Sunday, July 23, 2006

Lest ye declare victory prematurely, forget not the past

Following up the good news of the Kam Wimbley signing, Grossi gives us an indepth history of the expansion era's QB troubles. Kind of long, focuses alot on Couch, forgets Luke McCown, but a good reminder of how bad its been.

One passage that caught my attention:

Savage's sterling reputation as a talent evaluator with the Baltimore Ravens was built on pass rushers, linebackers, defensive backs and running backs - certainly not on quarterbacks.

The only quarterbacks the Ravens drafted while Savage was their chief talent evaluator turned out to be journeymen at best.

They are Chris Redman, a third-round pick (like Frye) in 2000, and Kyle Boller, a first-round pick in 2003. Redman is currently teamless and Boller will begin this season on the bench.

That was something that had stuck in the back of my mind as Savage was coming into town with nothing but praises, but this is the first time I've seen someone else mention it.

But picking a QB is a crapshoot, and nobody has proven to be a consistent winner at it. And, in Savage's defense, Baltimore wanted Byron Leftwich (a respectable young passer), and their negotiations with the Vikings was the reason Minnesota didn't get their pick in on time. In the end, the deal took too long to work out, and Jacksonville got Leftwich, and Phil Savage and company were left with Boller.

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While Grossi focused on the past, McManamon focuses on the future. Key point:

The Browns will be led by Frye, but it will not be Frye at the epicenter of everything that takes place.

Frye's selection signaled the start of a not-so-subtle shift in emphasis, as the Browns tried to erase years of frustration and losing.

Instead of taking the star quarterback and making him the center of the team -- a move done with Tim Couch -- the Browns made the decision to strengthen the team around their third-round choice.

If you focus on a star QB who will make the team good, you're screwed if that QB is anything short of great. If you focus on a good team that might make the QB good, you more easily cut your losses and overpay for a new QB to pull all the pieces together.

2 comments:

Chris said...

Good article. However, I thought that Brian Billick influenced the QB picks in Baltimore over Savage and Newsome. That would be something interesting to confirm.

Dwayne_Rudds_Helmet said...

You make a good point. According to this article, Billick was a big Boller fan from the get-go:http://cbs.sportsline.com/b/page/pressbox/0,1328,6317590,00.html

I assume that the Ravens draft room operated alot like Savage described the Browns draft room: The Coach is closely consulted to identify the teams biggest needs, and then the personel guy does what he can to fill that need. For instance, this year Savage said that a big part of the reason he went with Wimbley over Ngata or Bunkley was because Crennel identified pass rush as a bigger priority than run defense. If that same system applied in 2003 in Baltimore, then Newsome and Savage already would have had their marching orders to get the QB, and beyond their duty to fill a need the coach had already identified the guy he wanted in there. So it sounds fair to put the blame firmly on Billick's shoulders.