Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

How To Fix The NFL’s Quarterback Crisis

Illustration for article titled How To Fix The NFL’s Quarterback Crisis

Drew Magary’s Thursday Afternoon NFL Dick Joke Jamboroo runs every Thursday during the NFL season. Email Drew here.


Earlier this year the Wall Street Journal’s Kevin Clark wrote a piece detailing the quarterback crisis in the NFL and I rebutted that article, basically saying that most NFL quarterbacks have always been terrible, and that the position has always been in crisis, and that the crisis is what makes you appreciate passers who HAVE mastered the hardest position in sports.

I was wrong. This season has been a fucking disaster for quarterbacks, and it shows no signs of getting any better. Every young passer is getting crushed. Every traded quarterback (like Nick Foles) has been a bust. Andrew Luck ranks 47th in passer rating. There is shitty, awful quarterbacking everywhere you look. And of the top-ten rated passers in the game right now, there are only a handful of young guys: Andy Dalton (who showed last week that he can go back to being Andy Dalton at anytime), Derek Carr, and Tyrod Taylor.

Taylor is the interesting name there because, as you may know, he spent four years on the bench in Baltimore before finally getting his shot with Buffalo this season, and those four years of downtime almost certainly helped his career more than if he had been thrown to the wolves right away. The extremely mild success of Taylor suggests that the NFL needs to do a better job making sure teams can draft project QBs and then spend the necessary amount of time (YEARS) dry-aging them in a meat locker and getting them ready to play in the NFL. Every GM and coach wants to pull a Steve McNair and sit rookie quarterbacks forever, but that never happens because everyone wants to play with the shiny new toy, especially any QB that’s been drafted within the first three rounds.

So if the NFL really cares about its on-the-field product (this is not necessarily a given), it needs to create one or two special bonus roster spots for each team that are strictly for quarterbacks under the age of 30. You have your three active gameday passers, but you also get two bonus quarterbacks to stash who are not eligible (but are paid handsomely so that the NFLPA is cool with it). Then, the NFL sets up and funds a special QB farm (not run by Trent Dilfer!) somewhere warm and awesome, and you send your little project QBs there for a couple of years to learn mechanics and memorize sample playbooks and all that shit. This can be done off-site. The Bills didn’t have to develop Taylor for the past four years. The Ravens did that job for them.

Backup quarterbacks rarely get any kind of formal training DURING the season, because teams have to put all of their coaching resources into preparing the starters. So Johnny Football will trot out onto the field after an injury and the analyst will be like, “Well, since he’s second string, he was given no reps for the past month and forced to live on goat bones!” That’s bad. That shouldn’t be happening. If teams don’t have enough coaching resources to train young passers, than the NFL needs to pool a bit of revenue together to help them all out. Just because the position has always been in crisis doesn’t mean it has to stay that way.

Because right now, we’re witnessing the premature deaths of young talents like RG3 and Colin Kaepernick. Even Andrew Luck is getting pounded into taco meat. The sport suffers immeasurably every time a marquee passer goes down. It blows an entire team’s season and makes them optional viewing. And the problem isn’t necessarily that these passers are failing, it’s that NO ONE is behind them. The depth is nonexistent. Instead of a decent project QB taking over for Kaep, you get Blaine Gabbert. This sport is poorer when graced with the presence of Blaine Gabbert. We need The Farm. And we need it quickly.


The Games

All games in the Jamboroo are evaluated for sheer watchability on a scale of 1 to 5 Throwgasms.

Illustration for article titled How To Fix The NFL’s Quarterback Crisis

Five Throwgasms

Packers at Panthers: Oh hey, it’s Salute to Service month! YAY. And it turns out that, while the NFL was busy donating $800K to military charities last year, they were earning all of that money back and then some thanks to paid marketing contracts from the Department of Defense. NFL teams raked in over $6 million total from those contracts. The Falcons, who got the most money, made over $800K just ON THEIR OWN from phony ceremonies like this one:

In 2013, a roaring crowd cheered as the Atlanta Falcons welcomed ϴϬ National Guard members who unfurled an American flag across the Georgia Dome’s turf. Little did those fans—or millions of other Americans—know that the National Guard had actually paid the Atlanta Falcons for this display of patriotism as part of a $315,000 marketing contract.


