Question: Governor Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania made a comment a week ago that "we have become a nation of wusses." He was directing his thoughts to not playing in the snow, but there is a lot of questions right now, especially among fans, whether the game of football is changing and changing for the better.
There are two issues I want to focus on and you can address either one.
First, it doesn't seem like the running back, at least as a traditional runner, is relevant anymore. You look at the best teams and they really don't have great running backs for a variety of reasons.
Second, and you have an interesting perspective being a quarterback, it seems that offense, especially passing offense "rules the day." I am not saying that a defender should be able to lead with his helmet. However, it seems they have really cut back on what a defender is able to do.
Are they ruining the game?
Answer: No, I think they are trying to make it safer. There are a few thoughts.
Number one, they are really trying to make sure the quarterback is protected. I think they need to do something.
Now, some of the calls they were making were kind of ridiculous. Some of the fines that they were handing out were a little far-fetched. Football is football. It's a tough sport. I get what Ed Rendell was saying.
Sometimes, we get a little soft and act like wusses. I agree to a certain point. But (with regards to Rendell's comments) you have to keep fan safety as the No. 1 priority. I think that was one of the reasons they postponed the Philadelphia game.
Overall with regards to the running backs and the passing game, I love it. Yeah, I would still love to have Thurman Thomas as my running back in the backfield, but, fans want to see scoring. They want to see high-powered offenses throwing the football. They don't want to see off-tackle right, off-tackle left, and throw the football on third down.
They want to see the wide-open game these days. I think last year was the first time ever that eight or nine quarterbacks threw for over 3,000 yards. That's unbelievable. I think there are probably the same amount, if not more that are throwing for over 3,000 yards this season. Look at what college football is doing now with the wide open spread offenses. I like that part (of the game).
You made a very good point that some of these top teams don't have say an Emmit Smith, a Thurman Thomas or a Walter Payton type of running back. They don't, but they don't feature those guys (in the offense) too. Yet, some guys still get over a 1,000 yards too.