NFL Preseason 2010: Week One: Which Rookie QB Had Most Impressive Debut?

Ryan CookFeatured ColumnistAugust 16, 2010

Although Week One isn't totally in the books just yet, given that the New York Jets and New York Giants are set to do battle in the newly-built Meadowlands Stadium tonight, for the most part the action and speculation is pretty much over.

In the past week we've seen many interesting story lines.  The Bengals' new acquisition of Terrell Owens didn't show up as some people may have expected, and the Packers' great-looking offense fell just short to a Cleveland Browns team that has a lot to prove this season.

But apart from what we already know, a few underrated story lines have begun to develop after the first week of preseason football.

Yes, this week has been rookie watch, and in case your eyes haven't been on "God's gift" Tim Tebow, I assure you that the rest of us were watching very closely, as young rookie quarterbacks took the field and gave us a small taste of what we may come to expect in the regular season.

Unfortunately though, the taste that we were sampled with was nothing like what we expected, and personally, it was much like taste-testing a dish at a deli and hoping and praying that the next time you try it, it may be a little bit better.

So how did our young gunslingers do this week? 


Well, some people have their own opinions, but I think the following analysis sums up how these inexperienced guys looked after Week One.


Colt McCoy

While we didn't see a whole lot of Colt McCoy in the Packers vs. Browns game, he did leave all Texas Longhorns fans with a deja vu feeling, as he walked off the field and into the dressing rooms, almost identical to the way he left the field in the BCS Championship Game.

For Cleveland fans this is of course a concern.  Now Browns fans have a possibly injured quarterback who had a chance to start this season if Jake Delhomme collapsed and let his career slip down the sink.

Luckily for the Dawg Pound Jake Delhomme stepped up to the plate and went hand for hand with Aaron Rodgers on the night. 

As for Colt McCoy, head coach Eric Mangini stated that the coaching staff pulled him out of the game as a precaution after McCoy reportedly smacked his hand on the back of a teammate's helmet.

Realistically, the concern here isn't too large, especially since Colt McCoy is a third-stringer.  Still, no team likes to see its newly-drafted rookie start off so poorly, so McCoy will definitely be watched extensively in the coming games.



Jimmy Clausen

I think you'll agree that the Panthers struggled immensely against the Ravens last week.  They failed to really push for any offensive momentum and more or less looked like an old swimmer struggling to get out of the blocks.

Remarkably though the score remained close, and the Ravens held on for a tight 17-12 win despite dominating on the field throughout most of the game.

Aside from how poorly the Panthers looked as a team though, Jimmy Clausen himself had his own struggles.

After finishing the game eight-for-15, Clausen had an interception and two sacks to his name to start off his rookie career.

I know you're thinking, "It's only preseason football", but when you look at the stats, the Panthers didn't look pretty.

To top it off, Matt Moore wasn't exactly stellar either.  Things could of course change, but some motivation would be nice right now.



Tim Tebow

All eyes were on Tim Tebow last night, and of course the jokes were certainly flowing online when Tim Tebow was rattled late in the game.

However, fortunately for Tim, he was perhaps the only rookie quarterback who looked good in his debut game, as he helped Bronco fans forget about the woes and worries of Brady Quinn, who looked dismal in his time under center.

Unlike Sam Bradford, Tim Tebow heard a chorus of boos from Ohio football fans.  In his normal competitive spirit though, Tim simply brushed off the unappreciative fans and saw it as a challenge and motivation for his game.

For some, Tim Tebow didn't do as much as they would have liked.  Certain analysts have stated that he was almost lobbing passes rather than finding rhythm.  Still, Tebow did look good, and when he scrambled for a touchdown late in the game, Brady Quinn surely began to worry.

The Broncos wound up with a loss, but the team looked solid.  Kyle Orton was passing well, and Tim Tebow seemed to be calm.

Tough tests lay ahead, but Tim Tebow was arguably the best rookie quarterback this week.


Sam Bradford

For those who are panicking in regards to how Sam Bradford played against the Minnesota Vikings, keep in mind that he is still a good passer.

In Sam Bradford's opening game he looked rough around the edges. While he looked like such a well-rounded passer in the NFL Combine some three months ago, this week he looked like a nervous quarterback, despite the appreciation he received from Rams fans.

What many people choose to forget here though is the defense that Bradford was facing.  He did have Jared Allen across from him, and a strong defensive line would be enough to discourage any young quarterback.

To put the icing on a bad day, Bradford was also minus Steven Jackson, which was an obvious setback for the former Oklahoma Sooners star.

Stats wise, Bradford struggled, but there is room for improvement.  He now knows what to expect, so perhaps we'll see a new slamming Sammy next week.


Who was the cream of the crop in week one?

This is an easy selection, and I said it before: Tim Tebow.


He looked calm, unlike most of the others, and although he didn't step in until the third quarter, he didn't stumble and bumble his way through the game.

Yes, his passing and accuracy could use touch-ups, but compared to what we have seen from the other guys, well, Tim Tebow is still one of the favorites to excel this season.

Who would have thought that an injury-plagued, hot-seat riddled team like Denver would be the talk of this article.

I guess there is no denying how well Kyle Orton and Tim Tebow played. 

Give credit to Tim. He performed well under pressure, and like him or not, he played a fairly decent game.  It probably wasn't the most brilliant play we've ever seen, but he stood up when the whole world was calling for him. 


Ryan Cook is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report . He is also an NFL columnist for Real Sports Net and a Green Bay Packers writer for Fan Huddle and PackerChatters . Ryan is also a contributing writer for Detroit Lions Talk, Gack Sports and Generation Y Sports .  Don't forget to follow him on Twitter .


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