NFL: The quarterback – out with the old in with the new?


Green Bay Packers quarterback

Aaron Rodgers

and Washington Redskins quarterback

Robert Griffin III

meet on the field after the game at Lambeau Field. The Packers beat the Redskins 38-20. Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports photograph

Wow, the new found offensive display put on by several different quarterbacks in the first two weeks of action, is the talk of the NFL.  After two weeks there are 11quarterbacks averaging over 300 yards passing per game. The end of the 2012 season saw only two teams average more than 300 passing yards, the New York Giants and Detroit Lions.

Is Robert Griffin III and other young quarterbacks pointing in the right direction and will they have staying power in the NFL?

Brian Jopek photograph

By comparison, the Green Bay Packers averaged 253 yards passing per game (source But with the Pistol, or Read-Option offense being all the rave, and the big push to popularize it with players such as Colin Kaepernick, Michael Vick, Russell Wilson, Robert Griffin III and even Cam Newton to name a few, the NFL is loving it.

Add Philadelphia Head Coach Chip Kelly and there is enough ‘star power’ on enough teams to help generate more interest from fans because of its fast pace and high scoring.

However, it will need to pass the durability test of time. To help it along during that critical phase in the NFL where it will either last, or it will fall by the wayside or stay in the playbook as a gimmick, the NFL is doing all they can to make it stick.

Several things … the aforementioned read-option quarterbacks I mention earlier have one thing in common … they are all on their rookie contracts (except for Michael Vick). That leaves a huge question that has yet to be answered and may not be answered for a couple of more years:

"Will franchises still be willing to put their franchise players at risk once they sign $100 million-plus contracts?"

Only time can answer that one.

In the meantime, don’t look now but the top seven passing leaders in the league are drop back pocket passers. That’s not really surprising considering the Read-Option is a running offense. The leader of the group is none other than

Aaron Rodgers and other drop back passers in the NFL will continue to set the standard in the league.

Brian Jopek photograph

Aaron Rodgers, the forgotten man all offseason because of the young guns being promoted to garner the attention of the young and casual fans.

Rodgers leads the league in passing, while the Packers offense leads the league in passing yards and first downs.  He is tied for second in TDs with seven, and has a QB Rating of 127.2, behind only Peyton Manning.

To give some perspective on the Packers receiving numbers, consider this …  Greg Jennings has eight receptions for Minnesota for 117 yards and zero touchdowns. Those numbers would be fifth on the Packers behind Jordy Nelson (10-196-3), Randall Cobb (16-236-2), James Jones (11-178-0) and Jermichael Finley (11-121-2).

The difference an elite quarterback can make will always be in demand, even if the league wants to push this new fast-paced style.

I guess they don’t realize that quarterbacks such as Rodgers, Manning, Brees and Brady can run a fast-paced offense, too. They just go about it differently. It’s called the ‘no huddle’ – a clash of the old and the new.

I think there is room for both, but give me Aaron Rodgers or Peyton Manning anytime, and I will be just fine.

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