One more Time
My first thought when seeing this headline was, “Who cares”? Unless No. 5 is injured, this is a complete hypothetical. As far as I’m concerned, the single best thing about sports is that it is (to quote former Secretary of State Colin Powell on this commemorative weekend) binary.
In a world where so little is clean and unambiguous, sports hold us to empirical standards. You either catch the ball or you don’t, you tackle the runner or you don’t. You win the game or you lose. Right, Herm?
This is why I am not a Fantasy Football girl. It’s, well, it’s fantasy. Synonyms include “dream,” “castle in the sky,” “flight of the imagination,” “unreal,” and “whimsy.” Get my drift?
Shoot me if I prefer real men doing real things, with a real team, on a real football field. The only ethereal aspect of football that interests me is team Gestalt. But that’s another slideshow.
So, how about those other available quarterbacks?
Which finger was that, Mike?
I’m not even sure that Carson qualifies as “available.” Last I heard he had been forced into retirement.
Take a hint, Mike Brown. This man prefers to leave an entire year of a very short career on the field rather than play for your team. Does this not embarrass you? Man, I’d be so far under a rock I’d be halfway to China.
But, since this is fantasy, let’s assume that Carson could pull his U-Haul up to Lucas Oil Field. If (and I think that this is a huge if) Carson is healthy and those two extremely serious knee and elbow injuries are truly healed and good as new, then—yes he would be a better choice at quarterback than Kerry Collins.
The Colts are built entirely to protect a star signal-caller while he throws the ball accurately to excellent wide receivers. Palmer would be in heaven.
But my individual jury would be out until at least a month of strong showings proved to me that Carson's body is indeed good as new. And that his psyche hasn’t been shattered a la Patrick Ramsey and David Carr.
All about Blaine
Of course next on everyone’s list is going to be David Garrard.
I’m quite a fan of Garrard the man. He is a stunning role model for everyone who has been told that they can’t do something because of a physical malady. His performance with Crohn’s Disease boggles the mind and makes one re-think “possible.”
Garrard the player is no slouch. He had a positively rotten preseason and that was the excuse given for a dismissal bordering on criminal brutality. Do they think we are stupid? Can you say $9 million? Yeah.
However, David's injuries in recent years give me exactly the same reservations that I have about Palmer. Garrard is one big hit away from joining Manning in vertebrae surgery. Nope.
Good to go?
Um, not quite.
People are talking about Flynn as being next year’s Kevin Kolb. I can see that. I can see him being better than Kolb. But that’s next year.
A couple of starts last winter do not prepare this undeniably talented young man from being ready to step into a starting role on a team built 100 percent around a superstar QB in 17 days. Nevertheless, if (God forbid), Peyton is out for good, then Indy could do worse than bring in Flynn next season.
The guy went to Robert E. Lee High School in Tyler, Texas, for Pity’s sake. Football is embedded in his DNA. He was MVP of the National Champion LSU Tigers in 2008. He was a seventh-round pick who beat out a second-round pick for the backup job in Green Bay.
He completed 60.6 of his passes in his 2010 appearances, with three touchdowns and two interceptions. The young man has big potential...but that’s all it is right now.
I'm a devout Skins' fan, but, seriously? Next.
No freaking way
Of the current backups who might be wooed away to try and fill Manning’s size 15’s, Detroit’s Shaun Hill is perhaps the only one with the mental toughness, talent and pro experience to survive the whirlwind of the Indy situation.
But does anyone truly think Detroit will let him go? Of course not.
A man at last
Or how about we play with fire and make Matt Leinart a starter again? On your team, maybe, not mine.
I do think the playboy has matured and calmed and worked his way into being competent. Perhaps in a year he might be ready to be The Man again.
But I believe with every fiber of my being that putting Leinart back in a starting role would be disastrous at this point.
Gone but not forgotten
Are we to include former NFL QBs who segued to the UFL? That would be Daunte Culpepper and Jeff Garcia.
Culpepper has never been the same since the knee injury (I know he doesn’t want to hear that, but you know it’s true) and Garcia has to be 50 by now.
I love Jeff and, up until Collins’ 2009 season in Tennessee, I would have said that he had the more fiery leadership value. But these days they are probably about even, and Collins is more durable.
How soon they forget
If I were going to take this question at all seriously, I would pick Marc Bulger. I mean, as long as we are looking at retired passers, why not?
Does anyone except me remember that not only is Bulger a former Pro Bowl quarterback, his battle with Matt Hasselbeck in the 2004 QB Challenge is the stuff of legend. Before you laugh, pull it up on YouTube. I’m not kidding.
Okay, that was a few years and way too many sacks ago. My point is that the man is accurate, smart and experienced. In fact, I would have hired Bulger over Kolb in Arizona. But, clearly that’s just me.
Looking good in blue and white—we hope.
Bottom line: there aren’t any available quarterbacks better than Kerry Collins for the Colts’ current predicament. I know that Carolina will never forgive Collins for his early flame out. I know that some people believe he has never recovered from the broken jaw.
But two years ago, this man led the Tennessee Titans on a very impressive run. He has left his troubled past so far behind that many fans (except the Panthers’ of course) have forgotten all about his problems with alcohol.
He led the Giants to a Super Bowl. He seems to have the kind of serene pseudo-retired confidence that I’ve only seen in the latter-day Vinny Testaverde. Let’s not forget that no matter how many times they called Vinny in off of the couch—he won.
Then there’s my own personal theory. Polian was the GM who drafted Collins. Kerry let Bill down in a public, flamboyant and ugly way. I feel certain that Kerry came off the farm in part to make things right. That’s pretty powerful motivation.