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Quarterbacks raise questions


NFL coaches and personnel directors continue to complain about the lack of quarterback prospects coming out of college football, but passing-yardage stats say the game has never been in better hands.

In a week when we lost Johnny Unitas, arguably the greatest quarterback who ever lived, the NFL's leading passers include Jay Fiedler, Kelly Holcomb and Shane Matthews, all of whom entered the NFL as undrafted free agents. Last Sunday, each of those three quarterbacks posted numbers that would've made Unitas wince.

So what really is the truth about the quarterback position and the NFL? After all, the last three Super Bowls have been won by an Arena League product, a reject and a sixth-round draft choice who was in his first season as a starter.

Is the quarterback talent really that bad? Is the position's importance overrated? Maybe it's really not that difficult to play. Or maybe the rules of the game are too tilted in favor of offense for the league's defenses to overcome.

Consider this Sunday's game in Kansas City. The Chiefs have the 32nd-ranked defense in the league; the Jaguars are 32nd in the league in third-down defense. What does it mean? Well, Sunday's game is likely to produce a lot of points.

Here's "10 things" the Jaguars have to do to beat the Chiefs.

  1. Get a Priest--If the Jaguars don't stop Priest Holmes, they won't even have to worry about Trent Green. This truly is a stop-the-run-first game for the Jaguars defense.
  1. Then stop Gonzalez--Donovin Darius must play at a Pro-Bowl level against the NFL's best tight end.
  1. Win time of possession--The Jaguars had a five-minute time of possession advantage against the Colts and it really helped hold Peyton Manning's production down.
  1. Make Fred the man--The Chiefs' defensive line should be especially vulnerable to the run, and Fred Taylor continues to show signs of being close to having a big game.
  1. Don't fumble any punts--I don't want to write any more "Damon Gibson" stories.
  1. Blitz more--I really don't believe that but that's what everybody wants.
  1. Play press coverage--I really don't believe that but that's what everybody wants.
  1. Improve clock management--I really don't believe that but that's what everyone wants.
  1. Use five-wide on every play--I really don't believe that but that's what everyone wants.
  1. Score more points than the Chiefs--I really believe that.
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