Tag Archives: Quarterbacks

Keisel says Flacco isn’t among the best quarterbacks, yet

Tuesday’s edition of Pro Football Talk (NBCSN, 5:00 p.m. ET) featured a visit from the NFL’s answer to Grizzly Adams — Steelers defensive end Brett Keisel. Keisel, one of the funniest players in all of football, addressed a variety of topics with Erik Kuselias and yours truly, including whether a quarterback Keisel knows very well...

Source: ProFootballTalk » Pittsburgh Steelers



AFC North Roundup Finale: Quarterbacks redux

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Source: Behind the Steel Curtain - All Posts

League reminds clubs of rules for mobile quarterbacks


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With more quarterbacks opting to run with the ball, either horizontally or vertically or both, the NFL has given its teams a reminder as to the rules that apply when quarterbacks aren’t in the pocket. The biggest misconception for most fans (and some players) comes when the quarterback leaves the pocket but stays behind the…

Source: ProFootballTalk » Pittsburgh Steelers

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2012 Pittsburgh Steelers Training Camp Roster Battles: Quarterbacks

Only 14 more days to go until the Pittsburgh Steelers report to Latrobe for training camp, so today we continue on with our look at the training camp roster battles with our look at the quarterback position.

Quarterback roster battles? Really? The Steelers, as expected, resigned unrestricted veterans Byron Leftwich and Charlie Batch to one-year qu...

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Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger Ranks 6th on Ron Jaworski’s Top 30 Quarterbacks List

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Source: Behind the Steel Curtain


Top NFL Quarterbacks of 2012

We have taken a look at some of the NFL’s best players in the 2012 season by position the past few days, focusing primarily on the defensive side. Now its time to show the offense some love as we look at the top quarterbacks of the 2012 NFL season.
This is actually an odd season in terms of ranking the top quarterbacks in the NFL. There is New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees who is threatening to sit on the season if the team is not offering him the long term contract that he is looking for. I do not see Drew Brees playing under the franchise tag since the last time he did he was injured, for that reason I will not include him in this list. Oh, and then there’s Peyton Manning. Peyton did not play all of last year because of neck issues, so how he will perform for the Denver Broncos is not known yet. So let’s get right to it
4. Ben Roethlisberger. The Pittsburgh Steelers have one of the best quarterback in the league. He is so big that he is able to break ou...

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2013 Draft Class Heavy with Quarterbacks, Receivers and Nose Tackles

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Most major college football programs have played their annual spring games by now, and many players finish with school and begin preparing on their own for the 2013 season.

A very select few of them will be next year's Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and David DeCastro.

As of now, next year's draft class looks to be strong at a few positions. The class appears to be loaded with quarterbacks, wide receivers, nose tackles, and safety's and above average at tackle, tight end, and cornerback. The classes weakness appears to be interior offensive line and 4-3 linebackers but obviously, this is all just projections right now and is subject to massive changes.

This isn't a traditional mock draft, but rather, a list of the top 32 players as of now in the draft class for next year. We really have no way of knowing who will pick where for obvious reasons. Use this list as a sort of "players to watch" guide for college football next year.

1. Jarvis Jones, DE/OLB, Georgia - This will be the first time in a while that the #1 player is not a quarterback. Jarvis Jones had 13.5 sacks last year in the SEC and will look to build on that this year. He has the ability to be one of the best 3-4 outside linebackers in the NFL as soon as he gets drafted.

2. Matt Barkley, QB, USC - Barkley would have been a top five pick this year and he is the favorite to be the number one pick next year. He has all the tools (big arm, good accuracy, great vision, toughness, intelligence, etc.) to become a great quarterback and depending on who is drafting number one next year, he could be the number one pick.

3. Robert Woods, WR, USC - Robert Woods is not your biggest wide receiver (only around 6'1") but all he does is produce. He has become Matt Barkley's favorite target and with his speed and great hands, he could become a dominant force in the NFL. He will likely be destroyed during the Draft Process because of his height but whoever gets him next year will be very lucky.

