Feb 19, 2008
I was thinking about the Super Bowl yesterday. It’s been over two weeks, but I still can’t believe what the Giants did. More specifically, I still can’t believe the meteoric rise of Eli Manning. I’ll admit I was frustrated when he was seemingly regressing in the second half of the season this past year, but that was mainly because I have been a pretty big Eli backer in the past and because I was so impressed with the improvement he made in everything from his accuracy to his body language. But in the end, Manning has shown why I was high on him.
It got me thinking about the QBs. I’m wrong all the time about players, but when it comes to the quarterbacks, I’m usually on the right track if I’m enamored with a player. I go back to Trent Green in 2001, and Matt Hasselbeck I believe that same year. Those guys were busts, and I was wrong to push them on readers that year, but 8-9 Pro Bowls later for those two players, it’s clear I was on the right track. I was right about Carson Palmer, and I will be right about Jay Cutler, for sure. I was a believer in Jeff Garcia very early, and definitely Donovan McNabb. I ranked Daunte Culpepper #3 at QB in 2000 despite his not starting one NFL game (he had 40 TDs that year).
I’m trying to think of a QB who I liked a lot for more than one single season but who never truly panned out and I honestly have to go back to 1996 (to, gulp, Rick Mirer). I don’t mean a guy I like for a given year, like Rex Grossman, who I liked last year because of his value (13th or 14th round) and his potential to put up surprising numbers. I’m talking about a guy who I’m completely sold on an NFL player, over the long haul.
One player I am completely sold on is Houston’s Matt Schaub. I do now worry about his durability, but I love Schaub. If he’s healthy in 2008, he’s going to be a top-10 QB and he’s going to have a legitimate chance to account for 30 TDs. If Ben Roethlisberger can account for 30+ on a supposedly conservative Steeler offense, than Schaub can certainly hit that mark as well. Schaub has a true stud in Andre Johnson, and a TE in Owen Daniels who is just a tier below some of the stars at the position like Jason Witten and Dallas Clark. I like Kevin Walter a lot as well, and if Jacoby Jones can push him to the slot (a role he’s well suited for), then you’re looking at a passing attack that will be downright scary. The Texans will have a healthier O-Line this year, and they made add a tackle early in the draft. They also added legendary line coach Alex Gibbs, who knows their blocking scheme better than anyone. They will have a get a back, but between free agency and the draft they should be able to get a significant upgrade without having to pay too much. Their defense is still an issue, however, but at least that should mean Schaub will have to throw the ball a lot in 2008 (they might not get stud corner Dunta Robinson back).
It’s very early, but the evidence supporting a big year from Schaub is compelling, not to mention the fact that when I’m all over a quarterback, I’m usually proven right eventually.
And I’m all over Schaub.