Diagonals Guru: Patience is a virtue when it comes to evaluating rookie QBs in the NFL

Diagonals Guru: Patience is a virtue when it comes to evaluating rookie QBs in the NFL

MIAMI – We live in a society of instant gratification.

Today, kids – and some adults too – want immediate results and don’t hesitate to turn the page.

If they are from my time (I was born in 1980) or older than me, they understand what it is like not to go out because you are waiting for a call next to a landline phone. Also what causes a doubt to eat away at your head for days, because you didn’t have an internet search engine that would give you the answer in the blink of an eye.

In other words, we learned patience, essentially because we had no choice.

Today, my daughters ask me to see a specific chapter of a series that they like and it does not enter their heads that in the past, you had to wait a week or more to see what you wanted or wait at a specific time, because they did not exist the recordings within the cable operators and I clarify that I am not here to tell you that one era is better than another, because we all know that technological advances make our daily lives easier. I am simply here to point out that they are different.

I am a true believer that in the life of a husband, father and analyst, patience is a virtue, and from the endless comments I have received about rookie quarterbacks, I felt the need to talk about them again.

I am not surprised that they are not doing well at the start of the season and if you want to corroborate what I thought of them, I leave the first column of the season dedicated to them.

There’s no denying it’s been a tough start to the season for first-year quarterbacks. In fact, they’ve all combined to a 1-10 record in their starting appearances, with the only win coming in a rookie matchup when the New England Patriots met the New York Jets.

This past week, Justin Fields, Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, Mac Jones and Davis Mills combined to complete 96 of 168 passes (57%) for 885 yards with three touchdowns and seven interceptions. They were sacked an incredible 23 times and none managed to lead their team to victory (0-5).

Of course, the automatic verdict of the instant gratification society is that “none works” and I am here to remind you that when it comes to evaluating young quarterbacks, patience is more virtue than ever.

The game plan in Chicago gave somebody else embarrassment considering that the offensive line is the team’s main weakness and you offered little help protecting Fields in his first start as a starter for the bulk of the game.

Not even Urban Meyer himself knows what he is doing in Jacksonville with Trevor Lawrence, who has thrown multiple interceptions in all his games and the Jets are an absolute disaster with a porous offensive line, no running attack or targets, Zach Wilson should be a wizard and no quarterback to think about short-term success.

As boring as it may be at times, the conservative game plans that Bill Belichick and David Culley had with Mac Jones and Davis Mills, respectively, at least make sense. Belichick knows that until Trent Brown returns, the offensive line is a question mark and he also knows that Jones is not a gunman and tries to maximize his strengths. Culley, for his part, knows how aggressive the Panthers defense is and doesn’t want to take away Mills’ confidence in his first start as a starter.

Meanwhile, in my judgment, Kyle Shanahan cleverly keeps Trey Lance as an occasional weapon for the time being with the San Francisco 49ers.

Of course rookie quarterbacks are also at fault at their low level, I don’t mean to be held accountable; they just wait for a more representative sample to give an apparent final verdict.

The draft is already an inexact science and most of these quarterbacks will not become the stars that fans pretend them to be.

To put this in perspective, keep in mind that since 2000, 60 quarterbacks have been chosen in the first round. Some have not even made headlines yet, like Jordan Love, others have failed miserably like JaMarcus Russell, Paxton Lynch, Brady Quinn and Johnny Manziel to name a few.

The stars are counted with one or two hands, like the cases of Aaron Rodgers, Carson Palmer and Patrick Mahomes. Sure, there have been useful and winnable quarterbacks like Teddy Bridgewater, Ryan Tannehill and Chad Pennington, but the evidence shows us that most of them are failures, which makes sense when you think that generally high-scoring teams in the draft are the worst equipped and therefore, you arrive at a dysfunctional organization in which it is difficult to shine.

Time will pass and some of these guys will not have been able to get out of the sporty black cloud that surrounds them at the moment. There, surely those who argued that “none of these boys are useful” will write to me to tell me that they were right and maybe they are, but the moment of the final verdict has not come.

There is no one way to deal with newbies. Justin Herbert and Joe Burrow did pretty well last year, but for every Kyler Murray there are 10 Josh Rosen.

The only thing you can do, as a coach, is try to bring out the main strengths of your rookie quarterbacks and not try to force a system into a player who has other characteristics.

Great coaches adapt to their players, because they are the true protagonists.

From our side, I only ask for your patience before condemning them. After all, you don’t have to wait for statistics in the mail today to have the numbers on hand, which, by the way, almost always tell an incomplete story.

In honor of the rookie quarterbacks who failed to replicate their college success in the NFL, I leave THE GAME THAT MADE RUSSELL THE FIRST PICK for you to enjoy and remember what talent all these guys have, but it takes more than that to shine.

* Home teams are second


As I always say, it is never good to play every game. In other words, there are some that are best missed. Therefore, I decided to add this section, to publicize my six favorite teams with a bet line. Opinions are welcome, since the idea is to add an attribute that is beneficial to readers. The order of the teams is not accidental and the predictions do not affect the total statistics.








There are many of us who are in this type of competition. In this case, the bet line does not matter. Just do not repeat any equipment throughout each week. Of course, these forecasts will not affect the overall statistics either. In parentheses, the teams chosen so far.



At the request of many, we add the landline with a line from Week 11 of 2013.



I have always said that I am not a fan of teasers, since they come from the word tempt and are called “sucker bets”, but, at the request of several of the readers, we added this section. Here, as there are three teams, the line is modified by 6 points, but you must hit all three to collect. Below, I name the three teams with the altered lines in parentheses.


2-MIAMI DOLPHINS (+5 and a half)

3-NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (-2 and a half)


At the request of several of the readers, we include an entry and exit match for each week.

1-HIGHS OF CARDINALS-RAMS (53 and a half)

2-LOW SEAHAWKS-49ERS (52 and a half)

Total statistics (With + Without + Teaser + Additions and Discharges): 70-34

With Bet Line: 31-17 (12-4)

Without Bet Line: 34-14 (12-4)

Surprise of the Week (no line): 3-0 (1-0)

Fixed of the Week (no line): 3-0 (1-0)

Fixed of the Week (with line): 3-0 (1-0)

Power 6 (with line): 12-6 (5-1)

Teaser 3: 2-1 (1-0)

Ups and downs: 3-3 (0-2)

Suicide Pool (no line): 3-0 (SF, CLE, DEN)

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