Football musings...

Could we be nearing the end of the $40 million dollar rookie quarterback? Not hardly. But I do think we are at the point where, if a quarterback is not drafted in the top five, he isn't drafted at all. Why should a team draft a player that they will have to pay a lot of money just to sit on the bench and, if things go right, not play? I draw this observation from this past weeks signing of Casey Printers by the Kansas City Chiefs. He has been playing in the Canadien Football League and now, with some seasoning is being hired to be Trent Green's backup. In the NFL of today, you can almost bet with 100% accuracy that a backup will see playing time during the season. I find it amazing that we can send 17 year olds to war but they can't earn a living playing football? Why can Tony Parker, point guard for the San Antonio Spurs play professionaly in France at 15, but can't here? I understand the injury aspect, but whether it is high school or NFL Europe, the danger is there. Why are we wasting valuable scholarship money on players that will never finish college when they could bypass that and go to a developmental league, get some seasoning and then jump to the pro's? It would even the playing field somewhat in the college ranks, as it has in college basketball and keep players that have no business in college out of college. I have digressed from the original topic, developing a quarterback. Teams will always take a chance on the next "franchise" quarterback. And thats why we will still see some Ryan Leaf mistakes (I am sure he had loads of talent, just not the mental aspect to be a top quarterback) along with the surefire pick such as Troy Aikmen (Hall of Fame candidate). But there has to be many more Tom Brady's out there, diamonds in the rough just waiting for the chance to play. 96. That is the number of NFL quarterbacks, if each team keeps three on their roster. With championship caliber signal-callers so hard to come by, saturating the development with as many as can be found seems like a good way to find another one. Colleges don't play to develop a pro quarterback, the play to win at their game. We have seen so many times that a great college quarterback does not always make (really, rarely makes) a great pro quarterback (look at Texas Tech). In the win-now mentality of pro sports, we need a place to slowly bring along a quarterback, so that when he is ready, he can step in. The learning curve is too sharp to be throwing rookies into the fire, it takes too long to develop the skills, all the while the rest of the team grows old. I use my beloved Dallas Cowboys as my example. Who is going to take Drew Bledsoe's place in a couple of years? The defense is becoming top-notch, Zimmer will be ready to take over as head coach, the running game is looking good, but the offensive line and quarterback situation is goine to be the achilles heal. By the time a new quarterback is groomed, all the above mentioned parts will be past their prime, or gone via free agency because they will see that without a developed quarterback, they will not win here and will have moved on. Is Jerry Jones going to continue to bring in hired hands to do the quarterbacking? That just won't work. Look at the best teams, they found a young quarterback, built around him, and the team grew up together. Only then, at the end of the growing, did they add a free agent to put them over the top. I use Charles Haley as one very good example. When the team was ready to breakout, he was brought in as the final piece to the puzzle. I cannot stand Terrell Owens, he is so arrogant and his ego is so large he makes me puke, but he did the same for Philadelphia, put them over the top last year. Timing is so important.

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