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Just The Sports: Aaron Rodgers

Just The Sports

Monday, March 26, 2007

Aaron Rodgers

Whether or not the Green Bay Packers choose to realize it, they are in possession of the crown jewel of Jeff Tedford's quarterbacks, one who goes by the name of Aaron Rodgers. That is why if the Raiders had been able to Jedi mind trick the Packers into giving up Rodgers for a malcontent receiver in Randy Moss who is only able to run one route, it would have been a great trade coup. Yet, I'm sure for some, the labeling of Aaron Rodgers as the best of the quarterbacks coached by Jeff Tedford is not enough to convince them that Rodgers will actually turn out to be a proper NFL starting quarterback.

All of the criticism Tedford has received for the quarterbacks he coached in college turning into NFL busts is undeserved. His job is not to ensure his quarterbacks succeed at the NFL level as his salary is not commensurate upon how well they perform once they leave his teachings. As long as Akili Smith, Joey Harrington, Kyle Boller, and Aaron Rodgers were successful under Tedford's watch, he was completing all the bullet points on his job description, which is really the crux of the matter.

Besides Rodgers, none of the quarterbacks were actually excellent quarterbacks under Tedford, although to be fair, he was only able to coach Smith and Boller for one year apiece. Rodgers was the only one to complete above 60% of his passes in the seasons he had under Tedford's tutelage and his completion percentage with Tedford as coach of 63.7% (when attempting the most passes or throwing for the most passing yards for his team) was statistically significantly better than Harrington's (54.9%)and Boller's (53.6%) and was almost that much better than Smith (58.0%). This means when Rodgers is finally handed a starting quarterback mantle, he should not experience the same sort of failures as these three other Tedford quarterbacks who were also drafted in the first round.

Since Tedford has been relieved of the blame for these quarterbacks' struggles, it must be reassigned to someone and those someones who are to blame for turning Smith, Harrington, and Boller into first-round busts are the NFL teams who drafted them in those positions. Everyone, most importantly those who are paid to make NFL personnel decisions, should know never to draft a quarterback in the first-round or any subsequent round who didn't even complete 60% of his collegiate pass attempts.

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