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NaptownChief
01-14-2001, 01:02 PM
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<wire_Hertz>This was the year of the running quarterback in the National Football League. ''Was'' is the right word.</wire_Hertz>
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<title>Boston Globe Online / Sports / When put to test, QBs couldn't pass</title>
<font size=-1>
<b>By Will McDonough, Globe Staff, Globe Columnist, 1/9/2001</b>
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<wire_body> <P><img src=http://graphics.boston.com/globe/images/dropcaps/T.gif align=left>his was the year of the running quarterback in the National Football League. ''Was'' is the right word.<P>
<P>We were told constantly that the new wave was here, with the ''athaletic'' quarterbacks who were redefining the position with their ability to run the ball.<P>
<P>Well, here we are with four teams left batting to reach Super Bowl XXXV, and we have just one of those ''athaletic'' quarterbacks left, Daunte Culpepper of Minnesota, who still would rather pass than run and is more of a conventional dropback quarterback than a scrambler.<P>
<P>Shaun King, Donovan McNabb, Aaron Brooks, and Steve McNair are all gone. Their running ability suddenly didn't count anymore when it came to getting their teams into the final four.<P>
<P>Pro football doesn't change much - just the players do. Runners run. Passers pass. Defense wins.<P>
<P>In the eight playoff games this year, it wasn't how well the quarterbacks ran the ball, but how well the real runners ran with the ball. In seven games, the team that had the edge in the running game won. The only exception was the Baltimore-Tennessee game, which the visiting Ravens won even though they were outrushed, 126 yards to 49. Baltimore had only six first downs but still won because of the outstanding play of its special teams. The Ravens blocked two field goals, running one back for the game-turning touchdown.<P>
<P>''If you look at the difference in a lot of these games,'' said Bill Parcells of the New York Jets, ''special teams played a major role. Baltimore blocked those kicks to turn that game. The Giants opened the game running back the kickoff for a touchdown. You can't forget the importance of special teams in big games like these. A lot of times they're the difference-maker.''<P>
<P>The great football philosopher Scott Zolak once said, ''The only time a quarterback runs is when he doesn't know where to throw the ball.''<P>
<P>It sure looked that way for McNabb, the runner-up in NFL MVP voting, when the Eagles lost to the Giants Sunday. New York never let him get out of the pocket. He averaged just 4 yards per pass, after averaging 5 yards the week before against Tampa Bay. Those numbers are horrendous. On a decent day, a quarterback should average better than 6 yards.<P>
<P>McNabb could be a great player down the line. But he was fortunate this year to be on a team with a great defense. He hasn't shown yet that he can consistently throw the ball downfield accurately. That will be his test over time.<P>
<P>Brooks was the new sensation in New Orleans and the darling of the league for five weeks. People forgot that he had his two most spectacular games against St. Louis, which had the weakest defense this league has seen for a long time. When Brooks had to stand in the pocket and throw the ball downfield, as he did in Minnesota Saturday, he wasn't effective. And Minnesota is nearly as bad on defense as St. Louis.<P>
<P>The Baltimore defense exposed McNair as a guy who runs to throw and can be handled easily when you keep him in the pocket. Every time McNair throws a ball more than 15 yards, it starts to look like a Tim Wakefield knuckleball. When the Titans fell behind by two touchdowns in the fourth quarter and McNair had to throw deep, he couldn't do it.<P>
<P>Tennessee was the best team in the league this year, with a 13-3 record, but it is no longer around. Defense and the great Eddie George carried the Titans all year, but they couldn't overcome McNair's inability to throw the ball deep, or the poor play of the field goal unit. Al Del Greco, one of the best clutch kickers in the NFL in recent years, couldn't get it done on Sunday. In addition to the two he had blocked, another field goal attempt, from 31 yards, bounced off the upright.<P>
<P>In Oakland, the Raiders chewed up another dink-and-dunk offense in Miami.<P>
<P>The weekend's four losers had one thing in common: They prefer to run the ball and throw short, because they don't want to have their quarterbacks lose the game for them. Miami, New Orleans, Tennessee, and Philadelphia are all better on defense than offense, but they had to get off the playoff bus because their passing game couldn't strech the defense and keep opponents from creeping up on the line of scrimmage and putting the eighth man in the box, to take away the run.<P>
<P>After running for 209 yards a week earlier against Indianapolis, Miami's Lamar Smith had 4 yards on eight carries against the Raiders because his quarterback, Jay Fiedler, couldn't get it done against a defense that challenged him to pass.<P>
<P>As for the four teams left, three of them - Oakland, Baltimore, and New York - are better on defense than offense. Minnesota is brutal on defense but has the best offense among the final four.<P>
<P>If the Giants can handle Randy Moss and Cris Carter on the deep throws, they should win Sunday's NFC Championship game. If the infamous January winds howl in Giants Stadium, it will be a big plus for New York.<P>
<P>In the AFC Championship match at Oakland, the Ravens are the best defensive team and worst offensive team left standing. It's hard to see how Baltimore is going to score many points against Oakland, which is the most talented team left in the Super Bowl hunt now that Tennessee has left the building.<P>
<P><i> Will McDonough is a Globe columnist. </i><P>
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<font size=-1>
This story ran on page E01 of the Boston Globe on 1/9/2001.
<br>
<a href="/globe/search/copyright.htm">Copyright</a> 2001 Globe Newspaper Company.
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Cannibal
01-14-2001, 01:18 PM
Will left out Rich Gannon.

