Super Bowl Lessons – Part I

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A few things from last night’s Super Bowl that I want to carry over into the Jets’ universe. Non-participants can learn lessons from the Super Bowl.

First off, the Jets need to re-sign Ryan Fitzpatrick.

The NFL has a quarterback crisis. I’ve mentioned this many times.

And you saw more evidence of that last night.

That was one of the worst quarterbacked Super Bowls in NFL history.

It’s certainly a feel good story – Peyton Manning winning a Super Bowl at 39.

But the Broncos didn’t win the Super Bowl, or even get to the Super Bowl, because of him.

It’s time for him to retire, and I’m sure he knows that. His skills have clearly deteriorated.

As for Cam Newton. I never bought into the hype.

He’s a good, not great quarterback.

Let me explain who he is.

He’s what is known as a “sight-line thrower.”

He doesn’t throw guys open, he throws to open guys.

Basically, he waits for guys to flash wide open, and then he rockets a pass to that player.
Newton obviously has a tremendous arm and can make all the throws.

And with so much bad secondary play around the NFL, especially with so many banged-up secondaries over the course of a season, guys would flash open with regularity and he would hit them.

Also, Mike Shula did a great job of dialing up plays that created wide open targets.

You combine his howitzer arm with his running ability, and the read-option work, the Panthers won a lot of games this year, helped by a strong defense.

And throw in one of the NFL’s easiest schedule, and they went 15-1.

With Denver’s great pass rush, and excellent secondary very good at man-to-man, Newton didn’t see many guys flash wide open, and you saw the result.

I know Newton won the league MVP honors, but I’m telling you, he’s a good, not great quarterback.

He’s average at reading defenses. He throws to shiny objects that flash wide open (and he does a great job at that) and he runs well.

My point is simple – this concept that the Jets are going to go out and find an upgrade over Ryan Fitzpatrick isn’t steeped in reality.

This is one of the worst quarterback landscapes in NFL history.

There are about five or six elite signal-callers in a 32-team league.

I’m sorry, I don’t consider Newton a great one. He had a great season. But he’s not a great quarterback – he’s got a tremendous arm and is a dangerous runner, but you saw him exposed yesterday.

Jets need to re-sign Fitz, and he is probably their best option for the next couple of years. Geno Smith isn’t an upgrade and Bryce Petty still has a lot of work to do making the transition from the Baylor offense to the NFL. It’s almost like a different sport.

Franchise quarterbacks don’t grow on trees.

And you saw some really bad quarterbacking yesterday.

The NFL is in a bad place now on the quarterback front.

They need a developmental league, but that is another story.

Because of the dire NFL QB situation, Fitzpatrick, even with his warts, is the Jets’ best option for the next few years.

It’s bad out there.

February 8, 2016

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Dan Leberfeld
Dan Leberfeld
Publisher of Jets Confidential Magazine. Call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 12-4) to subscribe. Co-host of Press Coverage every Saturday on SiriusXM NFL Radio from 11-2.

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