If your team needs a quarterback whose name doesn’t rhyme with “schmuck”, last Saturday was the day to sit in front of the television. 3 qbs were on display for all to see Saturday, and conveniently 2 of them played against each other. Call it the “trifecta” of Dolphins QB possibilities.
The day started with Baylor/Texas and Robert Griffin III (RG3 for short). I know he has become a bit of a cult hero to Phin fans but I have to tell you, I have my doubts. While most observers swear that the kid is a high character “face of the franchise” type, its the play on the field that ultimately matters. What I saw was a great spread formation qb with terrific speed. He runs the read option very well, most times making the correct decision to give it or take it himself. My issue came with his throwing motion, which looked like it had a hitch. He certainly can extend plays outside the pocket, and his arm strength looked great, but I didn’t see a lot of downfield reading of the defense.The plays looked predetermined to go to a particular receiver or was a presnap read.
Understand what I am saying here … the kid can definitely throw, and I think he makes sense for some teams to develop. But for a team that needs a qb to come in and challenge right away, I have my doubts. The other issue with a qb of this style is, you need a clone as a backup. So, not only do you commit to RG3 as a pick, but you also commit to another player of similar skills because the offense is so different and unconventional.
That took me to Bedlam … and Landry Jones versus Brandon Weeden. I have seen Jones several times this season but this was my first time watching Weeden.
Landry Jones is an enigma. He has all the tools, the size, the arm and can move. But, watching him, I kept thinking “Chad Henne, Chad Henne, Chad Henne”. The kid showed no emotion and several times looked flummoxed by what was happening around him. Worse yet, he has Henne’s annoying habit of stepping to the side on his throws instead of stepping straight into the throws. This produces a ball that is often times slightly off target, making the receiver adjust and lose momentum. I understand that many have him tagged as the 3rd best qb after Andrew Luck and Matt Barkley, but watching him this season I am not convinced he is anything more than Chad Henne with 2 more inches in height.
The quarterback who had the best day, as I saw it, was Brandon Weeden. He stepped into each throw, was deadly accurate and moved in the pocket very well. He had that Marinoesque quality of moving ever so slightly from side to side to buy an extra second while the receiver cleared. But what impressed me most was the accuracy. Swing passes to the backs fell into their arms in stride; same with deep ins to receivers. If I had one criticism it might be that he targets Justin Blackmon too much, sometimes passing up other open receivers to get his main target, but overall I was very impressed by Weeden’s ability and his leadership qualities. It looked as though the stage wasn’t too big, a maturity I expected from a 28 year old player.
I went to sleep that night pleased with my day of football, though slightly confused about what i saw and looking forward to the bowl season to see these 3 again.