"I was reflecting on one of the Bears gone but not forgotten players – Josh McCown. And thinking of how unknowing I’ve been about some of these players. I was not a big fan of the decision to keep him as our back-up QB last year. I wanted a much ‘sexier’ player to be in that role. Some younger player that had potential. I was glad to be proven wrong about Josh. He had a great turn last year and very much earned that nice contract from Tampa Bay. He ended 2013 with a 109.0 passer rating, third behind Manning and Nick Foles and set the record for Bear’s QBs – all time.
He also proved by his emergence as a bona-fide player How difficult it is to predict the success of QBs in the NFL. Did he need that much time and experience to find his mojo? Was he a victim of bad coaching in his earlier efforts? Does it take some of these QBs a decade or so to gain the right experience to handle the position? Kurt Warner comes to mind as I ask these questions. Both players languished in relative obscurity and then, suddenly ‘light it up’. Looking at McCown’s career I noticed all the other names of QBs from recent NFL times – so many players that were (temporarily) big names on draft day or during, for many of them, their short lived career. The next franchise QB that will take their team to the promised land. And now many of them are forgotten players. This same thing is going on, as in every year, with the current crop of college stars. The NFL is not a kind place to many of these very talented athletes.
2014 draft – Logan Thomas has that appeal of the ‘high ceiling’ type of player for me. He might become a star – so hard to predict. Has just the right kind of measurable; 6’6”, 250lbs. and quite the athletic type. He holds promise as a Cam Newton type -- tough, mobile, very good runner. Lo and behold, I looked at the current Bears roster and came across Jerrod Johnson – 6’5”, 250 lbs., tough, mobile and a very good runner. And they both look good in their highlight films. The point for me was how that ‘bird in the bush’ always seems more attractive. How the hype which surrounds them during the draft process seems to turn the head and make all the deficiencies of the player of minor importance. It's easy to get caught up in all that hype – maybe too easy.
All the pundits from last year that were calling the pick of Kyle Long was such a terrible mistake. Why? He didn’t have the right kind of pedigree for them I guess. No one had him pegged for the 1st round (except for the Bears) and therefore he must be the wrong pick. He might be the most valuable pick of the 2013 draft. He would certainly be in the top 10 picks if that draft had a redo.
The draft gurus are crazy for Jadeveon Clowney this year and not very impressed with Aaron Donald. Or so it appears. I would pick Donald over Clowney in a heartbeat. And, of course, I could prove to be wrong. If I am in this case, it will be a surprise. For me, all the praise for Mr. Clowney should be tempered by a look at his performance against Taylor Lewan and the plain and simple fact that he had 3 sacks and 9 quarterback hurries last season. Comparisons to Lawrence Taylor seem a tad premature.
What about the Bear’s current back-up QB, Jordan Palmer? He looked very good during last year’s exhibition season. Seems to have all the right qualities. Is he our guy. Is he our next McCown? And now for the big question – is he better than Blake Bortles or Teddy Bridgewater? Considering the fate of many of the QBs drafted in recent years I’d say that was a fair question.