4. Johnathan Hankins, NT, Ohio State - Hankins is a monster (6'4" 320 pounds) with great athleticism, great strength, and a great motor. He looks like he will be the highest drafted nose tackle in a long time (possibly ever) and has the tools to be a top five pick if he can have another strong season. He will likely impress at the combine like Dontari Poe did, but unlike Poe, he will have great game tape to go along with it.

5. Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas - Tyler Wilson had a great year last year and would likely have been the third QB taken but he decided to return to school and try and lead Arkansas to a BCS bowl game. He has incredible arm strength and he is a hard worker and if he can have another solid year he can be a top five pick next year.

6. Sam Montgomery, DE/OLB, LSU - Montgomery was a big part of LSU's dominant defense last year because of his ability to bring pressure off the edge. He had 9 sacks and 13 tackles for a loss last year as only a sophomore and if he can build that up to the double digits, he could be a top five pick next year.

7. D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama - Fluker - To this point in his career, the mammoth tackle from Alabama has only started at right tackle. If he does not make the shift to the left side this year, he will drop down this list because he will be considered a right tackle only. However, with his size and athleticism, one would figure he could shift to the left side.

8. Tyler Bray, QB, Tennessee - Bray has a huge arm but still makes some dumb mistakes. If he can fix those stupid mistakes, he could end up being higher on this board. On terms of raw talent, he might have the most of all the quarterbacks in this class.

9. Keenan Allen, WR, California - Allen has the size to make him potentially be the #1 WR taken next year. At 6'3" and 206 pounds, he will not have any concerns over his size. He matches that up with great production (as a sophomore, he had 89 receptions for 1261 yards and 6TDs). If he can improve his route running a little and work on his hands, he could be the #1 wide receiver drafted in next year's class.

10. David Amerson, CB, N.C. State - Amerson comes into the process as the #1 cornerback in the class. The main reason why is his size. He is 6'3" and 200 pounds and seems to play very fast on the field. As a sophomore last year, he intercepted 13 passes which shows just what type of ballhawk he is. If he has another great season, he could actually end up being a top 3 pick.

11. Manti Te'o, ILB, Notre Dame - Manti Te'o was a projected top 20 pick in this year's draft but he decided to go back to Notre Dame. Last year, as a junior, Te'o recorded 4.5 sacks and 120 tackles. The production, matched with his athleticism, will make him a possible top 10 pick and will draw comparisons to Patrick Willis throughout the draft process.

12. Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M - Matthews will only be a junior next year, but already he is being talked about as possibly the best tackle in the class next year. He has a lot of experience playing at 3 spots on the offensive line (LT, RT, LG) and could definitely leap frog Fluker for the top tackle in the class.

13. Barret Jones, OT/OG/C, Alabama - Jones in his career at Alabama has played left tackle, both guard spots, and center. That kind of versatility combined with his talent will make him a high pick next year. The reports are that he will be the center next year for Alabama and if that is true, he could become the highest drafted center in the past five years.

14. Barkevious Mingo, DE/OLB, LSU - Mingo is an athletic monster with massive upside. As a sophomore, he had 8.5 sacks and 13 tackles for a loss. Like Montgomery, if he can get that number up to double digits and continue to get stronger, he could be a top five to ten pick.

15. Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State - Rhodes has great size at 6'2" and 210 pounds and has shown the ability to lock down his side of the field without any safety help. However, he is kind of like Ike Taylor in the fact that he has stone hands. Last year, he had just one interception and dropped several more. That might keep him from being a top 10 pick but as seen with Dre Kirkpatrick, he could still be a top 20 pick in the draft next year.

16. T.J. McDonald, S, USC - McDonald is the best of a loaded safety class next year. His athleticism and size (6'3" 205 pounds) make him a possible candidate to play corner but he could be best at safety. He is a big hitter and also had 3 interceptions last year.

17. Marcus Lattimore, RB, South Carolina - Marcus Lattimore is a monster and was on his way to dominating the SEC again last year before a devastating leg injury. If he can recover and have another great season next year, he could be a top five pick. However, I am going to be conservative on him until he proves he can play at the same level he was at before the leg injury.

