Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Jeff vs. Joey

I've read several comments on some message boards claiming that I'm a Joey lover. As I've repeated constantly, I'm not, but I'm not a hater either. Based on that, I think I should explain my position on the whole Jeff vs Joey debate so everyone can understand it a bit better.

IMHO, I think Jeff is a better fit than Joey for the current Lions WCO system, but not because he's necessarily a better QB. I've said before that Garcia does several things that Joey simply cannot do. He's significantly more mobile, and he's significantly more creative. That being said, he also has one of the weakest arms in the NFL, and he has been injured a lot in the last few seasons. It's a tradeoff game here. All things being equal, the two QB's represent diametric opposites of the QB position - the classic pocket passer vs the scrambling gambling man. Neither is perfect, but if used to maximize their strengths, either can be effective.

However, with Mooch's version of the Wet Toast Offense, Garcia is a better fit. We never throw the long ball, so his arm strength is not an issue. With how bad our line is, his scrambling ability allows him a chance to survive for a few more seconds and try to make a play. It's a tradeoff, and Mooch has been unwilling - or unable - to modify his system to take maximum advantage of Joey's strengths - spreading the field and throwing the longer passes. Therefore, Jeff is probably the better QB for the Lions right now.

In truth, I don't think Mooch can play to Joey's preferred quarterbacking style because of how bad the O-Line has been. It takes time for guys to get downfield and get open and the line has not been able to give our QB's any time to speak of. Jeff can gain some extra time by scrambling, Joey needs the line to keep the rush away. If you watch Joey when he's had time to throw, he does spread the ball around and throw downfield. In contrast, when Jeff scrambles, he rarely throws to someone other than the guy he was looking at when he started to scramble.

I never have intended to make any excuses for Joey, merely to explain the things I have seen on the field to make sense of what has been happening. Unfortunately, because the prevailing wisdom has been that "Joey Sucks", when I point out that the problem is far more than just him, the haters congregate to rip me and the lovers rejoice that their hero has been vindicated. In truth, I simply want the Lions to win. I could care less who the QB is - Joey, Jeff, DanO, Chuck Batch, Scott Mitchell, Mike McMahon, whomever. I just want to see the blame for any problems placed where it should be - on the true root of the problem (gee, sounds like my engineering skills are coming out).

Quite often, if you fix the root problem, the other problems start to correct themselves. IMHO, the root problem with the O right now is a combination of the O-Line and the playcalling - and the two are like a chicken-and-egg problem. If we fix the O-Line, will the coaches be more creative in calling plays? If the coaches call more creative plays, will it keep the defense more offguard and make the O-line's job easier? The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle of those two, and I hope the coaches figure it out soon...

2 comments:

BS Family said...

what is IMHO? there are many acronyms that i do not know yet....

Uncle Miltie said...

IMHO - In My Humble Opinion. :)