COLUMN: A good QB matters

Mark Spensley
Express Co-Publisher

     So if you want to make a Super Bowl run as a football general manager, start with a good quarterback. The last four NFL teams standing each possessed an outstanding signal caller.

     Green Bay, Atlanta, Pittsburgh and New England claimed those last four divisional spots and the one constant with all four teams was they each had an exceptional quarterback.

     Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan, Ben Roethlisberger and Tom Brady are the best of the best. I challenge you to find anyone else in the league that can play at the level of these four.

     Okay, maybe there are a couple of others that come to mind: Eli Manning, Russell Wilson or a younger Drew Brees are close. And there are some young guys that are worth mentioning: Cam Newton, Dak Prescott, Alex Smith and Andrew Luck.

     Look at some of the teams that have really struggled over the last five seasons (or longer) and a common theme amongst them is their inconsistent quarterback play. For instance, the Vikings, Bears, Browns, Rams, 49ers and Jets are a few teams that haven’t had an elite signal caller to get them to that next level.

     Of course it takes more then just an elite quarterback to get to the top of the NFL but if I am building a team, I want one of the four guys I mentioned earlier leading my team.

     I searched the Internet to find the starters of each NFL team and found a few facts to go with my column. (Last actual starter at the end of the year are who were listed) USC is listed having three starting quarterbacks, the most of any school. Nine of the starting QBs are first round picks. The highest pick of all starters is Denver Bronco Trevor Siemain at pick #250.

     The best QB picked the lowest in the draft was Tom Brady at pick #199. Three starters come from non-traditional D1 programs: Ravens starter Joe Flacco from Delaware, Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger from Miami (Ohio) and Eagles QB Carson Wentz from North Dakota State.

     Traditional power conferences are led by the Pac 12 with eight starters, the Big 10 with six starters, the ACC with five starters, the SEC with four and the Big 12 with just three.

     This season ended with 10 starting QBs either hurt or out for the season. If you included those guys by conference, the Pac 12 would have 10 starters, the ACC eight starters, the Big 10 and SEC tied with six and the Big 12 still last with four starters.

     Look for injured quarterback Tony Romo, a graduate of Eastern Illinois, to be one of the most sought after signal callers this off-season, that is if the Cowboys are willing to part with him.



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