18. Tyrann Mathieu, CB, LSU - a.k.a. The Honey Badger, Mathieu is a ball hawking corner that can also be explosive in kick returns. Any time the ball is in his hands, he is a threat to take it to the house. As a sophomore, he forced 6 fumbles, lead LSU with 70 tackles, averaged 16.2 yards per punt return, and was named 2011 National Defensive Player of the Year by rivals.com. The thing holding him back from being a top 10 pick is his size. He is only 5'9" but because of his explosiveness and ability, he should still be a first round pick.

19. Logan Thomas, QB, Virginia Tech - Logan Thomas has the athletic ability and arm strength of Cam Newton. The question is whether or not he will make the same strides that Newton made in his final year at Auburn to improve his passing accuracy and decision making. If he can do that, like Newton did, he could be the first pick in the draft next year. If not, he will still likely be a mid first round pick because of his potential.

20. Marquess Wilson, WR, Washington State - Marquess Wilson has the height (6'4") and production (82 receptions for 1388 yards and 12TDs) to be the first WR taken next year. If he has another year at that production level, I do believe he will be picked in the top 10. As a sophomore, he had 2 games where he went over 225 yards receiving and 4 more where he was over 100 yards. He is capable of taking over a game and will be a highly sought after commodity in next year's draft.

21. Tyler Eiffert, TE, Notre Dame - Eiffert is massive (6'6" 250 pounds) and is a great receiver (63 receptions for 803 yards and 5TDs as a sophomore). He is also a great blocker and a hard worker. If he has another good season at Notre Dame, he could be a top 15 pick in the draft next year.

22. Star Lotulelei, NT, Utah - Lotulelei is a massive guy (6'4 and 325 pounds) with an incredible ability to eat up double teams. He had 1.5 sacks last year and 46 tackles so he has the production to match his size. If he can have another strong year, he could be a top 20 pick in the draft next year.

23. Kawann Short, DE/DT, Purdue - Short's size and weight (6'3 and 310 pounds) makes him a versatile player. He can either play 3-4 DE or even 4-3 DT. He is incredibly strong and is also a good pass rusher. As a junior, he had 6.5 sacks (3 vs. Ohio State and there great offensive line) and 54 tackles so he has the production to match his physical attributes. If he has another strong season he should be a top 15 to 20 pick.

24. Jelani Jenkins, OLB, Florida - Jenkins is built very similarly to new Pittsburgh Steeler, Sean Spence. At 6'0" and 230 pounds, he does not have great size but he does have great athleticism, instincts, and production. He is not an elite pass rusher (only 2 sacks as a sophomore) but is great in pass coverage and is a sure tackler. Because of his lack of pass rushing skills, he likely won't be a top 20 pick, but late in the first round he could present great value. He is the #1 4-3 OLB in the class as of now.

25. Tony Jefferson, S, Oklahoma - Tony Jefferson is a big hitter with great production. As a sophomore, he had 74 tackles and 4 interceptions. He is a great athlete and is always around the ball. He also has shown the ability to cover slot WRs. His versatility and instincts should make him a candidate to be a first round pick next year.

26. Robert Lester, S, Alabama - Lester is big (6'2" 210 pounds), fast, and has great instincts. As a junior, he had only one interception, but that was probably an anamoly because as a sophomore he had an SEC best, 8 interceptions. This drop off in interceptions is likely why he returned to Alabama for his senior year, because if he can get that INT total back up to 5 or more, he could be the first safety taken. A lot of scouts compare him to Ed Reed because he has a great ability to play center field.

27. Jonathan Banks, CB, Mississippi State - At 6'2", Banks has great size and he is also a great athlete. Banks has shown ballhawking abilities, with 5 interceptions as a junior. He also has shown the ability to run a corner blitz successfully, finishing his junior year with 3 sacks. He is a sure tackler and has the ability to rise up boards with a strong senior season.

28. Brandon Jenkins, DE/OLB, Florida State - Jenkins had a monster sophomore season in 2010 but regressed slightly in 2011 (going from 13.5 sacks to just 8). However, if he can get that number back up to double digits, he could be a top 15 pick. He looks more like a 4-3 DE than a 3-4 OLB at this time.

29. Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State - Werner is 6'4 and 272 pounds so he is likely a 4-3 DE prospect and not a 3-4 OLB prospect. That lack of versatility might hurt him a little bit but his production (7 sacks) and his great game film will help him out. At FSU last year, even when he was not getting sacks, he was contributing because he was great in run support and also got double teamed often.

30. Kwame Geathers, NT, Georgia - At 6'6" and 355 pounds, Geathers is the biggest of the nose tackle prospects in this class. He is not a pass rusher and will not record stats (only 14 tackles last year) but if you watch film, you don't see a single play where he is not double teamed. He is always collapsing the pocket and that will make him a coveted prospect next year.

31. Oday Aboushi, OT, Virginia - Aboushi started all 12 games last year at UVA at left tackle and having two years of starting experience will help him during the draft. He has good size (6'6 and 310 pounds) and has the ability to move up draft boards with a strong season.

32. Chris Faulk, OT, LSU - Faulk is big (6'6" and 325 pounds) and strong (as seen by his 73.5 knockdowns as a sophomore). He was the reason that Joseph Barksdale (a 2011 NFL Draft pick) played right tackle and not left tackle. It would not surprise me at all to see Faulk be the first tackle taken next year.

Honorable Mentions: Aaron Murray, Knile Davis, Cobi Hamilton, Ricky Wagner, Khaled Holmes, Nico Johnson, Baccari Rambo, Alex Okafor, Devin Taylor



Source: Behind the Steel Curtain

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Is Colorado Quarterbacks Coach Rip Scherer a Candidate For Steelers Offensive Coordinator Position?

Since it appears Caldwell-to-Pittsburgh was just a smokescreen (possibly to jack up his price to Baltimore, where he will be named the team's quarterbacks coach), other speculative names pop up as potential replacements for departed offensive coordinator Bruce Arians.

It's interesting what one can find with a little bit of research, in particular, a name no one has discussed yet; Colorado QBs coach Rip Scherer.

Scherer has an extensive resume, most notably, working with Cleveland's Derek Anderson during a season in which the casual observer assumes Anderson sold his soul to the devil in exchange for a 2007 Pro Bowl berth. The following season, Scherer left Cleveland for Carolina, where he brought Matt Moore, an unknown, to a pretty successful end of a brutal season for the Panthers.

A coaching change moved Scherer from Charlotte to Boulder, where he works under Jon Embree.

Back in 1996, though, when Scherer was the head coach at Memphis University, he hired a graduate assistant by the name of Mike Tomlin. Scherer inherited a coaching staff in 1995 that included current Steelers linebackers coach (and possible Colts defensive coordinator) Keith Butler. Butler stayed in that position through the 1997 season, and Tomlin left for the wide receivers coach job at Arkansas State that year.

At Arkansas State, Tomlin worked under current Steelers quarterbacks coach Randy Fichter, a Memphis graduate (1993). In 1998, Arkansas State hired Butler as their defensive coordinator, and Tomlin worked that season under him as the defensive backs coach.

The trio separated in 1999, when Tomlin moved to Cincinnati for the defensive backs coach with the Bearcats, Butler was the linebackers coach for the expansion Cleveland Browns under Butch Davis (along with former Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians and current Colts head coach Chuck Pagano), and Fichtner stayed at Arkansas State.

Fichtner remained in that position through 2000, and was named the offensive coordinator at his alma mater Memphis, as part of a new staff that replaced Scherer in 2001.

At that point, Tomlin moved to Tampa Bay and Scherer was the offensive coordinator at Kansas (2001) and Southern Miss (2002-04). Scherer moved into the NFL with Cleveland (2004-08) then to Carolina (08-10).

Did I mention he was born in Pittsburgh and is the cousin of Steelers GM Kevin Colbert? And that he was a coach at North Carolina State in 1976, when Bill Cowher was a freshman? Interestingly enough, Scherer is also a graduate of William and Mary, just like Tomlin (although Tomlin wasn't born when Scherer graduated).

