Thursday was the first day of (preseason) FOOTBALL. The preseason is a time for young players to show their worth and there was no shortage of young quarterbacks on display last night. Some soared and some slunk but each one put on a performance. So without further ado here is the report card for all the young quarterbacks:Ryan Mallet, New England Patriots B+
Obviously no one watched the Patriots to see Ryan Mallet play but the rookie gave Pats fans quite the show. He was 12 of 19 for 164 yards and touchdown in a 47-12 Pats beat down. He was quick and fixed the running problems he had. He was also good with his passing like in college. Lets just say that he fared better than his other rookie rival.
Blaine Gabbert, Jacksonville Jaguars C
The reason Gabbert got such a low score was because 1) he’s the only starting quarterback on this list and he didn’t play like a starter and 2) the Jaguars got their asses handed to them. But back to number 1, if Gabbert plays like this in the regular season the Jags are more then screwed. Some may say that its all part of the learning processes but just because you loved him in Missouri doesn’t mean he will translate well to the NFL. His mechanics were off and he needs to deserve the starting job. He may change but right now he doesn’t deserve it.
Vince Young, Philadelphia Eagles B-
Talk about a turn around. A bum in Tennessee things finally clicked for Vince Young in the city of brotherly love. He wasn’t amazing but no one asked him to be. He looked like a mini Michael Vick on Thursday. Young threw for 45 yards going 3 for 5. That may not sound impressive but Young was averaging nine yards a throw and looked finally good under center.
Tyrod Taylor, Baltimore Ravens C-
Man was this a mess. I liked Tyrod Taylor in college but there is a reason he went undrafted and Taylor showed us perfectly why on Thursday. He is a running quarterback. I get that. But quarterbacks are supposed to throw and he just couldn’t going 19 of 28 for 179 yards, two interceptions and a sad 55.5 passer rating in a 13-6 Ravens loss. Maybe the silver lining is that he lit up the ground with 59 yards on 6 carries, the best running by Baltimore. But he is a quarterback and not a running back and he had trouble. I’m hoping for Taylor but the future doesn’t look to bright.
Josh Portis, Seattle Seahawks A-
AMAZING. That is my one word for the rookie’s performance on Thursday. Without a doubt he put on the best show for any young quarterback the first day in the season. While his stats (5 of 9 with 69 yards and a touchdown) may not lift you out of your seat he fueled the comeback win for the Seahawks and made a mark in fans and coaches minds. Down 17-10 going into the fourth quarter Portis ran and threw the ball down the field. Throughout the night they said his throwing was shaky but when I saw him play I saw a laser not a boy. He is an athletic running quarterback but his TD pass to tight end Anthony McCoy tied the game. Portis then marched his team down the field like any great quarterback would and got the win. After watching the game I made my Facebook status “JOSH PORTIS!” ‘Nuff said.
Scott Tolzien, San Diego Chargers B-
The rookie out of Wisconsin will probably spend 2011 on the bench but he didn’t do any wonders for himself Thursday. Tolzien went 5 of 12 and only 64 yards in a 24-17 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. The young quarterback seemed flabbergasted under center. He couldn’t make decent reads but it is his first NFL game and at least he didn’t turn the ball over.
Tim Tebow, Denver Broncos B
Perhaps the most hyped young quarterback in action Thursday, Tebow didn’t impress but he didn’t fall flat either. He went 6 of 7 with 91 yards in a 24-23 loss to Dallas. The superstar out of Florida needs this preseason more than anyone but he didn’t show the haters that he should start with a just all right performance. His 118.8 quarterback rating was the highest in the game and he looked content under center but I echo coach John Fox when I saw Tebow is a work in progress.
Stephen McGee, Dallas Cowboys A-
The third year quarterback from Texas A&M impressed Thursday night going 14 of 24 with 206 yards and three touchdowns. The reason this young man doesn’t have a perfect A is because of one interception he threw but all his balls were perfect for his receivers. I would keep an eye on him because America’s team may become his team after Tony Romo is done.