December 3, 2003

By Michael Strickland

The "Back" in Quarterback

I listened to a radio commentator yesterday talking about the Chargers' miserable season, and the debate over whether a change at the quarterback position can make much difference. The team lost 14 of the last 17 games in which Drew Brees started in the quarterback position. Doug Flutie replaced Brees five weeks ago, but has only racked up one win, while the team has overall continued to play at a level worthy of its last-place ranking. This season, like the eight before it, is a wash. What about next year?

The talk show host talked about which quarterback would start this Sunday, and he made a good point: the Chargers should start Brees. Flutie hasn't made a significant difference, and he'll be 42 next year. Definitely not the quarterback of the Chargers' future. Brees hasn't performed much better, so is he really the quarterback of the future that the Chargers organization has made him out to be? The team needs a lot of things, but perhaps most of all, it needs a strong quarterback.

The most sensible thing to do would be to let Brees play the last four games of the season as one last shot to prove himself. If he showed significant improvement, he could start next season. Otherwise, the Chargers should seek out a better quarterback. The team's got a superstar running back in LaDanian Tomlinson, a potential superstar wide receiver in David Boston, and a defense that—with some "spring cleaning"—could be pretty good. If they had a Michael Vick or Trent Green in the QB position, perhaps they could finally have a winning season. I don't see it happening with Brees.

So it came as no surprise to me when head coach Marty Schottenheimer announced that Flutie would start this Sunday. If you want to know what the Chargers will do any given week, just think what would make sense and pick the opposite. With Schottenheimer's announcement, it became clear to me that the organization was not looking to the future. It was looking back.


©2003 Michael Strickland ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

What is "The Daily Strick"?

I have long called myself a writer, but too often I don't do what a writer must do daily: write. So you, dear reader, are the beneficiary of my resolution to make a positive change in at least one area of my life. Every single day of this new year (almost), I will write something, anything, and post it here. It is my intention to use this daily exercise to jump-start my too-long-dormant creative energies, and perhaps generate some worthwhile material this year. Hopefully you will find at least an occasional amusement or insight in my daily musings.

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December Columns:

12/31: Happy New Year
12/29: Return of the Oscar King
12/28: The Year in Travel
12/26: Trial by Piranha
12/25: Merry Christmas
12/22: Red Squares
12/21: Havasu Falls
12/20: Last Will & Testament
12/19: Bah Humbug
12/16: Newsworthy
12/15: The "Strick" Dialogues
12/14: Animal-Animal
12/12: Old Memories
12/7: Letters to the Editor
12/5: Greed Strike
12/4: Another Day at the Office
12/3: The "Back" in Quarterback
12/1: Sixty-Four
Previous months in The Archive

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