If all of these things are a coincidence, then it's even more bizarre that nearly every coach currently (or recently leaving) the Steelers has ties to either the University of Alabama or Memphis. The coaching fraternity is incestuous, and it seems what you know is less important than who you know.

Fichtner still seems like a logical choice, and InsidePittsburghSports.com speculated Art Rooney II is recommending offensive line coach Sean Kugler for the position. There are still strong connections with Packers quarterbacks coach Tom Clements. Maybe Tomlin hates Scherer. However, there was talk about Scherer replacing Mike McCoy, Denver's offensive coordinator who was a serious candidate for the head coaching job that went to Packers OC Joe Philbin.

It's hard to keep it all straight, but the fact of the matter is connections are everything, and there are enough to suggest the Steelers may turn over lots of rocks not considered by the fanbase in their search for their first new offensive coordinator since 2007.



Source: Behind the Steel Curtain

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Is Colorado Quarterbacks Coach Rip Scherer a Candidate For Steelers Offensive Coordinator Position?

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Since it appears Caldwell-to-Pittsburgh was just a smokescreen (possibly to jack up his price to Baltimore, where he will be named the team's quarterbacks coach), other speculative names pop up as potential replacements for departed offensive coordinator Bruce Arians.

It's interesting what one can find with a little bit of research, in particular, a name no one has discussed yet; Colorado QBs coach Rip Scherer.

Scherer has an extensive resume, most notably, working with Cleveland's Derek Anderson during a season in which the casual observer assumes Anderson sold his soul to the devil in exchange for a 2007 Pro Bowl berth. The following season, Scherer left Cleveland for Carolina, where he brought Matt Moore, an unknown, to a pretty successful end of a brutal season for the Panthers.

A coaching change moved Scherer from Charlotte to Boulder, where he works under Jon Embree.

Back in 1996, though, when Scherer was the head coach at Memphis University, he hired a graduate assistant by the name of Mike Tomlin. Scherer inherited a coaching staff in 1995 that included current Steelers linebackers coach (and possible Colts defensive coordinator) Keith Butler. Butler stayed in that position through the 1997 season, and Tomlin left for the wide receivers coach job at Arkansas State that year.

At Arkansas State, Tomlin worked under current Steelers quarterbacks coach Randy Fichter, a Memphis graduate (1993). In 1998, Arkansas State hired Butler as their defensive coordinator, and Tomlin worked that season under him as the defensive backs coach.

The trio separated in 1999, when Tomlin moved to Cincinnati for the defensive backs coach with the Bearcats, Butler was the linebackers coach for the expansion Cleveland Browns under Butch Davis (along with former Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians and current Colts head coach Chuck Pagano), and Fichtner stayed at Arkansas State.

Fichtner remained in that position through 2000, and was named the offensive coordinator at his alma mater Memphis, as part of a new staff that replaced Scherer in 2001.

At that point, Tomlin moved to Tampa Bay and Scherer was the offensive coordinator at Kansas (2001) and Southern Miss (2002-04). Scherer moved into the NFL with Cleveland (2004-08) then to Carolina (08-10).

Did I mention he was born in Pittsburgh and is the cousin of Steelers GM Kevin Colbert? And that he was a coach at North Carolina State in 1976, when Bill Cowher was a freshman? Interestingly enough, Scherer is also a graduate of William and Mary, just like Tomlin (although Tomlin wasn't born when Scherer graduated).

If all of these things are a coincidence, then it's even more bizarre that nearly every coach currently (or recently leaving) the Steelers has ties to either the University of Alabama or Memphis. The coaching fraternity is incestuous, and it seems what you know is less important than who you know.

Fichtner still seems like a logical choice, and InsidePittsburghSports.com speculated Art Rooney II is recommending offensive line coach Sean Kugler for the position. There are still strong connections with Packers quarterbacks coach Tom Clements. Maybe Tomlin hates Scherer. However, there was talk about Scherer replacing Mike McCoy, Denver's offensive coordinator who was a serious candidate for the head coaching job that went to Packers OC Joe Philbin.

It's hard to keep it all straight, but the fact of the matter is connections are everything, and there are enough to suggest the Steelers may turn over lots of rocks not considered by the fanbase in their search for their first new offensive coordinator since 2007.



