd round
Johnny Unitas——————9th round
Bart Starr————————17th round
(Apologies if I missed anyone)
You still have to adorn him with gifts. You’ll still have to pay him the money if he wins. Unless you’re the Eagles and you decide beating Bill Belichick and the Patriots and winning the Super Bowl isn’t good enough to earn you a spot as the team’s number one quarterback. No, that belongs to Carson Wentz “because he’s our guy.”
It flabbergasts me why the Eagles didn’t trade Wentz and keep Foles. I guess they’d rather follow through with their plan, rather than follow through with what’s best for their team.
What more does a guy have to do than beat the Patriots, one of the greatest dynasties in the history of the NFL?
I really don’t think being a GM is terribly complex. But I do think you have to be ruthless. You have to sit a guy down you just told how much you love and tell him HE ISN’T YOUR GUY after all.
One last thing I’ll say in defense of the GM, to be ruthless is to be unpopular, and to be unpopular is to be without friends, and to be without friends is to be without a job and to be without a job is well you see where it takes you.
It’s a fine line between ruthless and a guy you actually want to play and work for, actually want to sacrifice your body and mind for a fistful of dollars for, well a little more than that.
Also, another thing in defense of the GM is how stressful the job is. I mean to be responsible for a team in that way and have millions of little micro GM’s like me screaming and telling you what to do.
It’s no wonder they come in all fresh faced like a president and look like haggard janitors after four years on the job.
I get that playing quarterback is hard. I certainly wouldn’t want it no matter how much money you threw at me for the chance. But there are hundreds if not thousands who do. Why not give some of them a shot?
ONE FINAL NOTE…………………IN THE LAST 33 YEARS THE BEARS HAVE DRAFTED ONLY 14 QUARTERBACKS! If that isn’t a S.O.S. to the McCaskey family about a mediocre football team what else can we do???