Friday, December 5, 2008

Allen Iverson at QB for the Lions?

That picture is theirs, not mine. Theirs being MJD at Yahoo, who wrote an opinion about AI being able to QB the Lions better than Daunte Culpepper.

Now, let me preface this by saying that I am a fan of the work of MJD. He used to have a sick blog here, the archives of which would entertain one for probably a full two days. Now he writes for Yahoo because face it, a playa gotta eat, although his audience went from a pretty smart sports-savvy lot to the Yahoo morons who struggle to complete full sentences and think that DALLAS IS AMERICA'S FUCKING TEAM DEAL WITH IT ROMO MVP is making a legitimate point about the deficiencies in the Tampa 2 cover scheme.

So, I'm a fan. But I disagree so vehemently with the idea that AI could step in and play QB for the Lions that I have to put it in writing here, where 10 people will read it. At least, outside of AB, they will be able to complete sentences without outside assistance.

"Danks mentioned on the podcast this morning that the best quarterback who currently calls Detroit home could well be Allen Iverson. At first, I chuckled. Then I thought about it and the chuckling stopped.

This could actually be true.

Now, maybe I'm wrong. It could be an absolutely absurd notion. But we're not talking about just any guy off the street here, we're talking about one of the world's finest athletes. And we're not talking about just any team with bad quarterbacks, we're talking about the 0-12 Lions, who the 2-10 Chiefs look at and say, "Thank goodness we don't have those quarterbacks."

Really? You don't say. The 2-10 Chiefs, who have Tyler Thigpen, he of a 1,347 yard, 11 TD to 4 INT line in the past 6 games for a team with the Kansas City Chief's offense, are glad that they don't have Drew Stanton backing up Dan Orlovsky? No way!

Just because the Chiefs are 2-10 and would not want Daunte Culpepper does not say that the Lions QBs are bad enough that Allen Iverson would be an upgrade. The Seahawks are 2-10 as well, but I'm pretty sure they'd prefer to keep Matt Hasselbeck, because he's like, pretty good at QB.

"Thirty-one NFL teams felt like Daunte Culpepper was not worth a phone call and the veteran's minimum salary. The Lions were the only team desperate enough to give him a ring. And not only that, they named him their starter just days after he signed the contract. No other team wanted him as a third quarterback. The Lions wanted him as their first."

That is not completely true. As far as I remember, the Steelers among other teams wanted Culpepper as a backup. I'm sure a few other teams did as well. However, Culpepper wanted to be a starter and did not want to be a backup and earn the veteran minimum. Probably seeing this as his only chance to earn an NFL starting job next season, he went for it. I still don't think it means Allen Iverson would be a better NFL option than Daunte Culpepper.

"Since then, Culpepper has a sickly 53.6 quarterback rating. Vince Young was better. Brooks Bollinger was better. Ryan Fitzpatrick is better. Tarvaris Jackson was better. Gus Frerotte is way better."

All of those guys would be better options at QB than Allen Iverson.

The Lions thought they may have been able to get something out of Daunte. They have now probably seen that they cannot. They would not expect the same out of Allen Iverson, who never had one of the greatest statistical seasons of a QB in NFL history.

"So realistically, what could we expect if Allen Iverson was placed under center for the Lions? Obviously, he'd have no knowledge of the offense, terminology, or how to read an NFL defense. These are hindrances. But those same problems don't stop JaMarcus Russell from going out there every week."

That's why I read MJD's blog. He's lolzy. Howevs, I think AI's biggest problem is that he hasn't played QB at any level since high school. This was 15 years ago, where he ran all over some high school kids in Virginia. As one of the commenters on his article pointed out, Iverson was better than Ronald Curry. Well, why isn't Ronald Curry playing QB in the NFL? He wasn't anything special even at UNC. Steve Breaston ran roughshod on PA high schoolers. Yet, he's not playing QB in the NFL. Michael Vick was a rare case of someone who went absolutely nuts running all over NCAA competition. No one was ever even close to Vick. Yet, he wasn't even that good in the NFL. I have a feeling that a 33 or whatever year old Allen Iverson would not be able to run past AJ Hawk.

"Iverson knows how to play quarterback, though. He played the position in high school and won a state title, and there are those who say he was better at football than basketball."

That's great. There are also those who said Ed Hinkel was the best Pennsylvania high school player that they ever saw. There were probably some people who thought Antonio Gates was better at basketball in high school, like, I don't know, Kent State. A lot of people who won state titles in high school football are not playing QB for the Lions right now. I would also wager that a lot of those people thought he was a better DB than QB. Daunte Culpepper also knows how to play QB, as he has played in high school, college, and even the NFL.

"More importantly than that, though, there are things that great, highly-competitive athletes know and feel that translate to any sport. It's a desire to find an edge; it's the ability to learn on the fly the best way to get something done.

Great athletes have that. You don't get to Allen Iverson's level without being a smart player with amazing instincts"

So...Iverson's natural competitive instincts would make him a force at badminton? Or maybe he would be an incredible swimmer? Instincts and desire to find an edge will only get you so far. At some point, you have to avoid being tackled and throwing incomplete passes. Those are the areas at which I think AI would struggle. You don't get to Allen Iverson's level in basketball without being a smart player with amazing instincts, maybe. However, I don't think that Peyton Manning would make a good point guard, regardless of his obviously amazing football instincts. AI is a 30-something NBA point guard who played QB in high school. I'm still unconvinced that he could start for the Lions.

"Obviously, you wouldn't expect a 45-of-60, 380-yard passing performance from Iverson. He's not going to be Joe Montana. But you could put him in the shotgun, tell him to throw only when he sees an open guy, and just let him run around.