These ceremonies aren’t noble acts of charity. They’re paid recruiting endeavors, and do you know what the worst part of it is? I bet a better ad agency could get that shit for FREE. What kind of shitbird negotiator PAYS to give the NFL a chance to act like it’s the USO? If the Army is paying this much for a flag ceremony, I’m terrified to think about what they pay for other shit. “Hey guys, why don’t you build a submarine for us and then we’ll also pay you to rent that submarine? And then you can fuck our wives. HERE’S FIVE TRILLION DOLLARS THANKS.”

Illustration for article titled How To Fix The NFL’s Quarterback Crisis

Four Throwgasms

Raiders at Steelers: I was sitting around drinking the other night while my wife was on Facebook when suddenly she said, “Oh no, Pat’s dad died!” So I texted my friend Pat (not his real name) and said, “Aw man, I’m so sorry about your dad. Lemme know if there’s anything I can do.”


And then Pat texted back, “I’m confused. What happened to my dad? Do you know something I don’t?”

That led to the following exchange…

ME: Hey, you said Pat’s dad died!

WIFE: Yeah… My friend Pat. Not yours.


WIFE: You didn’t ask!

And then I had to call my friend and explain to him that his father was not dead. Anyway, never have two friends with the same name.

Illustration for article titled How To Fix The NFL’s Quarterback Crisis

Three Throwgasms

Broncos at Colts: What if Peyton Manning CURSED the Colts? Think about it. Jimmy Irsay cuts his ass loose, then drafts a young hotshot to take his place and puts Mini-Conant in charge of the whole enterprise. Meanwhile, an embittered Peyton flies to Denver, consults with a voodoo cleric, grinds a bunch of spices and twigs in a mortar, rubs the potion all over an Irsay voodoo bobblehead, and then recites an incantation that DOOMS the Colts forever! IT COULD HAVE HAPPENED. I mean, look at the Colts since Peyton left. Their coach got cancer. Their owner got busted with enough drugs to start a new cartel in his trunk. Their fancy new QB got hurt (and yet continues to play!). Their new GM is a year away from hawking Showtime rotisserie ovens. The fucking Patriots are going to go 19-0. And their fans are probably jussssst a bit fatter than they used to be. COINCIDENCE?! I think not. The Curse of Peyton is real and ALIVE.


By the way, the Broncos defense is one of the best I’ve ever seen. It’s right up there with the 2000 Ravens and the 2013 Seahawks. They’re practically invincible, and now I’m starting to wonder if John Elway is some kind of amazing personnel savant. He got rid of Tebow when Tebow was at his most popular. He convinced Manning to come. He dumped John Fox for a less successful coach AND had that coach force Peyton into a new offense at age 39. It’s like a golfer re-tooling his swing after winning three majors, and no one understands why, but only he can see the long-term gain from the short-term struggle. Elway has deliberately changed everything about the Broncos offense in an attempt to extend Peyton’s career a couple more years after its expiration date, and it’s WORKING! I welcome our new horse-faced overlord.

Skins at Patriots: In the grand tradition of Gronk erotica, a self-published author named Mandy De Sandra has put out a Kindle single called Ndamunkong Suh Stomped On My Balls...And I Liked It! Let’s go right to the sales copy…

When alpha male Ndamukong Suh gives a dirty stomp on Brady’s balls—Brady feels an erotic bliss that can’t be deflated. This is a sexy gay tale that is Indecent Proposal meets Blue Mountain State. The 6,000 word story features: CBT (cock and ball torture), cock ball slapping, foursomes, bi-sexual salad tossing, vegan ice cream, offside hand jobs, cornhusker cock crunching, anal blitzing, roughing the passer (sex act and penalty), and ball shamming.


Ooh, ball shamming! Sign me up.

Rams at Vikings: I think we should lock Todd Gurley in some kind of hermetically sealed chamber for the rest of time so that he never gets hurt. Too many players have gone down. I can’t stand it anymore. I won’t let anything bad happen to Gurley, who is the only functional skill player left on any NFL roster. Please God, make a force field around Gurley to protect him from the bad people.


Giants at Bucs

Browns at Bengals

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Two Throwgasms

Jaguars at Jets: I think this is it. I think, thanks to the AFC South, you will finally see playoff realignment come to the NFL. There’s no way they can stand idly by after one of these HORRIFIC teams somehow buttfucks their way into a home playoff game. Do you realize that the Jaguars are the most functional team of this bunch by far? They’re 2-5 with a -60 point differential and they are the ROCK of this division. It’s insane. The other three teams should be forbidden from making the playoffs by law.


