- No tailgating allowed at Super Bowl XLVIII
- Pentagon to transport African troops to Central African Republic
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend’s shopping jumps to his death
- Ukraine leader to talk with protesters; Washington urges caution
- Pope Francis: A nun saved my life
- Israeli P.M. Netanyahu backs out of Mandela funeral
- Elian Gonzalez makes first trip outside Cuba since custody battle
- U.S., British intelligence agents enter online sci-fi world to spy on gamers
- Sarah Palin to host the outdoors show ‘Amazing America’
- CIA admits $3 billion intelligence operation was a flop
DALY: Redskins’ QB situation is desperate, uncertain
What the Washington Redskins are looking for in their quarterback search, what they desperately need their next QB to be, is something that doesn't really exist: A Sure Thing. There are risks, sometimes major ones, no matter which direction they go — established veteran (e.g. Peyton Manning), untested up-and-comer (e.g. Matt Flynn) or college hotshot (e.g. Robert Griffin III).
Actually, the Redskins aren't just desperate, they're doubly desperate. They're desperate as an organization because they've scuffed along at the quarterback position for too long (and seen their standing in the league plummet as a result). Beyond that, though, their coach, Mike Shanahan, is desperate because he's entering Year 3 of his rebuilding job, and it's time for him to show some real progress.
Manning, the Indianapolis Colts' icon, is the most intriguing of the Redskins' possibilities because he's as close to A Sure Thing as you can get — provided he's able, with a surgically-repaired neck, to regain his form (and provided the Colts don't run a fumblerooski and decide to hang onto him). But that remains to be seen, just as it remains to be seen whether he'd even want to play in Washington. There could be several bidders, after all, for his services, including the Miami Dolphins and Seattle Seahawks.
Which brings us to Flynn, who has spent his first four years backing up Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay. He's another potential option for the Redskins — and would be even more of a roll of the dice. Granted, he's played well in a couple of pinch-hit appearances, posting ratings of 100-plus and, in the Packers' 2011 finale against Detroit, setting club records by throwing for 480 yards and six touchdowns. But how much do two games tell us about any quarterback?
Something else to consider: If Flynn really is that valuable a commodity, why didn't the Packers — who see him in practice every day and know him better than anybody — try to trade him after the 2010 season, the way Philadelphia did with Kevin Kolb? The Eagles, you may recall, got Arizona to give up a starting cornerback (Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie) and a second-round draft pick.
Other backup quarterbacks, I'll just point out, have flashed for a game or two, enticed teams to acquire them ... and turned out to be less-than-franchise QBs. Rob Johnson comes to mind. (Remember him, Redskins fans? He briefly passed through town in 2003, near the end of the Steve Spurrier era.) Anyway, Johnson was the No. 2 guy in Jacksonville behind Mark Brunell when, in a spot start against Baltimore in 1997, he completed 83.3 percent of his passes (20 of 24) and had a 145.5 rating — both, at the time, franchise marks.
In the offseason, he was traded to eager Buffalo for No. 1 and No. 3 picks (after originally being just a No. 4 himself). But he never had much success with the Bills. (Indeed, he lost his job to Doug Flutie.) His record as a starter after leaving the Jaguars: 11-17.
Flynn could very well be another Rob Johnson — an unproven guy who, like anybody surrounded by good talent, can look better than he actually is. (Another quarterback in the not-too-distant past who fits this description: Scott Mitchell, Dan Marino's one-time backup in Miami, who went on to lead Detroit to a couple of playoff berths but never developed the way the Lions hoped he would.)
Then again, Flynn could be another Matt Hasselbeck ... or another Brunell ... or another Matt Schaub ... or another Stan Humphries. All four essentially were blank slates when they switched teams a few seasons into their careers — and all worked out quite well for their new clubs. Hasselbeck (Seattle) and Humphries (San Diego), the ex-Redskin, guided their teams to the Super Bowl, and Hasselbeck, Brunell (Jacksonville) and Schaub (Houston) became Pro Bowlers.
But again, there are no guarantees. And we haven't even discussed the issue of how quick a study Flynn might be. He's spent his entire career in the Packers' system and presumably has grown very comfortable in it. In Washington, he'll have to learn to play Shanny Ball, Shanahan's version of the West Coast offense — and, as if that weren't enough, adjust to being, instantaneously, one of the faces of the franchise. Even in the best of circumstances, the transition can take a while.
So that's where the Redskins are as the free agent signing period approaches. They're looking for certainty at the most important position on the field, but they know full well there's no such thing. Any course they take is a crapshoot, and this time the stakes are much higher. This time their coach is all-in.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Dan Daly has been writing about sports for the Washington Times since 1982. He has won numerous national and local awards, appears regularly in NFL Films’ historical features and is the co-author of “The Pro Football Chronicle,” a decade-by-decade history of the game. Follow Dan on Twitter at @dandalyonsports –- or e-mail him at email@example.com.
- DALY: Rookies RG3, Alfred Morris hold their own against two Browns greats
- DALY: Players soon may equate Redskins with winning
- DALY: Quarterbacks waste no time making impact
- DALY: Just the tip of the iceberg for these Redskins
- DALY: Striking a balance integral to Redskins’ success
Latest Blog Entries
By Brahma Chellaney
Beijing's creeping aggression signals a challenge to U.S. presence in the Asian Pacific
- CURL: Obama tells a whopper on IRS scandal
- Tech companies call for an end to NSA online snooping
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend's shopping jumps to his death
- Obama lied about Syrian chemical attack, 'cherry-picked' intelligence: report
- WOLF: The president's other Obamacare lies
- Lawmakers see 'false narrative' of Obama as a terrorist fighter
- Ted Cruz sees legal landmines ahead for Obamacare
- MSNBC host: Obamacare a 'wealthy white men' racist word
- MILLER: Brady Campaign says Colorado recalls due to NRA, not grassroots opposition to gun control
- Mike Shanahan says he'd like to return; RG3 might be benched
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Brazen, leading-edge, “call it like it is” columns and reporting from Ohio native, radio host and writer, Sara Marie Brenner.
Let’s talk about everything, especially the absurdity of it all
Find the latest news and happening that effect those in the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland Metro region.
Never apologetic. Never afraid. Lieutenant Colonel Allen B. West joins Communities to bring tales from the biggest Foxhole of them all, the one inside the Beltway.
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow