Hey Cardinals fans,
I've been a casual NFL fan for awhile, and started paying attention more the last couple years. And you know when you're a casual fan, sometimes you can get a better sense of who the good players are than the people paying close attention, because you don't get caught up in every little detail. You might just be watching sportscenter a lot, catching some games here and there, and over the course of a few years, you just get that sense who the best NBA players are, and who the second tier are, and who the best quarterbacks are in the NFL, because you're seeing the highlights and you're seeing the ability and the throws, and you just get that sense.
For example, two years ago I always thought Joe Flacco was considered in the top class of QBs right after guys like Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. Then, when I started paying closer attention to the NFL, I realized no one else thought of him that way, because they were caught up on the details of this one interception he threw in a big game, or how they didn't win the Super Bowl. Obviously those details are important, not arguing that, but I still knew that he was an elite quarterback because I'd seen all the great plays and just gotten that sense as a casual fan for years before that.
That brings me to Ryan Fitzpatrick. He is not an elite quarterback like Joe Flacco. However, even as a casual fan, I knew his name. And i didn't know Kevin Colb's name. I never got that sense he was an elite quarterback, but I definitely thought of him as a real NFL quarterback, good ability, someone who can take you to the playoffs and QB a good offense. If you look at the QB tiers like (and I'm sure I'll leave someone out by accident just due to there being too many names and forgetfulness, but you'll get the idea):
• Brady/Manning/Rodgers/Brees type tier
• Joe Flacco type tier
• Matt Ryan/Matt Schaub type tier, or maybe they belong with Flacco, on ability they do I think
And then there are young guys like RG3, Andrew Luck, Cam Newton his rookie year, Russell Wilson, Colin Kaepernick, etc, which obviously would fit in any of these top three tiers but it's hard to know which for each since they're young. But they're all up here too.
• Then Tony Romo could belong with Ryan and Schaub on ability but he hasn't performed as well with all the picks so I'll put him below.
And here, right next to a lot of names you might consider star QBs, comes the Ryan Fitzpatrick's of the world, maybe a Philip Rivers. But legitimate NFL QBs.
And basically, if you don't have anyone in any of these tiers or above, you will lose, period. Ryan Fitzpatrick is above that line, in my opinion, of being a skilled quarterback who can QB a quality offense if you surround him with decent players. He even had great games offensively with the Bills, their defense was just awful.
So the point is, no one is talking about Ryan Fitzpatrick, but in my opinion, there is a lot of daylight between him and Kevin Colb. He may not be an elite quarterback, but he's a real NFL quarterback with skill, the type you can succeed with and have a winning team with, where guys like Kevin Colb helm ineffectual offenses for a few years while the team loses and then drop out of the NFL.
I'm just quite surprised I haven't heard Cardinals fans all over this from the moment Fitzpatrick was released, because it seems pretty obvious to me. This team has been dying for an NFL quarterback since losing Warner, even playing Skelton last year, and now a real NFL quarterback comes available in free agency, a definite upgrade to Colb, and you hear nothing.
What do you guys think?