And now that the NBA has realigned their playoffs, that gives Roger Goodell permission to seed conferences strictly by record, with no division titles factored in. You could maybe give the bye weeks to the top two division winners. But apart from that, it’s time for the current format to go. Someone will win this division with a lousy record and it won’t be as amusing as it used to be.

Dolphins at Bills: Did you know that CBS sideline reporter Solomon Wilcotts has an Instagram account? And did you know that his Instagram consists entirely of stolen motivational quotes? You do now! Reader Gabe stumbled upon this little bit of internet treasure:

Wilcotts has this stupid gimmick during his games called the “Wisdom of Solomon,” which is a play on his name being religious I guess? The wisdom is usually, “Blake Bortles needs time to throw the ball” or something terribly generic. Well apparently the guy took his position of authority in this area to heart because I was randomly googling him (don’t ask) and found his Instagram. I love this because he somehow believes that somewhere out there is a person thinking to himself: “Man I’m in a tough bind. You know who gives good advice? The guy who does the 5th best AFC game on CBS every week. Let me see what he has to say and also what he can tell us about the Browns vs. the Bills.”


Here’s a sample quote: “Everything we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see. (stars!)” That’s a quote from Martin Luther King, but nowhere is it attributed to him (NOTE: I actually thought the quote was lame as hell until I found out it was King’s and then I was like, “Wow, makes you think!”). Wilcotts also uses quotes from Tom Crean (oh goody), Seneca, and Bruce Lee, but credits none of them. Instead of giving proper attribution, each quote is presented in a different typeface and is tagged with #WisdomOfSolomon, a move that Jason Whitlock surely approves of.

This is a scandal, people. If I can’t trust a sideline reporter to post random quotes on a social media page without giving proper credit, what can I trust? WHAT ELSE HAS SOLOMON BEEN HIDING FROM US? I don’t trust nobody with nuthin’ no more.


Bears at Chargers: That Kia trophy ad? Where the dad grouses about his kid not getting a proper championship trophy? That’s James Harrison’s favorite ad. I bet he bought six Kias after watching it, and then ran over some puppies with them.

Titans at Saints

Illustration for article titled How To Fix The NFL’s Quarterback Crisis

One Throwgasm


Eagles at Cowboys

Pregame Song That Makes Me Want To Run Through A Goddamn Brick Wall

“Set Guitars To Kill,” by And So I Watch You From Afar. All I needed was the name of the song and I was sold. From Keith…

Sometimes, the only word you need is WOO (3:12).

God, you are so right. This almost too much riffage. I am overdosing on riffage. NO ONE MAN SHOULD HAVE ALL THESE RIFFS.


(By the way, this band is not to be confused with …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, which is the OTHER “Long ‘And’ Clause” band.

Suicide Pick Of The Week

Last week’s suicide picks of Kansas City, St. Louis, and Seattle went 3-0, making me 15-9 on the season. Again, we now pick three teams for your suicide pool, along with one thing that makes me want to commit suicide. This week, the picks are Atlanta, Cincy, New Orleans, and Grantland thinkpieces. Look at this shit. LOOK AT IT.

But even panopticons harbor their shadows. Whatever omniscience The Mothership had, Grantland was always the cell that used the tower’s light to throw playful puppets on the walls. While the click-counting guards rapped the bars with nightsticks and threatened in phlegmy whispers, Simmons rabble of incorrigible scribes kept chipping away at the cold-thick stone, and writing tunnels to the other side.


What in the living fuck am I reading? How did these words manage to escape from someone’s brain? This is all thanks to the inevitable and disgusting chumminess of us SPROTS BLOGGER types (for real, we’re just as bad as the old newspaper assholes we always make fun of). I know people who worked at Grantland and they are nice and I’m sad their site got publicly executed by ESPN, but this is fucking ridiculous. “MY PARENTS NEVER WOULD HAVE MET IF IT HADN’T BEEN FOR GRANTLAND!”

And look at this one:

“Internet writing”—unfairly or otherwise—is often associated with a kind of indulgence: with rapidly produced thinkpieces (hello!) or blog posts that, despite their passion, stretched to thousands of rambling words. But Grantland was careful to avoid this.


