Tough loss at Miami my brethren, but that's not why I'm here. That game showed some good...and some not so good, but it will be discussed quite a bit without me.
No, the cause of this post is something else entirely, namely a look at one (of the many) messes left to clean up, courtesy of the NFL's Wile E Coyote level genius, Josh Mcdaniels. I'm talking about the Quarterback room...all of it.
(I'll start by saying that I have no issue that we moved on from the old number 4, we saw his ceiling, and while the guy has good arm talent it wasn't enough. The problem though is obvious, the entire room was shaken up and not in a good way).
What to do?
Let's start from the bottom up, see what we have, and take it from there.
First up we have our clip-holder extraordinaire, Bryan Hoyer, a man considered a veteran (of the Spanish American war?) and perhaps a mentor-type influence.
Sorry, I'm not buying that. What can old Brian teach a young QB, how to lose an entire season's worth of games in a row? Even as third string, I consider him nothing more than someone taking up a valuable roster spot. Come next year I want to see Mr. Hoyer ride off into the sunset, he could be replaced by a rookie UDFA and that would still be a clear upgrade. No need to feel bad about it, thanks to genius Josh, Brian got a nice "retirement package" in guaranteed money that Mark will have to eat.
Next, Jimmy "pick-six" G...Wow, what to say that hasn't been said already?
Even as a back-up I don't see the value Jimmy brings to the table, and at his salary? McDaniels should be laughed out of the league entirely just for this fiasco alone. Jimmy has got to go. But there's a huge problem here, namely a shitload of dead money left on a contract that should have never existed in the first place. What this means is that the we won't be able to really take advantage of a QB playing under a rookie contract and use the money elsewhere, as we'll be paying a guy that will be laughing all the way to the bank.
That said, in the fine tradition of making lemon Margaritas out of lemons, there is one small bright side...sort of. By the time Jimmy's ill-gotten millions start coming off the books, we'll (hopefully) be looking at rewarding our very own franchise QB. Think of it as forced fiscal management. So who replaces him as number two? The answer to that may not be obvious this year because...
We finally arrive at our new starter (and fresh number 4), Aidan O' Connell.
I purposely waited for this week to put this up, (as I like self preservation), because right now, I don't think O'Connell is the QB of the future.
We have a limited sampling here, and there's lots of qualifiers. His first game was with McDaniels at the helm, so I gave him a pass. His second game was an emotion filled affair where we could have probably beaten anyone on that day, so again, I don't give it much weight. That leaves his performance of the last two weeks. Against the Jets, he was competent, yesterday, he was not. I'm not talking about the picks mind you, but rather the plays that were there for the taking that he never took. Lets put it this way, right now, at this point in time, I think it's appropriate that he wears that number of his...
But with six more games to play, O'Connell needs to start them all, so we get a clearer picture of what we have. I don't see a guy that can win a shoot-out, or a guy that can get us a win with his arm alone when the running game isn't working. He's ok, but ok wont cut it if we want to rise. Give him the rest of the season and we should know for sure because he's either our starter next year...or he takes Jimmy's place as the primary back up. In other words he has a future in this league, I just don't know what that future is.
So if nothing changes, or if O' Connell only improves moderately, I think we need to draft a QB in the high rounds next year, and let a true competition develop. Mind you, I understand that part of Aidan's woes is the convoluted playbook inherited by his new OC (that has a total of three games under his belt), but I also understand that the position requires quicker decisions and an almost instinctive ability to scan the field and know what's up. Some of that can be learned, but a part you either have or you don't. Right now, I don't think he does.
To summarize, I see an almost entirely new QB room in our near future, with our starter to be announced at the end of next year's preseason.