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Evaluating Quarterbacks: Who Gets It Right?

In the debate this offseason regarding who should be the next starting quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals, there have been some hearty and heated discussions. It is actually awesome to read and follow (minus when it gets out of hand and personal). It is a shame that with the offseason the way it is, it is the only topic that generates passion. And I know very well that many of you tire of the Kevin Kolb posts, but they are what get the most attention -- just look at the comments of these articles. And even on others, such as one about the Cardinals linebackers, it turns into a QB discussion. 

However, in the discussion of QBs, there is one very, very important thing to remember, and it is something that Kent Somers, the Arizona Republic Cardinals beat writer tweeted:

After years of covering football, I'm convinced no one -- coaches, scouts, media, my momma -- is foolproof at evaluating QBsless than a minute ago via Twitter for BlackBerry® Favorite Retweet Reply


And that is the truth of it. 

Kevin Kolb might or might not pan out. Kyle Orton has had good numbers but never a spot in the playoffs. Marc Bulger might be washed up or might be lightning in a bottle again and find late success as Kurt Warner did. 

Kolb generates the most passion -- for or against. He does potentially give the greatest reward, but is also a risk. 

Orton has the numbers, but has had questions of leadership and the fact that teams always seem to be trying to move past him. 

The list goes on. 

But as a friendly reminder, no one here is a QB expert. We have our ideas, but we are gong by what we know. How a player performs takes into consideration so many factors that it is literally impossible to call a QB a "can't miss" player.

As for me, I buy in to the Kolb hype. When Vick starting playing the way he did this year, way back during the season, I told my friends and also some of my students who follow sports that Kolb was the guy I would love the Cardinals to target. Kyle Orton was second on my reasonable possibilities list.

Kolb has everything you want to see. He has the physical traits, he can make all the throws, he is accurate and mobile enough. He has had some success already in the league at starting. He has the intangibles -- teammates love him, he is a leader, and he is a gym rat and film nut. Plus, he uses words like "turd" (see quote about the 2011 situation...he wants to start but if he isn't moved he isn't going to be a turd about it) He wins in my book. 

At the same times, I completely understand the detractors. They are almost all very valid points. 

The other possible quarterbacks that have been brought up are all better options than 2010 -- including John Skelton. The team better not start any of the 2010 starters in 2011. 

To my detriment, I also was very high on Matt Leinart and believed (and believe still) that had he been given the starting job he would have been fine and would have become the very good player he was expected to be. I also was a HUGE Jake Plummer fan...even the Cardinals version. I continued being a fan while he was in Denver and felt he was unjustly criticized there. 

But I know that the guys I want might not be as good as I think they will be. But that is the case with everyone. And the truth is, none of us are experts. Sure, some of us have some football experience, but the large majority of us only ever watch football on TV or go to games. That certainly does not make us QB savants.

So, let the debate continue, but just know a lot of us are going to be wrong about some of what we said.