Grantland WAS that! It was nothing but that! Did these assholes even read it? Death is the best career move that Grantland ever made. “The amazing thing about Grantland was how UN-amazing it was!” Enough. It was a good site but Bill Simmons has spent his whole life getting his dick tugged. Stop encouraging him.

Gregg Easterbrook Memorial Haughty Dipshit Of The Week

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Oh hey, what’s this?

Why I’d take Tom Brady over James Bond

(Kicks car)

Unless you count battling bad guys and charming beautiful women, the latest James Bond movie doesn’t include any sports action, perhaps because our cinematic hero can’t compare to a rather handsome chap who quarterbacks the New England Patriots.


That doesn’t… I mean, he’s a SPY so they’re not gonna have a football sequence in…

In this matchup, you can have Bond. I’ll take Agent 007-and-0 and counting.

I’m so confused.

Bond hits American theaters on Thursday, six months to the day since Ted Wells briefly entered the consciousness of sports fans and Brady’s text messages became public consumption.


Did two different articles get loaded into the same post by accident? Where am I? Is this real? WOULD THIS HAVE BEEN A BETTER ARTICLE IF IT HAD BEEN ON GRANTLAND?! My head is dying. Everyone go away.

Emmitt Smith’s Lock Of The Week!

Illustration for article titled How To Fix The NFL’s Quarterback Crisis

“This I like the red-hop Dinner Broncos (-3.5) to storm into Mindyanapolis and delete the Colts! I’m worried about Mindyanapolis. Ever since Jim Thursday was arrested with all that oxygen in his trunk, a pawn has demented over this team! I really do believe that. Look at Andrew Luck repressing. And Chuck Paisano on the rink of getting fired. And the general managerie NOT doing his job. They even fired Peck Hammerton! THEY MADE HIM A SKATEGOAT! Something is Ole Miss here. I can feel it. Jim Thursday should answer for this.”

2014 Emmitt Smith record: 6-5

Fantasy Player Who Deserves To Die A Slow, Painful Death

All of them. According to Yahoo, the top 5 average picks in all fantasy drafts were Adrian Peterson, Marshawn, Jamaal Charles, Eddie Lacy, and Le’Veon Bell. Two of those players are already gone for the year. The other three have been hurt and/or inconsistent. And that’s not even getting into later busts like DeMarco Murray, C.J. Anderson, Dez Bryant, Andrew Luck, Randall Cobb, and shitloads more. No wonder FartKings and ButtDuel are advertising so heavily. A season-long fantasy team is just waiting to be blown to shit by injury.


Fire This Asshole!

Is there anything more exciting than a coach losing his job? All year long, we’ll keep track of which coaches will almost certainly get fired at year’s end or sooner. And now, your potential 2015 chopping block:

Joe Philbin - FIRED!

Chip Kelly

Gus Bradley

Ken Whisenhunt – FIRED!

Mike Pettine

Chuck Pagano*

Jim Caldwell*

Mike McCoy

Mike McCarthy

Jim Tomsula*

Bill O’Brien

Andy Reid

Rex Ryan

Jay Gruden

And so we bid a fond farewell to Ken Whisenhunt. Goodbye, Whis! I have already forgotten that you coached that team. We could have as many as nine openings by the end of this season (Pagano is almost certainly gone after this week), with a handful of big college jobs also opening up. Jim Harbaugh can’t fill ALL those spots. Some of these teams are gonna have to settle. Some of these teams are gonna have to hire Doug Marrone. It’s inevitable. I already feel awful for them.


One more thing: Mike McCarthy is horrific. He gave up play-calling duties, but he’s still out there doing the other team favors. He ran the clock out at the end of the half last week. YOU HAVE AARON RODGERS. WHAT ARE YOU FUCKING DOING?

Great Moments In Poop History

Reader Taylor sends in this story I call ROLLERPOOP:

Growing up I was really into roller blades. I wore them a lot. I was pretty good at it. I thought about playing roller hockey but I respected ​real, actually hockey too much to demean it.

Anyway, I was still wearing roller blades in 7th grade, and during the summer I would frequently skate down to this little ice cream stand. To get to the stand I had to go through my neighborhood for several blocks, then cut over on a paved trail that was really popular.

