Ending the Quarterback Crapshoot: A Formula for Success!

michael selenskyContributor IApril 18, 2009

GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 03:  Tom Brady #12 of of the New England Patriots passes in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl XLII against the New York Giants on February 3, 2008 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Defense makes quarterbacks. Quarterbacks who practice against good defenses succeed.

Tom Brady practices against the Patriots' defense in real games, against a  lesser defense, it gets easier for him. 

Most highly drafted quarterbacks end up on bad teams practicing against bad defenses. Their success in practice does not translate into success on Sunday. They lose confidence in the system, the coach, and themselves.

Joey Harrington is a prime example.

Joe Flacco, Ben Rothelsberger, Tom Brady, Philip River, Eli Manning , and Tony Romo, all are quarterbacks who developed by practicing against good defenses.

Now practicing against a good defense does not guarantee success Vince Young of the Titans comes to mind.

Yet  many journeyman quarterbacks elevate their game just enough by practicing against a good defense to win Super Bowls, examples include Brad Johnson, Trent Dilfer, and Jeff Hoestetler.

Truly exceptional quarterbacks can develop without the benefit of practicing against  a good defense, such as Dan marino, Bret Favre, and Peyton Manning.

So watch out for Matt Ryan, because Atlanta's defense wasn't that good.

This year, Mark Sanchez is the quarterback most likely to succeed the defense he faced in practice, which as at USC, who were almost NFL quality.

So here is a formula for success. Take a quarterback, who has the physical and mental tools, one who has consistently faced or practiced against good defenses in college. Put that quarterback on a team with a good defense, then quarterback will develop.

So Detroit, my advice is to pass on a quarterback. Your defense was the worst in the league. Build a defense first or be prepared to repeat the Joey Harrington debacle

In the end, defense wins championships.

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