Monday, November 18, 2013

4 comments David Steele Miraculously Matches Bleacher Report for "Laziest Execution of a Slideshow"

David Steele isn't exactly known for his slideshows, so I was a bit surprised when I saw he had written a slideshow entitled "How to fix the 10 worst QB situations in the NFL." I don't want to spoil anything, but David Steele's solutions essentially consist of "draft a better quarterback" and then he moves on to the next team. It's very lazy and makes me wonder why he even bothered writing this. Silly me that I thought the article would feature real ideas on how these 10 teams can solve their quarterback situation, as opposed to Steele basically just telling the ten teams to draft a better quarterback or providing no solution at all.

Watching the Minnesota Vikings bumble around on offense Monday night against the New York Giants, it seemed as if the Vikings' playoff trip last season happened in another era, maybe with Fran Tarkenton at quarterback.
At 73, Tarkenton might be a better option than what the Vikings have right now. 

I'm sure Fran Tarkenton believes he is a better option than what the Vikings have now.

Josh Freeman is a project, one with a proven history, 

I'm not sure this is a direct contradiction, but if Freeman has a proven history then I'm also not sure that makes him a project.

Yet he was on track to start for them again Sunday against Green Bay, until he was diagnosed with a concussion in midweek. If he can’t play, the Vikings will go back to Christian Ponder, who already had been injured and replaced by Matt Cassel, who was then replaced by Freeman.

All three have lost starts in just the team’s first six games – which is hard to do, and which makes the Vikings’ quarterback situation, for now and the foreseeable future, the worst of the NFL’s 32 teams. 

But not by much. The competition is strong. These are the 10 worst, starting with the most troubled—and the reasonable solution for each. 

What do you do when the solution isn't really a solution other than "wait and go find a better quarterback in the draft" which is easily the most obvious solution? I thought David Steele would provide ideas for solutions during the 2013 season, but I guess not. It seems my expectations were too high in thinking that a column about "fixing" the 10 worst quarterback situations would actually involve short-term fixes.

Let's start the slideshow!

Vikings (Christian Ponder, Josh Freeman, Matt Cassel)

How did it get this way: Reaching for Ponder at 12th overall in the 2011 draft, and then being deluded by last year’s Peterson-fueled playoff run. 

How can it be fixed: Committing to Freeman to see if he was the solution almost made sense, but now that’s on hold until he’s healthy. Chances are that with this reprieve, Ponder will just keep on being Ponder.

So this is the worst quarterback situation in the NFL and so far David Steele's suggestion to fix the problem'm not sure what it is at this point. Fortunately, there is one more sentence written that I am sure will clear the problem up.

And all bets are off if they change coaches next year and the newcomer has his own ideas. 

So basically how the Vikings quarterback can be fixed (and they have the worst quarterback situation in the NFL according to David Steele) is going to remain a cliffhanger. Perhaps there will be a sequel slideshow that gets written. At least he could be lazy like he is on many of the other slideshows and say, "draft another quarterback," but David Steele doesn't even do that. He says a new coach might want a new quarterback or otherwise the Vikings should just stick with Freeman unless that doesn't work out, in which case they can go back to Ponder.

Jaguars (Chad Henne, Blaine Gabbert)

How did it get this way: Another draft reach, two years ago, for Gabbert. He’s outlasted two coaches but is barely hanging on with a third. Career record: 5-22.  

I covered this issue a year or so ago. Fine, Gabbert was a reach and Ponder was a reach, but if the Jaguars and Vikings truly believed they needed a quarterback and other teams also liked Gabbert/Ponder then was it really a reach? Yes, the benefit of hindsight is especially useful to know which teams reached for a quarterback and which did not, but if other NFL teams are trying to get Gabbert in the first round are the Jaguars reaching by spending the #10 pick on him?

How can it be fixed: New brain trust of owner Shad Kahn, GM David Caldwell and coach Gus Bradley won’t put up with inherited problems like this at quarterback for much longer. Barring a dramatic turnaround, Caldwell and Bradley will be looking for “their” guy next year. 

So the situation can't be fixed, it just has to change? Couldn't this slideshow be one page long with a list of teams who have a bad quarterback situation followed by "give them more time to fix it" as the solution? Yes, the Jaguars are going to look for their guy next year, but that probably goes without saying and may not count as a fix for the current situation.

Browns (Jason Campbell, Brandon Weeden, Brian Hoyer)

I think this slideshow could be called "Teams who picked bad quarterbacks in the 2011 and 2012 NFL Draft."

How bad is it: Jeff Garcia says he called them to offer his services, and why wouldn’t they listen?

Because he is old and even if the Browns were that desperate they would never admit they are that desperate. At some point, if they are only going to win 1-2 more games with Garcia it may pay to just not seem desperate and get the high draft pick that will result in continuing to lose, especially since the Colts first round pick the Browns own seems like it will be in the high-20's.

