Wednesday, June 15, 2011
How well does your quarterback fit?
Finding a quality quarterback is difficult enough. Identifying one who snaps perfectly into a given offensive system is harder still.
Pro Football Weekly senior editor Nolan Nawrocki took an analytical look at how well each team is set up at quarterback based on fit. Nawrocki broke down offenses into two general categories: precision-matchup (West Coast variants) and vertical passing with a power run component. He then rated how settled or unsettled they are.
Among the 13 clubs in the precision group, Nawrocki called seven of them "settled." He rated the New England Patriots fourth behind the Green Bay Packers, New Orleans Saints and Indianapolis Colts.
In the 19-team vertical/power group, the New York Jets ranked eighth, the last club considered "settled" at quarterback.
"Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer has fallen into the trap of piecing together overly complex game plans," Nawrocki wrote, "and it has cost Mark Sanchez, who has excelled most with simplified assignments that allow him to build a rhythm and gain confidence."
The Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills were deep into the "unsettled" realm at 14th and 16th.
Nawrocki proclaimed Dolphins quarterback Chad Henne is entering "a critical stage in his third year as the starter, which likely will make or break his professional career" and suggested Vince Young as a viable alternative for coordinator Brian Daboll's run-first offense.
As for the Bills, the problem could be less about the quarterback and more about the offensive line. Nawrocki gives the interior line a favorable nod, but doubts the Bills' tackles can keep Ryan Fitzpatrick -- or anyone else -- healthy. A veteran backup such as Kerry Collins would be valuable insurance.