Cannibal
01-14-2001, 01:21 PM
BTW, McNabb's recievers are HORRIBLE!

Some of them would have a hard time making the Seminole's roster.

Who would you rather have, Kerry Collins or McNabb?

Trent Dilfer, or Daunte Culpepper?

I know who I'd take.

NaptownChief
01-14-2001, 01:27 PM
Long term I would prefer Culpepper...He is a QB who can also run when necessary...McNabb, IMO is a runner who is trying to become a QB...But right now I would take Kerry Collins, despite the fact that everyone bad mouths him, he has led his teams to the NFC Championship twice and once to the Super Bowl...I can't argue with that...

Cannibal
01-14-2001, 01:29 PM
Put Kerry Collins on the Eagles and they don't even make the playoffs.

Put McNabb on the Giants and they still make the Superbowl easily.



[Edited by Cannibal on 01-14-2001 at 02:37 PM]

Cannibal
01-14-2001, 01:32 PM
McNabb had to run a lot because his receivers suck so much arse.

I gaurantee you that Andy Reid wouldn't even consider trading Kerry Collins for McNabb. As a matter of fact, he'd probably laugh his *** off at the notion.

NaptownChief
01-14-2001, 01:35 PM
Can,

That is a very large assumption...Give the Eagles an average defense they are 5-11...

Cannibal
01-14-2001, 01:36 PM
Give the Giants an average defense and they'd be lucky to win 3 games.

NaptownChief
01-14-2001, 01:38 PM
Reid can laugh as loud as he wants, Collins may not be able hear him due to the Super Bowl ring that is stuck in his ear...

Cannibal
01-14-2001, 01:41 PM
Culpepper is in his first year as a starter and had 40 combined TD's and led his team to the NFC Championship game.

McNabb is his second year as a starter and took his team to the second round of the playoffs, despite having the worst receiving corps in the league.

Brooks in his first year as a starter took his team to the second round.

Gannon, a known scrambler has his team in the AFC title game.

NaptownChief
01-14-2001, 01:44 PM
Collins had bad WR's and led a 2nd year expansion team to the NFC championship game in just his second year so McNabb and Culpepper have nothing on him...Especially Culpepper cause he was loaded with weapons all around him.

Cannibal
01-14-2001, 01:45 PM
Dogging these QB's is totally unwarranted.

Culpepper and McNabb will be the best in the league for years to come.

And soon we'll be adding another player of that mold, Michael Vick.


Culpepper
McNabb
Vick
Brooks

I like what I'm seeing at the QB position. I just hope KC goes this route as well.

Cannibal
01-14-2001, 01:49 PM
Collins had the number one ranked D in the league that year. His numbers sucked. Look at what he did after that year. He was one of the worst QB's in the league for a 3 or 4 year stretch.

So you actually think Kerry Collins is more talented and a better QB than McNabb and Culpepper?


To each his own I guess. I doubt many NFL people would agree with you.

NaptownChief
01-14-2001, 01:52 PM
Can,

I'm not trying to discredit either of them...I think they will both be very good QB's...Just not willing to let everyone try to discredit Collins because the media has been out to trash him ever since he allegedly made a off colored joke...If every person who has made an off colored joke at least once in their life were nailed to the wall, black or white, there wouldn't be enough walls to go around....

But the 2nd year of a QB is very important...This gives every team in the league a whole offseason to find their weakness and tendencies....Just look at Krydell Stewart as a prime example...I'm sure a couple years ago you were ready to put him in Canton...Jury is still out...Especially on Brooks.

Cannibal
01-14-2001, 01:52 PM
As a matter of fact, Kerry Collins' numbers have ALWAYS sucked until this year.

NaptownChief
01-14-2001, 01:55 PM
Well as for $hitty numbers...McNabb was the 18th rated QB this year and even worse last year....And your point is?

Cannibal
01-14-2001, 01:56 PM
No need to change the subject. His racial comments have nothing to do with argument and I never once brought them up here, you did.

Collins has been very average/horrible until this year. He may have matured into a good QB now. But he's not in the same league as McNabb/Culpepper.

NaptownChief
01-14-2001, 01:59 PM
I only brought it up because it is due to that incident that has caused the media to go out of their way to run him in the ground....And most people aren't deep enough to develop their own opinion they just adopt whatever the media says...And you are right those two aren't in the same league...Collins is now officially a Super Bowl quarterback....

Cannibal
01-14-2001, 02:00 PM
Collins first full year as a starter:

2717 yds - 14 td passes - 19 ints

74 rushing yds - 3 tds


McNabbs first full year as a starter:

3365 yds - 21 td passes - 11 ints

629 rushing yards - 6 tds


Not even close.

Cannibal
01-14-2001, 02:03 PM
Collins has two very good WR's and very good O-line and running game.

McNabb WAS the ONLY option for the Eagles offense.

I think your arguement here is kinda weak.


But everyone has a right to their own opinion.

Later, I'm off to watch the AFC title game.

NaptownChief
01-14-2001, 02:03 PM
Big difference....Collins 1st full year was his 1st year....McNabb was coddled his 1st year...Those are his 2nd year numbers. Collins was in the NFC Championship game in his second year...