Source: Behind the Steel Curtain

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Steelers Should Be Serious About Packers Quarterbacks Coach Tom Clements for Their Offensive Coordinator Opening

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Some may remember me paraphrasing Jim Wexell, who had an off-topic conversation with an unnamed source who spoke of revenge if Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger wasn't "great" in their playoff game against Denver.

It spoke possibly of the removal of offensive coordinator Bruce Arians.

It seems it was prophetic after all.

The issue now is no longer Arians. Now we wonder what the Steelers want their offense to be. Where is it going?

Whether we want it to be or not, this is a passing team. Passing teams can succeed in the red zone. Running teams can fail in the red zone.

What this offense does not have is an air of invincibility. It gets beat while looking like it knows it's going to get beat.

One team that doesn't have that problem is Green Bay. Quarterbacks coach Tom Clements has led several players to the Pro Bowl, and has had a high level of succes.

He is the perfect guy to take over for the "retired" Bruce Arians as the Steelers offensive coordinator.

Cast your mind back.

The Steelers were coming off a Tale of Two Halves kind of season in 2000. Despite a dominating defense, the Steelers just missed out on a playoff spot, finishing 9-7.

In 2001, the Steelers added Pittsburgh native Tom Clements to join Pittsburgh natives Bill Cowher and Kevin Colbert as a piece of the team's leadership.

Quarterback Kordell Stewart is arguably the only person associated with the Steelers organization who's taken more criticism than the departed Arians over the last 20 years, but his 3,109 passing yards and 537 rushing yards (and five touchdowns) the Steelers returned to their ground dominance of the mid-90s, and advanced to the AFC Championship game).

It was without question the best season of Stewart's career.

The next season, when Stewart inexplicably melted down, Arians made a hero out of Tommy Maddox, helping him earn NFL Comeback Player of the Year and leading the Steelers back to the playoffs after a disastrous 0-2 start (nearly 0-3, had Maddox not replaced Stewart in the second half).

In 2004, it was the young Ben Roethlisberger replacing Maddox after an injury, and he won 13 straight regular season games, and one more in the playoffs.

After spending some time in Buffalo, where many have failed at the quarterback position, Clements wound up under Pittsburgh native Mike McCarthy in Green Bay. In 2007, Clements helped guide future Hall of Fame passer Brett Favre to a Pro Bowl season, and another appearance in a conference championship game.

He got the pleasure of coaching during the Favre leaving Green Bay insanity of 2008, and had another stint with a young passer. This time, some guy named Aaron Rodgers. Maybe you've heard of him.

Clements is a few weeks away from the announcement confirming the first quarterback he ever coached to win an MVP.

As fun as it is to wax nostalgic about the glory days of Bettis behind Lester into the 4-hole, the reality is this is a passing league. Clements gets that. The Steelers are likely to at least enter longterm contract discussions with WR Mike Wallace this offseason, and it won't be long until they ink Antonio Brown to a long-term deal.

Roethlisberger will likely be given an extension this offseason in order to help free money up from next year's cap. They could be drafting an offensive tackle or guard with either or both of their first two picks in April's draft.

The news is all about the offense right now. Why not select a guy who not only is from Pittsburgh and understands the city, not only is a former coach who had success in a pretty solid run by the Steelers, but was the man behind the direct mentoring of the 2011 MVP (a.k.a. The Year Quarterbacks Became More Important Than Any Two Players).

The offense Green Bay runs is not possible without excellent coaching. Rodgers' success is based on his level of preparation and confidence in his decision-making.

It'd be tough to say Roethlisberger is a more skilled passer than Rodgers, but he's certainly a few light years ahead of where Stewart was. He's proved in his career he's capable of leading the game's most important position when it's a part of a running offense or an extremely pass-heavy offense. He's had Pro Bowl quarterbacks, he's had bad quarterbacks, but his trending graph of success goes up far more often than it goes down.

He's a winner, he's a native Yinzer, and if I had my way, he'd be our guy tomorrow.



Source: Behind the Steel Curtain

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