How did it get this way: They simply aren’t able to undo the Weeden debacle of the ’12 draft, 

It's almost like drafting a quarterback in the first round who is closer to 30 years old than 25 years old is not a good idea. 

and spent all year showing no faith in Campbell until Weeden had failed once too often.

Right, because if the Browns had just shown faith in Jason Campbell earlier then he would have immediately solved the Browns quarterback issues. All Jason Campbell needed was someone to believe in him and he's suddenly the Browns long-term solution at the quarterback position.

Their 3-0 mark with Hoyer starting is just a distant memory, and too small a sample size to trust. 

Agreed. Now let's see how David Steele is going to fix the Browns quarterback situation.

How can it be fixed: They have two first-round picks next year thanks to the Richardson trade, and they have a shot at their next franchise quarterback with either pick.

Oh, draft another quarterback in this year's NFL Draft. I can't help but wonder if David Steele thinks the Browns should keep Hoyer as a backup or spend the entire offseason telling Jason Campbell how much they believe in him so he will play well. I think saying, "they will fix it by drafting better" is sort of a cop-out when writing a slideshow on how to fix a team's quarterback problem. That solution seems pretty obvious.

Buccaneers (Mike Glennon, Dan Orlovsky)

How did it get this way: Apparently, only Freeman and Schiano know the entire answer. Once it became toxic, though, the recovery was guaranteed to be slow and painful.   

It's not like the Buccaneers were winning games with Josh Freeman as their quarterback anyway. So it got this way because Freeman seemingly regressed more and Greg Schiano then decided sabotaging his quarterback is "the Buccaneer Way" and eventually released Freeman.

How can it be fixed: Schiano not only is a longshot to be back next season, at 0-6 and sinking, he’s a longshot to finish this one. The quarterback merry-go-round then starts over again. 

So....................draft a better quarterback then? Great, glad you have a plan.

Until then, Glennon has to ride it out. 

Oh good, so what should be done is absolutely nothing until the Buccaneers get a new head coach. That sounds like a hell of a plan to fix the Buccaneers quarterback problems.

Texans (Matt Schaub, T.J. Yates, Case Keenum)

How did it get this way: The warning signs were overlooked when the Texans’ defense scrapped back to wins in the first two games, but Schaub stunk it up even while the other parts of the offense seemed fine.

What the hell? The Texans offense put up 901 yards of offense in the first two games of the season, including Matt Schaub going 60-93 for 644 yards passing 6 touchdown passes to 3 interceptions. Over a season that's 5,152 yards 48 touchdown passes and 24 interceptions. In no way did the Schaub stink it up. This is complete revisionist history. The Texans did run the ball very well in those two games, but Schaub didn't stink it up. This is a lie.

How can it be fixed: Schaub may be out of time. Coach Gary Kubiak may have no choice but to stay with Keenum to see what he can do. But unless Keenum becomes Kurt Warner, they’ll need to find the next Schaub— a veteran steal—to fulfill their promise. 

A veteran steal, now there's a good idea. How about a veteran sportswriter named Steele tells us which "veteran steal" the Texans should target, you know, given this is a column describing how he would fix certain team's quarterback situation.

Andre Johnson, Arian Foster, J.J. Watt, Ed Reed and Co. won’t wait forever for the quarterback to catch up. 

Since you are writing a column on how to fix the Texans quarterback situation, HOW ABOUT AN ACTUAL SUGGESTION FOR A VETERAN STEAL?! No deal? Great, thanks.
Rams (Kellen Clemens, Brady Quinn, Sam Bradford)

How bad is it: Bradford’s torn ACL ended a critical season for him, one the Rams really needed to see play out before deciding whether he’s the answer.

I realize Bradford has had some injuries, but Bradford has started 49 games so far in his NFL career. I have to think that's a large enough sample size for the Rams to get an idea if he is the long-term quarterback or not.

Clemens is a guy who can start, little more. 

Clemens exists as a human being who is alive and has played the quarterback position before, so therefore he can start. Not a high threshold to meet.

How can it be fixed: Complicating matters are the Rams’ two first-round picks next year (more booty from the Robert Griffin III trade). Both are on pace to be very high. If a quarterback lands in their laps, good luck making that decision. 

So David Steele's solution, yet again, is the Rams need to draft a better quarterback or they may not need to draft a quarterback. Rams fans, consider your quarterback situation now fixed.

Eagles (Michael Vick, Nick Foles, Matt Barkley)

But it’s the same concern they had when Chip Kelly took the job: Vick was a known quantity, but injury-prone; Foles had little experience and was an uncertain fit for the scheme, and Barkley was a rookie. All have come to pass already.   

I can't believe it came to pass that Matt Barkley is a rookie. I would have thought he would have used a time machine to advance four years and become a fifth-year veteran this year. Alas, he did not.

