What your view of sports and life would be if you had too many concussions
EDITOR’S NOTE: Boyd Bergquist was the sports director at KETS-TV in East Tree Stump, Nebraska for almost 40 years. Known across the Husker state as the voice of the Boy’s High School Basketball Tournament, Bergquist was a four-time winner of the Marv J. Butz “Golden Cob” Award For Excellence In Nebraska Broadcast Journalism. That background, along with his quick if not cliché-riddled wit and love of single-malt scotch makes Bergquist a perfect fit to be our “Question” guy.
Let’s keep this one short and sweet. We’ve got a bunch of National Foorball League-related questions here at the ol’ mailbag; so many we couldn’t possibly answer them all. But we did notice that they tended to fall into some common themes, naturally a bunch of them are about quarterbacks. So, I decided to take the most-common, simplify the question, and re-ask them to you, and then offer my two cents. All you have to do is fill in the blank in the following question with either “Is or “Is Not.”
I’ll give you my thoughts on each, then you can hit me up in the Comments section or send me an email through the contact form at the bottom. In other words, here are my takes on your questions. It’s time for your takes on mine!
1) Carson Wentz _______ the problem with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Boyd Says: IS NOT. The proof of this came last Monday Night. The Eagles started the 2nd quarter by putting Jalen Hurts under center, and what was the first thing that happened? A pre-snap penalty for false start when the whole right side of the line moved. That’s the real problem with this team…the offensive line sucks. In all fairness, they have had injury problems, especially in terms of Lane Johnson and Jason Peters, but the bottom line is the guys they are putting out there aren’t getting the job done.
And that’s not new. We’re into Year Three of solid underperforming by the Eagles’ offensive line, and hence the Eagle offense in general. That’s why the season Wentz had last year was all the more remarkable when he carried that team into the play-offs with no appreciable weapons; the Eagles didn’t have a single receiver with more than 500 yards worth of catches.
Watching the Eagles’ offense is like watching the sausage being made, except the blades in the meat-grinder up front are in serious need of sharpening.
2) Kyler Murray ________ the best quarterback with less than 1,500 career passing attempts.
Boyd Says: IS. When we get to the off-season, all the Lamar Jackson apologists who last year were ready to anoint him as the “next greatest ever” will be doing nothing but making excuses for Jackson’s obvious regression. They will run the gambit from “he was banged up” to the virus. Either way, they are all crap.
Here’s the fundamental difference between Murray and Jackson. The knock on Lamar Jackson since his college days is he can’t beat you throwing the football, and he has yet to show he can bring a team back from behind by doing so. The loss last year to the Tennessee Titans in the play-offs is just the latest example.
Patrick Mahomes is already an MVP and a Super bowl champion, but he’s already crossed the threshold of 1,500 career attempts. That matters because that’s the point when a quarterback starts showing up on those “all-time” lists. That means he is no longer part of the “young” quarterbacks discussion. That means the two horses in that race who get the most discussion are Murray and Jackson.
These are two guys who inherited two very different lots with their NFL lives. Kyler Murray got drafted with the very first pick of the first round by a team at the time which was barely better than terrible. Lamar Jackson was drafted with the very last pick of the first round by a team which was already play-off caliber. Jackson had his MVP season last year getting fat against the likes of Miami and Cincinnati, then not showing up in the play-offs. Kyler Murray in having an MVP-caliber season this year on a team which is still undeniably in the “rebuilding” phase.
It comes down to this. Murray’s done more with less and Jackson’s regressed with more.
3) The quarterback position ________ the problem with the Dallas Cowboys.
Boyd Says: IS. The next easiest “solution” for a struggling football team beyond firing the coach is benching the quarterback. The problem with that is nine times out of ten, it doesn’t work because it doesn’t address the root cause of the problem. In the case of the Cowboys, this is ten.
Forget about the injury issues for now, because this isn’t about Andy Dalton or Garrett Gilbert. This is all about Dak Prescott before he got hurt. You can give me all the passing yard numbers you want; Jameis Winston led the league in passing yards in 2019…look where that got him. Sure, you can point to Winston’s 30+ picks and 7 pick-sixes, but that just hides the reality. In the NFL, quarterbacks get paid for three things: performance on 3rd down, performance in the “red zone,” and performance in the 4th quarter.
Winston may have been a #1 overall pick and Prescott may have languished until the 4th round, but they both share a serious lack of production when it matters. That’s why in the quarterback-starved NFL, the Buccaneers let Winston walk for nothing, and the Cowboys seem content to head down the “just-the-tip/franchise tag” route with Prescott.
The problem with Prescott is that while you can argue all you want about what his numbers really mean, there’s no denying that the Cowboys have put a ton of talent around Prescott, yet there’s a precious lack of success with Prescott at the controls of the Cowboy offense. You can talk to me all you want about passing yards, but at some point you need to go deep in the play-offs.
4) Cam Newton’s career ________ over.
Boyd Says: IS. And might I add “has been for a while.” The recipe is simple. Take a “running” quarterback whose never been great throwing the ball, blow out his legs and feet, and what do you have? A giant plate of “finished.”
That’s why there was hardly a market for him last off-season, and the one-year deal the Patriots gave him has really only served to convince every general manager in the NFL Newton’s tank in on “E.”
5) The key to fixing the New York Jets ________ drafting Taylor Lawrence.
Boyd Says: IS NOT. The Jets drafting Lawrence would be like buying a Lamborghini, then leaving it running in a supermarket parking lot with the windows down, the engine running, and the key fob in the cup holder. Why bother getting a million-dollar asset if you’ve got no way to protect it. Besides, the Jets have so many problems, they need a fleet of ambulances.
Not to mention, I’ve never really driven anything other than a Buick. Do Lamborghinis even have cup holders?
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Cam’s career may have been over after SB 50.