Opinion: The NFL’s annoying trend of assuring mediocrity

Jacob Ruffo is a junior journalism major and columnist for The Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected]

Jacob Ruffo

The 2014 first round pick, Heisman winner and general fan favorite Johnny Manziel did not play this past Sunday as the Browns hosted the Raiders.

Josh McCown was true to form in leading the Browns to 10 points through three quarters. After a relatively exciting fourth quarter, McCown threw an interception to lose the game 27-20, go figure. The fans were chanting “Johnny,” “We want Johnny” and “Where is Manziel?” among other things at the game, but he did not enter the game. 

This is just one of many examples of teams settling for definite mediocrity by acquiring a veteran quarterback who was less than serviceable on one team, which is why that previous team didn’t want them, and starting them. Why anyone would ever do this is beyond me.

Tony Romo, the quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys, was injured recently and to replace him they brought in 31-year-old Brandon Weeden, who is known for somehow being too inept for the Cleveland Browns.

Then, being disappointed with his performance (gasp,) they brought in 33-year-old Matt Cassel. 

The Cowboys were, for sure, a playoff team, but are testing the fates, hoping they can go .500 until Tony Romo comes back instead of trying out one of the young hungry quarterbacks waiting for a chance. One who comes to mind is Tim Tebow.

Meanwhile, Tebow, a former Heisman winner who took over the 1-4 Broncos in 2011 and lead them to a playoff win, is currently not on a team. A six game win streak and six comeback victories highlighted this dazzling season and all it took was to play a young quarterback. Then he got traded, got traded again and then finally cut.

While the playoff winner sits without a team, his last team, the Philadelphia Eagles, average 285 yards per game.

Many teams have recently bucked this trend after falling into its trap for years. The Vikings, the Raiders and the Bills have all decided against using just another journeyman quarterback and are starting their own young quarterback who will lead them into the future.

These young teams are all 2-1 three games into this season, and most importantly the fans want to watch these players. The team had to sell to these fans that spending a draft pick on this guy was worth it, how better to do that than to show the fans firsthand?

Guys like Josh McCown, Matt Cassel and Brandon Weeden are not who anyone wants to watch under center for their favorite teams on Sundays.

You know what else they don’t want to see? Losses where their team has 200 total yards and they score ten points, which are all these guys bring to the table.

Jacob Ruffo is a columnist for The Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].