How can it be fixed: If Barkley is the man, he won’t get much chance to prove it unless there’s an emergency like last week against Dallas. That will be painful for everybody.

As painful as not knowing if Barkley is the answer and continuing to lose games anyway with a different quarterback running the team? Let's get to the solution.

Kelly still needs a long-term solution at the position. 

So the way the Eagles can fix the quarterback position is by finding a long-term solution at the quarterback position. Thanks David Steele! Now I know exactly how the Eagles are going to solve their quarterback issues.

Seriously, he writes a slideshow about how 10 teams can fix their quarterback position yet for most of the teams provided he doesn't even provide how they can fix the position other than "draft a better quarterback." For the Eagles, David Steele doesn't even say that. He just says the Eagles need to find a long-term solution at the quarterback position. Very useless.

Giants (Eli Manning, Curtis Painter, Ryan Nassib)

How can it be fixed: The Giants must decide whether it needs fixing. Manning has, of course, had his moments even in the Super Bowl years, but nothing like this. If they decide he’s hit the wall too late instead of too early, it’ll be devastating. There’s no Plan B at quarterback. 

So I guess it can't be fixed. Great, glad this list has been made then.

Cardinals (Carson Palmer, Drew Stanton, Ryan Lindley)

As in Minnesota, an elite player’s prime is being wasted in the process, Larry Fitzgerald.  

How about getting Palmer an offensive line to protect him? The Cardinals tried this, but injuries hit them.

How did it get this way: One faulty quarterback decision after another since trying to replace Kurt Warner three years ago. (Not to mention trying to hand the reins to Matt Leinart before that.)

Well, they did draft Leinart in the first round so it probably made some sense to try and hand him the reins to the team at some point.

How can it be fixed: Another team with lots of pieces but a big hole at the most important position, that can’t hand things to a rookie to groom, but can’t afford to blow it on another stopgap veteran. 

Good thing this section isn't titled "How it can be fixed" or else this wouldn't seem like an idea on how to fix the situation at all.

So the Cardinals need to draft a rookie "to groom" (as if the rookie is a horse, or much like Jason Campbell needed someone to believe him, draft a quarterback and pump his confidence up which will obviously make him a great starter down the road), but don't need to spend money or draft picks on a veteran. So the Cardinals should draft a rookie, wait 2-3 years and then see what happens from there, while doing nothing in the interim?

Bills (Thad Lewis, E.J. Manuel, Jeff Tuel)

This is kind of an interesting team to put on this list. The Bills seem to think they have their franchise quarterback in E.J. Manuel. He's injured, that's all.

How did it get this way: Manuel has now had knee problems in the preseason and regular season of his rookie year. Yet the Bills ended up scrambling like crazy for a replacement each time. Rolling the dice with completely untested backups over the network of journeymen was risky, although it has paid off so far.   

I think I could have more respect for this column if David Steele specified what "the network of journeymen" exactly was and exactly what quarterbacks this network consists of. Alas, I do not get that.

How can it be fixed: Manuel will return, but he needs to be kept out of harm’s way. The Bills, with a tough young defense and budding skill-position players, are in contention in the AFC East, and missing out because they can’t keep their franchise quarterback healthy would be a shame. 

So it seems the Bills can fix their quarterback problem by not allowing their franchise quarterback get injured. Great idea.

I think there's something about slideshows that makes writers inherently lazy. Either way, this is a slideshow about how 10 NFL teams can fix their quarterback situation and the only solution provided is either no solution at all or "go draft a better quarterback." Not a good showing.


Dan said...

Thought you would appreciate this article

Bengoodfella said...

Dan, my only response to that article is "go home, you're drunk."

I find it hard to believe that is even close to being true.

Koleslaw said...

Here, let's sum this up:

Vikings: Draft a better QB
Jaguars: Draft a better QB
Browns: Draft a better QB
Bucs: Draft a better QB
Texans: Find a good veteran QB (because those are just hanging on trees.)
Rams: Maybe draft a better QB if one falls to them in the draft?
Eagles: Find a better QB somewhere.
Cardinals: Find a better QB but not a veteran or a rookie. (Is this seriously what he says? *doublechecks* Yeah, that's what he says.)
Giants: Nothing can be done. (Wait, what's wrong with Eli Manning? Are all of the Giants' problems Eli's fault?)
Bills: Wait for their injured QB to get healthy.


Here, let's narrow it down even further:

"If a team has a problem at the QB position, they'll need to find another QB. They can either sign a veteran or draft a rookie."

Bleacher Report has had some really dumbass articles on it, but this one takes the cake.

Bengoodfella said...

Koleslaw, that about sums it up. The sad part is this didn't come from Bleacher Report. It was just so lazy. I'm not sure if "find a better QB" is really a way to fix each team's QB situation.