Posted by Thunder
Hopefully by now it goes without saying that the NFL is a passing league. In order to win at the highest level a team needs to be able to throw the football with consistency. Why then has Rick Spielman virtually abandoned the position to 3rd and 4th rung players while he has been a General Manager?
Rick Spielman was promoted to the position of General Manager for the Miami Dolphins in 2004 when his reign of terror began. His first order of business was to trade a second round pick to the Philadelphia Eagles for a quarterback who had not taken a single snap the season before, his name was AJ Feely. In his one and only season as a Dolphin, he was 191-356 (53%) with 11 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. He was benched for Jay Fiedler late in the year and was then traded to the San Diego Chargers midway through the 2005 season, a season in which he took no snaps.
Jay Fielder was the next man in the merry band of Rick Spielman quarterbacks. I think that saying Fielder ended his career with a quarterback rating of 77.1 says it all.
Late in the year the Dolphins made what may turn out the be the best decision they made at the Quarterback position during Rick Spielman’s Reign of Terror. The Dolphins started Sage Rosenfels late in 2004. While it is not a sexy name, Rosenfles has the highest QB rating (81.2) of all quarterbacks who started a game during the ROT (Reign of Terror).
The 2005 season featured 2 of Rick Spielman’s favorite quarterbacks taking turns at the position, Sage Rosenfels and Gus Frerotte (74.2 QB Rating). (**HINT** We may be seeing these two later on in this article) The Dolphins bounced back from a 4-12 record to a respectable 9-7 under the watchful eye of these two grizzled veterans.
The 2006 season was one of musical chairs at the QB position. The season started with Daunte Culpepper as the main man for the Dolphins, but after a 1-6 start under new coach Nick Saban, the Dolphins turned to Joey Harrington(69.4 qb rating) who promptly lost his first 3 starts. Harrington had some moments that year, but they were few and far between as he was benched for something called a Ms. Cleo Lemon in week 16 of the 2006 season.
Inexplicably, Rick Spielman was hired as the General Manager of the Minnesota Vikings on May 30, 2006. Before we dive in headfirst to the quarterbacks that started for the Minnesota Vikings while Spielman was in charge, I will make a special note to let readers know that he DID NOT draft Tarvaris Jackson.
Brad Johnson was the first Quarterback to start a game for the Minnesota Vikings under the watch of Rick Spielman. Johnson turned 38 years old after week one of the season and was the oldest starting quarterback in the entire league. The old man showed his age to the tune of 8 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. He also set an NFL record that year. Most passes completed on third down that came up short of a first down. (Congrats Brad!) In addition, his quarterback-rating on 3rd downs, with a lead, from behind, and in the red zone were the worst in the entire league. Everyone’s favorite Vikings quarterback came on in relief of Johnson in week 13 after Johnson threw 4 interceptions against the Bears.
In 2007 the Vikings decided to play musical chairs with the quarterback position. First was Tarvaris Jackson for 12 games, that was fun. Then we went to the loveable Kelly Holcomb who started 3 games and throwing 2 TD’s and only 1 interception. (Great Job Kelly!) Brooks Bollinger was the lucky starter against the Green Bay Packers in week 10 of the 2007 season. After a 34-0 victory for the Packers, he was never heard from again.
2008 saw the continued failure of the Tarvaris Jackson experiment followed by the surprisingly competent quarterbacking of Gus Frerotte. Frerotte went 8-3 that season before a back injury forced Tarvaris Jackson back in the game as Vikings fans everywhere cringed.
Which finally brings us to 2009. Also know as the one and only season in which a Spielman apologist can hang his or her hat on. 2009 saw Spielman sign another of his favorite quarterbacks, Sage Rosenfels. Luckily, Spielman realized what he was doing and decided to take the huge risk of signing Brett Favre. With this signing, he hit a Grand Slam Home run…..kind of. We all know what 2009 brought us, a lot of fun football which included a trip to the 2009 NFC Championship. Great run and Kudos to Spielman.
Back to reality. 2010 saw Brett Favre, the oldest quarterback in the league, (I see a trend here, is Jeff George not available) get hurt and look like a guy who no longer wanted to play football. Cue Jackson. Unfortunately, the Vikings didn’t know that Jackson was still terrible for some reason. The Vikings were forced to turn to Joe Webb late in the 2010 season and he led them to a huge win against the Green Bay Packers.
The Vikings and Rick Spielman decided to stick to what doesn’t work by signing the over the hill, out of work Donovan McNabb. McNabb has been putrid this year, maybe the worst starting quarterback in all of football.
Which brings us to Sunday, October 23, 2011. The era of another new quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings. I hope that Ponder is good, really good, Drew Brees good. However, based upon the track record of Rick Spielman I am not optimistic.
At the end of the day the evidence is overwhelming that Rick Spielman does not understand the NFL or Quarterbacks. I feel that I have given him enough time, and more than enough quarterbacks to prove how he wants to build a team. Too bad it is the wrong way.
Rick Spielman, we want our quarterback or we need a refund.