View Full Version : Quarterback of the Future

10-15-2004, 07:22 AM
Analyze This: Picking the perfect pup

(Oct. 14, 2004) -- Six young NFL starting quarterbacks -- Drew Brees, David Carr, Joey Harrington, Byron Leftwich, Carson Palmer and Ben Roethlisberger -- have done some impressive things so far this season. Of the group, four of the six passers are leading their teams to winning records.

But which of these young guns is the next Peyton Manning? (Remember when Manning was the "next" Brett Favre? Remember when Favre was the "next" Steve Young? Remember when Young was the "next" Joe Montana? I could go on, here ... ) Our analysts register their thoughts on which youngster is the best of the bunch.


"It seems almost too easy to say that Ben Roethlisberger has been the most impressive because rookie quarterbacks don't routinely start out 3-0 -- if they play at all. But I believe the kid is the real deal. I saw his dynamic Week 5 performance against Cleveland in person, and was amazed by the following -- his mobility (despite the fact he is 6-foot-5 and 241 pounds), his ability to move while simultaneously looking for (and finding) an open receiver, his toughness, his confidence, his poise, and his leadership. The transition from a mid-major college (Miami of Ohio) to the NFL is supposed to be more difficult than Roethlisberger has made it appear, but he has the physical and mental skills to continue his success and remain an effective starter even after Tommy Maddox's elbow heals. I realize the Steelers are using an extremely simplified offense to keep Roethlisberger's thinking on the field to a minimum so that he can rely heavily on his instincts, which are the primary source of his play-making ability. With each game, defenses will respond accordingly and Roethlisberger will need to steadily expand his knowledge base or he will start looking more like you would expect a rookie quarterback to look. But he is fun to watch, especially when he improvises."


"Drew Brees -- simply because the San Diego Chargers acquired Philip Rivers, a favorite of Marty Schottenheimer, in the offseason. Many thought Rivers would be the Chargers' starting quarterback this season. With that hanging over Brees' head, he has been competing fiercely, not only to hold onto his job, but to regain his reputation. Almost all of the other young quarterbacks do not have this hanging over their heads like Brees does."


"I really like what Drew Brees, David Carr and Joey Harrington have done for their respective teams, but the most impressive, at least in my mind, is Ben Roethlisberger. I know all too well how difficult it is to play well as a rookie quarterback. Roethlisberger is 3-0 and his play has been a big reason why they've won. I'm sure Brees, Carr, Harrington and the others would agree that what Big Ben has done in his first three NFL starts is nothing short of outstanding."


"There are a lot of good young quarterbacks in the league this year, but I have to say that I think David Carr is the best of the bunch. He continues to make big-time plays. With Andre Johnson there for him, they seem to have found a great QB-WR combo and Carr is getting it done this year."


"It is hard to lump these quarterbacks together for a number of reasons. Drew Brees came into 2004 with 27 starts and 909 pass attempts, Joey Harrington entered this fall with 28 starts and 983 pass attempts. Even Byron Leftwich threw 418 passes in 2003. When you factor that experience against Carson Palmer and Ben Roethlisberger, with no game experience prior to this season, it's hard to compare them. For a young quarterback, a solid defense that creates turnovers and keeps opponent scoring down is another critical factor, along with an offensive line that can give a QB time to see the field. Brees will not be a Charger next season and has definitely helped himself. Harrington and Leftwich have their moments where you feel like the long-range future is set for their club. Palmer needs a better defense to keep him away from playing catch-up football every week and Roethlisberger has had a fast start and an excellent defense to support him. All things considered, Big Ben has to be considered the most impressive after five weeks."


"Is there even a question here? Drew Brees, David Carr, Carson Palmer, Joey Harrington and Byron Leftwich might be great quarterbacks one day. But no young quarterback this season has been any better than Ben Roethlisberger. Strong, tough, quick, poised, athletic -- the perfect quarterback for Pittsburgh for the next dozen years. When we're asked which young quarterback has been the most impressive this season, I can only say that I wish that the choice for the next president of the United States were this clearcut."


"Obviously the most impressive has been Ben Roethlisberger. Anybody who can scramble around carrying the weight of a 14-letter name on his jersey is impressive. But Roethlisberger would be my choice even if his name were Ben Roe, simply because he's a rookie. Rookie quarterbacks almost always make fans want to cringe on a regular basis -- so far, Roethlisberger has looked very poised and had a surprisingly small number of cringe-worthy plays. He's only been in a few games, of course, so maybe it's beginner's luck. But it may not be long until several of the teams that passed on Roethlisberger in the draft are kicking themselves for doing so. Of the group, Leftwich is second-most impressive because he's playing so well in only his second year. Carson Palmer has yet to play well, so the jury is out on him. All the others are either third- or fourth-year gentlemen expected to be playing well by now. "


"All of these quarterbacks are very good and have the ability to take their teams to the playoffs. However, I have to give a slight edge to David Carr. Start by evaluating the team that Carr started with -- an expansion team. He was sacked 77 times, which tells you that the offensive line wasn't good, the receivers weren't great and the running game was bad. Carr has improved steadily -- his completion percentage has risen from 52.5 percent his rookie year to 56.6 percent last year to 64 percent this year. Also, Carr played better as a rookie than John Elway, Troy Aikman, Jim Everett and Kerry Collins, all four of whom completed less than 50 percent of their passes. Elway and Aikman also threw twice as many interceptions as they did touchdowns. Tack on that Carr has four fourth-quarter comebacks in his first two years -- something that young passers just don't do very often. As he gets better, the Texans have gotten better. Carr can make all the throws, and as he's shown again this year, he can run with the ball, too."

10-15-2004, 07:52 AM
Since SD has Rivers, KC should watch for the opportunity to acquire Brees in FA. When does Brees contract expire?

10-15-2004, 08:00 AM
Since SD has Rivers, KC should watch for the opportunity to acquire Brees in FA. When does Brees contract expire?

I think he's free to go at the end of this year.

10-15-2004, 02:04 PM
We need to draft one.

10-15-2004, 02:17 PM
It will be hard to get a QB of the Future of these guys caliber unless we get a top 10 pick again..

"Drew Brees, David Carr, Joey Harrington, Byron Leftwich, Carson Palmer and Ben Roethlisberger"

All of these guys were picked in the 1st half of round 1 except for Brees who went at the beginning of round 2

our whole problem thoughout the 90's was we were picking in the mid to late 1st round......mediocrity...breeds mediocrity...

10-15-2004, 02:42 PM
A young QB in case your starter goes down and to develop into a future starter!?!?


10-15-2004, 03:21 PM
Drew Brees would look really good in a KC uniform.

10-15-2004, 03:22 PM
A young QB in case your starter goes down and to develop into a future starter!?!?


Cool. Perhaps we could trade LJ to the man inside it for a cure for cancer.