Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year, New NFL?

Happy New Year! Hopefully everyone had a safe and enjoyable night.....

And are feeling OK today...

Nothing better to cure a little hangover than a short read on I-95 SportsBiz.

On this first day of 2013, I am going to take a little turn away from typical sports business writing.

With the NFL playoffs set to begin, it had me thinking of how the league has changed. The biggest change that I have seen this year was the role of a rookie quarterback. Quarterback may be the most significant position in all of team sports. The quarterback leads the offense and is responsible for making sure everything is running smoothly. In past seasons, veteran quarterbacks were always looked at as being able to lead the team better than younger quarterbacks because they are more experienced. 

This season, the notion that a veteran is needed to be a great leader has been thrown out the window. Three outstanding rookies have stood up to lead an NFL team to the playoffs. Russell Wilson may be the most underrated of the bunch. Wilson lead the Seattle Seahawks to a 11-5 record and a playoff birth. Andrew Luck, the number one pick, has lead the Indianapolis Colts to an 11-5 record after a dismal season last year for the Colts. Robert Griffin III lead the Washington Redskins from 3-6 to start the season, to win the last 7 games and finish the season at 10-6. Griffin beat the Dallas Cowboys the last game of the year to clinch the NFC East and a playoff birth for the Washington Redskins. The most remarkable part about Griffin's success has been the obvious impact he has had on the team. As a rookie, Griffin was voted a team captain after starting the season 3-6.

It is possible that these quarterbacks are just special. That this type of success from rookies will not be seen again. That their is no way rookie quarterbacks will be able to step in the NFL and be great. It is possible, but not the way I see it.

I think this is the start of the NEW NFL. Where it is possible for rookies to come out of college and lead teams in the NFL. The reasoning for the change could be the new rules that are used to protect players (specifically the quarterback) help offensives have success. Or it could be a miscalculation by NFL teams thinking that rookies cant be great, when they can.

Final Thought
I am not sure the reason for the change in the NFL. I am also not suggesting that the emergence of the rookie quarterback is the only change in the NFL this year, it is just the only change that I care to talk about. Have a great NEW YEAR.


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