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NFL Unfiltered Week 5: League Must Search Harder for Quarterbacks

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National Football League general managers and personnel men are failing miserably.  

That failure stems from the fact the country’s most popular spectator sport features quarterbacks who simply aren’t productive enough.  

In truth, many of them stink.  

Two such examples are Miami’s Ryan Tannehill and Washington’s Kirk Cousins, who in fairness, do not necessarily merit stink status (though both have been awful on multiple occasions).  But both are average and undeserving of the starting jobs they own.    

However, the real fault lies with the men who keep running them out there every Sunday.  Photo: realredskins.com

The reasons so many teams find themselves in quarterback purgatory are vast, but one thing is abundantly clear: Those charged with finding players to do the job, are not looking hard enough.  If they were, their searches would not end with the likes of Tannehill and Cousins.  

Tannehill, whom Miami chose with the 8th pick in the 2012 draft, is well on his way to getting his head coach (Adam Gase) fired.

Still, choosing Tannehill is only part of the problem.  The real issue is they have only drafted one other quarterback (Brandon Doughty from Western Kentucky) in the last four years, despite Tannehill’s penchant for poor throws and weak leadership.

Why would Miami’s front office subject itself and its fans to such mediocrity for half a decade?  

Perhaps the explanation lies in Tannehill’s measurables.  They list him at 6’4” and about 220 lbs. Plus, he has some athleticism, as shown by his playing wide receiver at Texas A&M.  Add that to the fact he’s white, and that makes Tannehill a very safe solution, even temporarily.  If you doubt that, just listen to Gase, who gave Tannehill the customary vote of confidence, which is another telltale sign a guy can’t play.  

It’s as if the Dolphins are both blinded and enamored by Tannehill’s looks.  If they weren’t, they would have sent him packing two years ago.  

Instead, the Dolphins sit in the NFL’s abyss, completely uninspiring and irrelevant.  Already a team playing out the string after a mere five weeks of football—due to their love affair with a guy who isn’t good enough.  

Interestingly, Washington’s situation is even stranger.  

Head coach Jay Gruden took over last season, and after studying Cousins, he and general manager Scot McCloughan failed to draft a quarterback in 2015.  Moreover, they waited until the 5th round this year to choose Nate Sudfeld from Indiana.  

If they weren’t going to commit to Cousins long-term (as his one-year deal indicates) why not draft a quarterback earlier in 2016?  Simple, Cousins, like Tannehill, is the safest-looking option.

There are a combined 253 division 1-A and 1-AA football schools in America.  And from that pool of players, the best Miami and Washington could do the last two drafts is Doughty and Sudfeld?  

That is a mind-blowing level of incompetence and proof teams do indeed leave stones unturned.  

 

THINGS THE PUNDITS CAN’T OR WON’T SAY: Week 5

-Gase went from young wunderkind to 1-4 in what feels like about 10 minutes.  Did he get dumber after he became the head coach?  No, but he went from helping a Hall of Fame quarterback to someone else.  That is what players do and that is why each of the league’s 32 head coaches are a distant third in the pecking order after the talent acquirer and quarterback.  

-The New York Jets deserve some praise for at least throwing bodies at their quarterback problem.  Only thing is, the person in charge of acquiring those bodies, is apparently very bad at his job.

-Wait, Eagles tailback Ryan Mathews came back from injury and fumbled when it counted?  Right, and the sky is blue . . . water is wet . . . and . . .!

-Don’t let them fool you, more guys like quarterbacks Dak Prescott and Carson Wentz exist, if you look.    

-Publicly, the inner workings of the San Francisco 49ers often seem strange, but it is nice to see the decision on who plays quarterback isn’t political.  Blaine Gabbert played poorly, so Colin Kaepernick deserves another chance.  Photo: www.businessinsider.com

-In case it wasn’t already obvious (and to many, it still isn’t), that is what the Carolina Panthers look like without quarterback Cam Newton.  

-Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford is a respectable starter, but he needs help and his front office continually fails him.  

-Buffalo’s Rex Ryan is slowly replacing the Rams’ Jeff Fisher for the title of head coach who most looks like he’s going to get fired, only to keep his job for another week.  

-Assuming every one of the Browns’ December opponents plays their starters, 0-16 is a real possibility if they lose to Dallas November 6th.  And even if they manage to win a game or two, I believe Hue Jackson gets fired.  To be fair, he left them no choice with his boneheaded quarterback missteps.  

-The Oakland Raiders hemorrhage points like their head coach pays no attention to defense, which is strange for a Jack Del Rio squad.  But expect them to “improve” as the season progresses, since they only play three more difference-making quarterbacks (Cam Newton, Philip Rivers and Andrew Luck) the rest of the year.

-Speaking of the Raiders, it is amazing how effective wide receiver Michael Crabtree became once he realized he was no more than an extra guy to throw to.  

-The Chicago Bears ought to see if they can entice a desperate team to trade for quarterback Jay Cutler.  It’s long past time for a reboot.  

 

Earl Myers is a freelance writer from the Philadelphia area. He closely follows North America's four major sports leagues but just about any sporting event gets his attention. His goal is to provoke a little thought in his readers.

 

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Photo: realredskins.com

Newton photo: businessinsider.com