Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Tebow and Flutie

You had an older coach who inherited his quarterbacks and among the three choices of veteran, overwhelming crowd favorite and former 1st rounder the coach made no bones that he favored the veteran because in his eyes the vet was proven and gave his team the best chance to win. The crowd favorite was even 3rd on the depth chart as the former 1st rounder was held in higher esteem in the coaches eyes. The coach was basically forced to start the overwhelming crowd favorite, however, after stumbling out of the gate with a 1-4 record. It was a situation you could tell the old-time NFLer was not happy with.

You might think the above paragraph was describing the situation in Denver from the past weekend where coach John Fox was basically forced to go with fan-favorite Tim Tebow. The above paragraph was not about the Broncos of today - it was actually describing the situation the New England Patriots were in during the start of the 1988 season.

Coach Raymond Berry had a roster of QB's that included veteran Steve Grogan, highly touted former 1st rounder Tony Eason and also crowd favorite Doug Flutie. A poor start to the season and injuries forced Ray Berry to go with Doug Flutie and the fans went wild. Then Doug Flutie started winning. It wasn't pretty and the stats weren't close to eye-popping but his combination of running and hitting the clutch pass led the sad-sack Patriots to a 6-3 record during his starts. Suddenly the playoffs were in sight and the coach again decided that the veteran Grogan would give his team the best chance to win even though the actual results on the field said otherwise. Of course with Grogan and then Eason playing the Patriots fell short. To this day Raymond Berry is remembered in New England more for screwing over Doug Flutie then for leading the team to the 1986 Super Bowl.

The situation seems eerily similar to today's situation in Denver. You have the coach who inherited the QB situation. You have the veteran (Orton) the crowd favorite (Tebow) and the former 1st rounder who is actually listed 2nd on the depth chart (Quinn). It was too similar not to comment on. I just hope that Tebow is treated better by Fox than Flutie was by Berry.

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