You could line up and do some crazy wildcat formation stuff, run some quarterback sweeps ... just let him make things happen."

Yes, make things happen. Like 3 yard losses. I don't think AI is getting away from Jevon Kearse. I'm sorry, I just don't. And I'd imagine that the Vikings coaches told Tarvaris Jackson not to throw the ball unless he sees an open guy, and we all saw how well that worked. And how is a formation in which your QB plays the QB position something crazy like a Wildcat formation?

"Hey AI, you haven't played football in 15 years, and here you are in the NFL. Don't throw the ball unless you see a guy streaking across the middle of the field for a sure touchdown after the strong safety rotated down to cover the flat. Shouldn't be that hard, no?"

"And yeah, he'd see eight, possibly nine guys in the box. But again, Iverson can throw the football, and if he's going to see those kinds of fronts, he's got the speed and elusiveness to get away from the rush. From there, Calvin Johnson one-on-one against anyone isn't a bad option. Iverson can chuck a 50/50 ball up there as well as Daunte Culpepper, can't he?"

How do you know AI can throw the ball? Because he completed a couple of lob passes in a high school highlight video that took place in 1994? And why do you think he can escape the rush with no problem? Why don't the Lions go out and get a guy like Josh Cribbs if it's that easy? I mean, he played QB in college and he's already in the NFL, so, I mean, that would have to work, right?

And no. I don't think Iverson can chuck a 50/50 ball up there to Calvin Johnson as well as Daunte Culpepper. I think Iverson would throw more interceptions than completions. I'm going to go out on a limb here...Allen Iverson does not have an NFL throwing arm. Daunte Culpepper might not anymore, either. But he's a hell of a lot closer to it than Allen Iverson is.

"I wouldn't argue for Iverson as a starter for any other team. This is a special case. And I wouldn't argue for Allen Iverson as a career NFL quarterback. There's a reason he went in the direction of basketball. He'd be the smallest quarterback in the modern era of the NFL."

I don't have any problem with this other then the thought that Iverson played in the NBA because he's too small for the NFL. I guess he's talking about bulk there, because otherwise that doesn't make any sense. Also, he can't be that much smaller than Doug Flutie.

"But you look at the Lions right now, and at the quarterback position, and they're not getting anything from it. Not only is Culpepper not making big plays, but he's not even making the average plays. He gives you consistent, below-average play with no hope for a major benefit.

Put Iverson back there, though, and he's going to make things happen. He might have some major disasters. But he might also make some mind-blowing plays. At the very least, he'd make it difficult for opponents to prepare."

Daunte Culpepper was probably awesome in high school, too. You are likely to get even less out of AI, since, you know, he's not an NFL QB and you are advocating putting him at the position of NFL QB. I can't see him making a mind-blowing play in a good way just because he was shifty when he was 17. He'd make it real easy for opponents to prepare. "Hey, guys, this QB is barely capable of the forward pass. He's going to have the worst arm you've ever seen in your entire careers. He hasn't played football in 15 years. He's 33. Ok, let's not let him beat us!". I don't think Dick Lebeau would lose any sleep because his defense would be going up against an offense led by Allen Iverson.

"Certainly, it couldn't hurt the Lions, but that's not saying much. At 0-12, it wouldn't hurt the Lions to take the field in panties and paper party hats. That's not the question we're asking here.

We're asking if Iverson would honestly be the best option at quarterback for the Lions. We're asking if he'd give them a better chance to win than anyone else currently on the quarterback depth chart.

In a major upset, I say yes."

It could hurt the Lions. Maybe not in the wins and losses department, but it would make them even worse. They can get worse. It is possible. The only good thing might be the interest that they would garner signing AI to play QB. However, they'd also have the stigma of being a sideshow act.

Would Iverson give you a better shot to win than Dan Orlovsky?

In a decision based upon rational thought, I say not a fucking chance.


AB said...

I take issue! that remark.

jerseyredwing said...

You're right on target... it's stupid to think that athletes from other sports can just 'fit in' because of athleticism. Jordan was the man, but couldn't make it as a White Sox(sock?) for specific reasons... Timing is everything in all sports, and to take a comparison where 10 guys are on a court (making that dreadful constant squeaking noise) occasionally running around to having a QB who has to consistently hike, drop back, find an open guy, throw a perfect pass, all in less than 5 seconds, is a lot different than, "hey, I have a shot now that the big galoot is picked behind joe schmoe".

I guess he just didn't have much else to write about.

Although I'd go with Orlovsky over Culpepper any day. That guy just stinks.

Rage said...

I'm not sure, but I THINK AI may have played QB in HS but I'm way too lazy and apathetic about the NFL to even bother looking it up. Only 10 of us? I find that hard to believe....

I'll 3rd the ridick premise of the crossover athletes, but I'd love to see Big Ben as a point guard. HA!

johnny said...

That was the laziest argument that I've ever seen a journalist make. That joke made Bill Simmons look like Grantland Rice. Also, Fire Joe Morgan-style dissections of a dumbass column are the greatest types of blog posts to read.

Vern said...

I agree, Johnny. FJM style is the way to go. It's fail rate has to be lower than all other types of blog post.

Vern said...

AI did play QB in high school, Rage.

And he was incredible at it. But, that still doesn't make him an NFL QB.

Rage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rage said...

No of course not, but it supports the hyperbole of the original assertion in the offending article, written in totality for the purpose of pissing you off.

With that said, have you ever checked out these hot bitches>

They are really cute, but more importantly, they're funny as shit and oh so dirty. Everybody knows that dirty hockey bitches are teh hawtnizz ZOMGZ!!!!111!!!