One day I went down there with my mom and my older sister walking behind me. It was the middle of the afternoon so everyone in the neighborhood was outside and the trail was packed. We got to the place and survey the line, which is probably 15 people long.

All of a sudden there’s thunder in my gut and I have to clench my asshole as tight as I ever have before. Something is horribly, horribly wrong. I scoot around to the back of the building trying not to move my buns enough to release the terrible brew. The bathroom door is locked.

I roll back around breathing heavily and trying not to freak out. I need to get the key and I realize that’s not possible. I’d have to cut in front of everyone to this tiny ordering window and announce to 20 people that I needed to take a shit. My 7th grade brain decided it was better to take the risk and try to get home, or at least to a bush, than announce to a bunch of strangers I had to poo.

I was sweating and when my mom saw my face she knew something was wrong. I mumbled an “I gotta go” as I tried to roll myself up the small hill to the trail. Just as I got to the top of the hill my asshole released, and a half gallon of hot liquid brown sprayed all over my shorts, down my legs, and into my roller blades.

My mom and my sister got to the top of the hill and asked why I had stopped. I started crying, the smell hit them, and they started laughing and kind of gagging at the same time. The liquid had rapidly cooled from a searing hot to a freezing cold. If I moved my legs I could feel little solid chunks of shit squishing inside of my boots and the icy brush of my soaked shorts on the back of my legs.

I was repulsed by that feeling and also probably in shock (I hadn’t shit myself in years), and decided that I couldn’t move my legs in that condition. So I stuck my arms out and my mom and sister pushed me along the trail and through the neighborhood while shit dripped out of my pants. I bawled and tried to avoid eye contact with all of my neighbors. When we got home I had to be sprayed down with the hose in the yard while people drove by and honked.

I haven’t worn roller blades since.

And I’ll avoid them from now as well.

Gametime Snack Of The Week

Illustration for article titled How To Fix The NFL’s Quarterback Crisis

Strudel. Mmmmmm… strudel. The dessert that’s also a breakfast! We don’t commingle desserts and breakfast as much as we ought to. Donuts are a perfectly acceptable dessert. Apple crisp is a perfectly acceptable breakfast. WHY MUST WE LABEL OURSELVES?! I bet Jaden Smith eats cake for breakfast. Open your mind, mannnnnnn.

Gametime Cheap Beer Of The Week

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DOG BITE! Unleashed by the hounds of Hell! From reader Greg comes this malt liquor offshoot of the Genessee brewing-crime family:

Dog bite high gravity lager. eight-percent abv that is only $1.49 for 24 ounces of pure carbonated gasoline. That name is no lie, either. Getting bitten by a mythical 3-headed dog would probably be more enjoyable than consuming this abomination at any temperature above its freezing point...

But the high visibility orange can and alcohol content-to-cost ratio get me every time. This beer pairs perfectly with Thursday Night Football. It has poor production value and always lets you down, but it’s still beer, which is better than not beer.


Agreed. At first I thought that this was one of those microbrews that is designed to LOOK like a cheap brew but is actually $10 for a four-pack. Like Ass Kisser IPA or what have you. Those are poseur cheap beers and I hate them. But not Dog Bite! This is a legitimately awful beer designed to kill you. I APPROVE.

Jim Tomsula’s Lifehack Of The Week!

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“If you got a barrel, you got a few things, okay? First of all, you got a table. (knocks on the barrel) Good strong table right here. Secondly, you got a boat. It ain’t the Queen Marie, but it’ll get you from one end of the river to the other. Thirdly, you got a rolling suitcase. Fifth, you got a house. Again, not the nicest house, but a good strong house all the same. My parents raised us in a barrel. Wasn’t much, but to us, it was the biggest house in the world. Kids from the neighborhood would come to our barrel to play Find The Tack. If you got a barrel, you’re in business.”

Sunday Afternoon Movie Of The Week For Lions Fans

Man on Wire, the documentary about the crazy French asshole who walked a tightrope between the Twin Towers. This documentary was eventually turned into The Walk, which flopped in theaters earlier this fall because the only time I can tolerate a French person is when there’s a good possibility that I might get to see them killed. I think Robert Zemeckis should take the beginning of Flight and the end of The Walk and make one movie out of it. Just get rid of all the talky parts and leave me with the good shit.


Gratuitous Simpsons Quote

“Excellent. Not a trace of urine.”

Enjoy the games, everyone.

Top photo via Getty