What is it?
The term gets tossed around pretty willy-nilly anymore, being linked by any team’s fan and media bases when discussing the guys lining up behind center on a starting basis. Good, bad or imminently mediocre, that is the status gauge used to label the player in that position – whether he is or is not.
We’re not talking a plethora of game-changing, championship-driving QBs in the NFL these days, and, really, isn’t that what a franchise QB should be?
Or do we just wanna go on terming guys who game-manage and need help from the defense and the ground game and “won’t hurt the team” as franchise QBs?
Not for nothing, but the only way Captain If, aka Sam Bradford, ever gets a sniff of that tag is because of this inane habit by the faithful around here to allow hope to run circles around reality. We get it. You’re starved for a championship. Well into decade six without a title by your beloved Birds.
But, c’mon, a guy with a 25-37-1 career record, a guy whose career numbers are no better than some stiff, as labeled by you, knowledgeable Philly sports fans, such as Ryan Fitzpatrick and a guy whose 2015 numbers pale in comparison to an even bigger stiff, again as labeled by you, such as Kirk Cousins is … a franchise quarterback?
Never before has a bust of a No. 1 selection been treated with such kid gloves – by fans, media and management. His teams’ lack of success? Never his fault. It was dropped passes or missed assignments or poor blocking or lack of a running game or the stars failing to align appropriately.
In other words, if only he had better receivers, if only he had a better defense to help him, if only he had this, that and the other ... Bradford would be among the elite. As if those who are elite QBs in the NFL are blessed in those areas in a way he never has been.
If only ...
After six years of this silliness, you’d think the excuses and rationalizing would stop.
But they never do.
Funny how Mark Sanchez can make the exact same read, same throw and have the same dropped pass … and he sucks. Or a receiver lollygags just as bad for him as Bradford, leading to an interception on an otherwise perfectly thrown ball … and he sucks.
But not Bradford.
Captain If Only always, without fail, wherever he is, seems to get a free pass.
It is a magical, mystical talent that he is, this “forever potential” that his proponents see, that have some of them, laughably, talking about the Eagles making a run at the Super Bowl next season.
Coming off this last season of 7-9. With Bradford at the helm. With a new offense that will be eerily reminiscent of the old offense Bradford ran back in St. Louis for five years with little success and no playoff appearances.
Come to think of it, if you can be that mediocre and still have people trumpeting your talents and value, forget Brees, Brady, Rodgers and the like, this guy really is a franchise quarterback.
Because he sells. No matter what quality he produces, people buy.
Don’t count on Eagles de facto GM Howie Roseman’s verbal River Dance around the topic of Bradford as franchise QB as a deterrent, either.
- Jack Kerwin | firstname.lastname@example.org