Ode to a Rookie


Amazing review Pal. The fact that I have not yet hopped on my bike and raced to the nearest movie theatre to see Gravity shows my utter disrespect for you and the beautiful words that you write. Nice work Pal. Your are a great man.

You know who else is a great man…

…The rookie quarterback.

Especially when it all comes down to: one drive…..one team….one play

This is the highest of pressure for the best quarterback, but for a rookie, this has got to be nerve racking. Quick decisions need to be made when you have a wall of 300 lbs guys using all their force to bust through your wall of 300 lbs guys with the sole purpose of driving you into the ground. You need to interpret splits second moments and react instantly. Hold on to the ball too long and your dead meat….


…Bodies are flashing left and right around you as you set up the play. Peripheral visions of people moving in closer and closer wanting to take your head off. You have to figure out what the other team is planning. You have to anticipate everything. You are required to have your head on a swivel. You also need to maintain deep focus. This no time for doubt. Don’t get rattled, rookie.

Great things can happen, but mistakes are inevitable.

The ball is snapped…


…You’re looking at a four man front, but you can see two line backers coming from the outside bearing down on you. Man-to-man in the backfield has left no one open. The deep ball you wanted to throw is not an option anymore and you need to make a new play.

The defensive line can’t be held back. The pocket is disintegrating around you. Players are grabbing at you now….


…You escape one, but now the chase is on with the another. You scramble outside of the pocket….


…There he is. You see him. Your open man. In full stride, and off balance, you throw the football…


…As the ball sails through the air, you notice the trap they set for you. The man you threw to was covered. The interception was inevitable.

They had you from the beginning and you didn’t even see it. The ball is now moving the opposite way you want, and in the wrong guy’s hands. He jump cuts two of your guys creating missed tackles. The only thing between him and a pick six is you. You run straight for him, drop your shoulder and knock him out of bounds.

“Rookie mistake”, the T.V. colour man says. Two plays later, they score. You are down by seven.


The question is, what kind of leader are you? Are you going to take that “rookie mistake” and learn from it or will it shake you to your core? What are you going to do, rookie?

Vince Lombardi once said that Football’s only flaw is that the quarterback is far too important. So much is riding in him, and if the defence can break the QB’s will, then they can win every time. Football’s beauty is built on the perfect orchestration of a team effort, but, most of the team’s success is dependent on one person.

Rookie QBs who were big dogs in college soon find that the NFL is full of bigger dogs. Some go running back to their mamas with their tail between their legs. Others will rise to the occasion, learn from their mistakes and serve up pressure like “shit on a shingle” to their opponents. I am fairly sure I am not using that phrase correctly.

Nevertheless, these are the future legends of American Football. Peyton Manning (a living legend) threw 28 interceptions his rookie year which broke the previous record set 56 years prior. Despite that, he managed to eke out a great rookie year with 3739 yards, 26 touchdowns and a quarterback rating of 71.2.

Lucky for this Jets fan we may have found another. Geno Smith seems to be one of those rookie quarterbacks that can handle the pressure. He seems calm and relaxed the whole time. Just watch how long it takes him to walk from the sideline to the huddle. So slow. It looks like he just woke up or something. Not edgy or frantic. He is cool as a cucumber and makes tonnes of great plays.


Geno has got all the qualities of a great quarterback. He’s fast on the run, he’s got a great arm for deep passes, and he’s accurate. Most of all, he’s composed and capable of making mature QB decisions.

After the circus show that was the last 2 years, Jets fans can now breathe a sigh of relief, sit back, relax and watch a good rookie quarterback grow and mature into a great franchise quarterback.


Rookie of the Year?

Hopeful optimism, I know. Time will tell.

So far, I have had a pile of fun watching my Jets in 2013. At this point, we are 4-3. Things are looking up.

Later Pal.


One response to “Ode to a Rookie

  1. I think being a rookie quarterback would be the most intimidating position of any professional sport. I am surprised that any of them eke out a strong season. My fingers are crossed for your Jets. It would be nice for you to be excited for them. Maybe your “rookie” can go toe-to-toe with Brady. That would be a fun house to be in on Sundays.

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