Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patties Day!

Here at Turn Off ESPN!, we don't take a lot of time to compliment half decently written articles about sports. Naturally, we spend a lot of time breaking down work from resident CBS moron Pete Prisco. In a new (and likely only) attempt at defending a sportswriter in this space, I'd like to turn your attention to Prisco's latest article, and some good points he makes in it.

Put simply, and oddly enough, correctly:

" It's so bad that Quinn Gray, the man who was third team behind Leftwich in Jacksonville, is visiting teams, while Leftwich just hopes for a shot.

How can that be? There's a reason Gray was listed third on that Jaguars depth chart. Gray simply isn't as good as Leftwich. "

Leftwich played an above average season in 2004, posting a 2.3% DVOA and 30+ DPAR. In 2005, he posted a 19.3% DVOA and 43.5 DPAR. He was below average in 2006, and missed the final ten games of the season prior to the playoff game.

Here's the point: Everything we know about Byron Leftwich tells us that he is a very talented, and historically productive QB. He's 28 years old, and right in the prime of his career. He's done enough to justify his first round draft status. He's probably NOT a better QB than the man who replaced him, David Garrard. Leftwich, however, should be starting somewhere in this league. If you are the Raiders, Vikings, Lions, Ravens, or Dolphins, why wouldn't you pay Byron Leftwich to play QB for you?

With all the talk about African-American QB's not getting a fair shake in this league, why is Leftwich not getting a chance? Why do Quinn Gray and Cleo Lemon get to bounce from team to team following in the steps of Jeff Blake and Tony Banks, and Byron Leftwich gets no job offers, despite being one of the 32 best QBs in the world and a harbringer of positive PR for a bunch of team's that badly need it.

I just don't get it.

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