Posted by Doug on April 17, 2006
Last week's Matt Schaub post generated some very interesting discussion. A reader named Ben did a nice job of summarizing the pro-Schaub position:
Matt Shaub has looked better than Mike Vick in the preseason—much better....
The fact that Shaub has looked good in the preseason, filled in admirably when vick was injured, and knowing a 2nd rounder isnt good enough for him tells me the Falcons know he is the real deal too. They will trade him at the draft–I bet they get a 1st and a 4th for him. They’ve publically said that they wouldnt move him for a 1st, and were looking for a 1st and a 3rd....
this guy’s stepped up to the plate in game situations too. He is decisive, accurate, and can fire a cannon. He’s a young, natural leader. There’s a reason why atlanta wont give him up.
Now first let me make clear to everyone ---especially Ben --- that I do not disagree with anything he is saying here. He is articulating a widely held position. I don't consider myself knowledgeable enough to either agree or disagree with it. I am skeptical of it, but my general policy is to be skeptical of everything.
There is a corner of my brain that, for the purposes of this discussion, you can visualize as a tattered piece of paper on which is scrawled a list. And the title of that list is "Crazy ideas I will try if I ever own an NFL franchise." The ongoing Schaub hype has caused me to add an entry to the list.
The plan is this. Every year, draft two quarterbacks on the second day of the draft. Pick the best one and then, in the preseason, make sure that most of his game action is with my first string offense but against the opponents' second string defense. Constantly tell anyone who will listen that he is nearly as good as my starter. Teach him how to sound smart and give good interviews so that the press will like him. Then insinuate to those same members of the press that I just turned down a second round pick for him and would have to think real hard about accepting a first.
Presto. I just turned a fifth round pick into a first round pick. Do this every year, then all you have to do is sit back and wait for the Lombardis to start rolling in.
Let's just pretend for a moment that this would actually work, which is a dubious supposition I admit. What is the downside? Well, if word gets out that I'm talking to Charlie Batch or Gus Frerotte, then the game is up. So I'm stuck with this kid as my backup whether he's any good or not. And if my starter gets hurt and the kid doesn't play well, all my work is for naught. And of course, unless I get lucky I can only do this once or twice before people figure it out.
I'm only half serious with all this, of course. I'm not really interested in whether this is what the Falcons have done with Schaub. I'm interested in whether this could be what they have done with Schaub.