This is one of those articles that really cuts to the meat and potatoes of the matter. The kind of article that one dreams of writing, the one that really matters deep down in your heart.
The picture above is what had so many of us Ravens' fans drooling and panting, the handsome, strong-armed, franchise QB that would lead our team to years upon years of greatness.
Did any of you ever get the chance to see Boller practice his pass progressions at the 03 NFL Combine? If you haven't done so yet, get ready to see this kid's incredible upside.
-(Insert YouTube Link, I couldn't find one of the Combine 60 yard pass off his knees)-
Just a quick recap, the star-QB from the University of California completely stunned every scout, manager and talent evaluator that showed at both his Pro-Day and the Combine.
He ran the 40 in under 4.59 seconds, the fastest time for a legitimate first-round QB prospect in this entire decade. His short-shuttle time of 3.99 was first among the QBs.. AND the entire set of RBs as well!
Out of 110 passes thrown during drills at the official combine, Boller completed just over 96% of his passes, capping the entire practice with a jaw-dropping, scrambling 75+ yard bomb.
All of this paled in comparison to what was to come after his official workouts had concluded. In my mind, this was what sold him both to the Baltimore front office and the Ravens' faithful.
After his official workout had come to it's conclusion, Kyle Boller proceeded to drop to his knees, exactly on the 50 yard line, and toss one of the most beautiful spirals I have ever seen cleanly through the field goal posts.
- Sixty yards away.-
Now mind you, Ozzie Newsome, the Raven's General Manager/Director of Pro Personnel, does not often make mistakes. This was supposed to be a safe pick, a pick that was guaranteed to show results.
Evidently, there is no such thing as a safe pick in the NFL draft.
Look at the slight difference in draft positions between Peyton Manning and Ryan Leaf. How about the difference between Eli Manning and J.P. Losman?
In actuality, all of these quarterbacks had similar, if not even draft position grades.
But when it came down to the down and dirty work of winning football games, the Manning brothers both got a championship ring, while J.P. Losman is struggling to even continue to earn a paycheck warming the bench in Buffalo.
Let's not even get into the Ryan Leaf debate. Just about every football fan who actually turns on ESPN even once a month knows that Leaf is almost always considered one of the biggest busts of all time.
We'll leave it at that.
So back to Mr. Baby-faced, Ex-Fireman, Flash in the pan, worst QB in Baltimore's short and storied history, Kyle Boller.
Here is my unadulterated, fully repressed and thoroughly devastating opinion about a truly physically talented and utterly mentally handicapped quarterback.
Boller fully abused the current NFL infatuation with measurable statistics to jump his draft stock, which by the way was totally based upon only one solid year at Cal, from probably a late 3rd-early 4th round pick to the second QB drafted in the 2003 Draft.
In my estimation, he should not have been taken nearly as early as he was, by Ozzie Newsome no less, because he does not have the total package of even another QB taken after him by the name of Byron Leftwich.
Now the question of whether Leftwich will be considered a bust is a mystery that will only be solved at the end of hid career. I will not be part of the bandwagon that quickly proclaims a QB is a bust the second he gets released from the team that drafted him.
He had some pretty good games while playing in Jacksonville; A certain game against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the 2005 season comes to mind. On a side note, Byron was picked up by the Steelers last season when perennial back-up, Charlie Batch, broke his collar bone early in the season.
He also managed to play and play well while Big Ben was out of commission for a game or two last season, leading to a passer rating of 104.3 while passing for 2 TDs to 0 Ints.
But I digress.
Perhaps some players end up playing better when placed in a different surrounding. Sometimes a new locker room, new teammates, a new offensive scheme, more running of the football or even just a new city can be reasons that lead up to a revival or a resurrection of a player's career.
I can only hope that players such as Byron Leftwich, Joey Harrington and even Daunte Culpepper will find new found success in their new homes, respectively.
As for Kyle Boller, I would wish him good luck but I do not believe that his physical attributes will do him any good in any place other than one.
Out of 32 teams, I can only think of one place that he might, 'might' being the operative word, fit in, given the fact that this one team often relies on a cannon of a right-arm, shiftiness, elusiveness and plain-out scrambling for their very lives due to a year-in and year-out horrendous offensive line.
This general manager/owner in no way has any intention of upgrading or revamping the O-line to give his given franchise quarterback any time to even throw that meteor of a pass.
With all of this information, spilling out like a proverbial waterfall, I am sure any idiot, not speaking of you the well-informed reader, know exactly who and where I speak of.
That's right Oakland. The place, the franchise, the locker-room where even such luminaries as star-wide receiver, Randy Moss, go to damage their reputations and perhaps end their lives in despair and/or disgrace.
I would say good luck, Mr. Boller, because you did try your best. At least I 'HOPE' you did your best.
Certain seemingly reliable media sources have rumored in the past that the only reason that our own Ex-Head Coach, Brian Billick, tolerated your shoddy and inconsistent decision-making and play is for one reason and one reason alone.
Kyle was deeply entrenched in the heart and nether regions of his daughter.
Therefore, the only thing I have for you, if the rumors are true, is ill will and to say the words -Good Riddance- with great gusto.
I hope that you end up warming the bench in St. Louis, like you probably deserve, and end up finally ending your short and completely overpaid career with the bottom-feeders of the AFC West.
The Oakland Raiders.
So enjoy it while it lasts. At least for now, your young enough and still have the physical abilities to give it one last go, if given the chance, to succeed in the NFL.
For ruining the Raven's team with your incurable fumble-itis, your tendency to take sacks rather than dump the ball out of bounds and finally for always looking for the quick out rather then taking the hit to make the big play.
Like a real man/real quarterback should.
-Michael has been recently syndicated and promoted to -Scribe- on bleacherreport.com for his countless hours studying and researching topics of interest involving sports and contracts... particularly the Ravens/the NFL. He'd like to thank Cody Schwartz, Isaac, Angel Navedo, the infamous 'Zander Freund', Michael Selensky... among other great writers who encouraged me to writer on Bleacher Report. Thanks guys, I will be eternally grateful.
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