Dec 28, 2013; Orlando, FL, USA; Louisville Cardinals quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) gives instructions during the first quarter of the Russell Athletic Bowl against the Miami Hurricanes at Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports

The Trend of Having Quarterbacks Play Right Away Needs to End

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Dec 28, 2013; Orlando, FL, USA; Louisville Cardinals quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) gives instructions during the first quarter of the Russell Athletic Bowl against the Miami Hurricanes at Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports

There is this trend in the NFL that if you draft a QB early you have to play him as soon as possible. Fan bases and teams have become numb to the fact that some Quarterbacks just have to develop. Not every QB can come in right away and be an Andrew Luck, RG3 (pre-injury), Cam Newton, Jay Cutler or Matt Ryan. These quarterbacks started from day one and did well. But for every Luck there is a Jake Locker, Blaine Gabbert, Ryan Tannehill, Jamarcus Russell, or Mr. Butt Fumble himself Mark Sanchez. In an age where rules are tailored to aid quarterbacks, people still miss badly on them, looking at you Brandon Weedon. One of the main reasons is that quarterbacks don’t have the luxury of being able to sit back and learn anymore. Gone are the days of having your future QB sit behind a vet for 2-3 seasons or having 3 quarterbacks on the roster because you don’t want to risk having them on the practice squad. In today’s time, you are shoved into the fire and told to learn on the job. Everyone has been harping on the NFL lately, specifically for their locker room etiquette saying, no one deserves to be treated bad or disrespected at their job. Although, this is true, if you want to treat the NFL like a normal job, then give these guys some training. When I was working at Citibank they sat me next to a seasoned rep that had been there for a while and knows their way around the systems. So when I actually started I had a good understanding of how things worked. That didn’t mean I was great right out the gate. I made mistakes but the training I received made it easier to overcome those mistakes. After some time I turned into one of the best reps they had. My numbers even surpassed the veteran rep I sat with in the beginning. Using this logic with quarterbacks might have saved a few franchises like the Browns, Raiders and Bills from the QB hell they are currently in. With the NFL draft nearing, teams should keep this in mind. Aaron Rodgers famously sat behind Brett Farve. Tom Brady sat behind Drew Bledsoe and would have been a backup for longer if not for Mo Lewis. Eli Manning sat behind Kurt Warner. Collin Kaepernick sat behind Alex Smith. I realize a lot of this has to do with coaching as well. I had really good trainers which made it easier but seeing that veteran work from afar and go through his daily routine was a valuable part of my training. The better teams with QBs that aren’t spring chickens anymore actually realize this and are prepared. The Pats have Ryan Mallet. The Broncos have Brock Osweiler. More teams should look into this. I’m looking at teams like the Saints, Cowboys and Chargers. This is as good a draft as any to find a developmental QB. With players like Casey Pachall from TCU, AJ McCarron from Alabama, Zach Mettenberger from LSU or Stephan Morris from The U teams can find some good QBs with plenty of potential that just need to be groomed. Forcing them out there early, like a lot of young QBs, could do irreversible damage to their body and their psyche, just ask Blaine Gabbert. Normally when the QBs are forced into action early on, if they aren’t successful then they usually won’t last long. Seeing Russell Wilson, Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan succeed starting from day one have blinded teams and fan bases to the fact that those players aren’t the norm. Peyton Manning and Troy Aikman, just to name a few had horrendous rookie years. Their 2nd years weren’t much better but they turned out alright. A lot of these quarterbacks are simply unequipped to start right away. They need to be eased into the fold and not thrown into the fire. So for Teddy Bridgewater, Johnny Manziel and Blake Bortles, hopefully you get lucky and are able to sit back and learn early on. But who are we kidding, they won’t, so good luck.

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