Separation By Miles

It’s funny to see some athletes host their own camps to teach youngsters in the off-season. Bare in mind they are professional athletes, but if I was a youth and my parents sent me to a Jay Fiedler camp, I’d be disappointed. Envisioning anything besides a lecture in and out one ear would be the only possibility. That’s not to take away from athletes that volunteer their free time to the youth, but a kid wants to look up to an athlete with distinction.

There are only a few great athletes in a sport that can devout “Michael Jackson” attention in whatever venue they play at. It takes some time but the transcending and growth happens every week. Usually that hot streak digresses fast and that’s the end of what was perceived as an untouchable athlete. Defensive coordinators find a glitch to break down a quarterback’s weakness, and that’s that. The virus is exposed for every team to download. The next thing you know that quarterback is a veteran backup castoff, that’s glory days as a starter are existent only when called upon.

Hey SCOTT MITCHELL, how did the word hype ever become associated with your name?

Moving on, there is only one quarterback today that no matter what snap, poses threat to defenses. There are times when defenses can get in that lackadaisical mode, and give up two or three first downs before bearing down. If that occurs with Manning on the field, it’s usually a play or two away from a touchdown. The reason why Manning’s touchdown numbers are so high is because the Colts provide a blitzkrieg of quick bombings to get in and out. Often their drives don’t even consist of more than a couple of first downs, because they penetrate for huge scores.

He is a true field general that adjusts and reads defenses quicker than they can figure out their assignments. The befuddling of the defenses almost always causes a team to waste a timeout in a game. If they don’t burn a timeout, you’ll notice the play by play commentator circling a defender that was totally lost and blew his assignment. Manning’s effectiveness is so much more than touchdowns and wins, as confusion with his mind is the number one key.

If you shut him down for three quarters, he still can manage to erase a big lead with cheetah evaporation quickness. Who can forget what he did to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday Night football a few seasons ago? The points didn’t even start pinning over until under the five and a half minute mark. Manning’s presence is of the nature of Dan Marino’s already, and arguably higher. The NFL hasn’t seen a quarterback of his caliber in a long time, and more records will be on the way.

The only thing that could change that would be a mechanical breakdown. A quarterback is like a vehicle, once the mileage surpasses a certain point, tune-ups can’t even re-boost its performance. Dan Marino’s mobility was already slim when he ruptured his achilles in 1993. In fact there was speculation that he may not return, but somehow he managed to return for eight more seasons playing on zero legs. Seriously, he was like a life like piñata tagged on the field wherever the center was. Getting hit constantly doesn’t void pain, but Marino’s release soon became even quicker and sharper. There was no other quarterback better than drawing late hits, because defenders were accustomed to quarterbacks taking that extra time to release the ball.

Manning and Marino are eerie in that aspect of limited mobility and how to breakdown defenses instead of being broke down by defenses. Often times it’s because Manning doesn’t have too, but it’s not a secret that running isn’t his best skill. Injuries down the road could force Manning to refine his game overall, and with the way he can read defenses that shouldn’t be a problem.

No one wants to hear the word injury, and the label isn’t a part of Manning’s resume yet. Based on his continual progression, Manning is about to dive in untouched waters. A lot of fantasy football owners don’t like the fact of drafting a quarterback early. The reason why is because of the inconsistency and constant mean of quarterbacks that are inseparable. Manning, Culpepper, and McNabb are the only three that deserve serious attention in round one, but Manning should be classified as “MVP”.

Why, because he is going to throw at least three touchdowns every week to go along with over three to four hundred yards passing. Those numbers last year were average weeks for Manning. You do the math, the additional bonus points that he gives you in yardage leagues are running up the score points.

Having a statistical advantage on your side is what you always want going into a fantasy football week. Don’t you hate when you break down your matchups and see an opposing team with Manning at quarterback? Every fantasy football owner goes up and down the fantasy football starters and figures where they have the advantage. You’ll look at your defense, wide receivers, running backs, and then the undoubtedly lopsided disadvantage presents itself and you’re screwed.

Manning puts his usual numbers up, and your quarterback has an average day and all of the sudden you’re twenty points in the hole. To make things worse, one of your running backs like Thomas Jones has his best game of the year and you still can’t make up for it.

If you’re a fantasy owner with a first round pick after the fifth, don’t be stupid and not listen to Manning call you. He is the easiest first round pick in years. Just look at the picks that are going before and after you. LT, Priest Holmes, Shaun Alexander, etc.-is there any big degree of separation between those running backs? The answer is no as they’ll all have great years, but the top dog may end up being a Deuce McAllister, who has teased around greatness.

With Manning though your answer is secure and a sure lock. He’ll be the number one quarterback by miles, and force feed most fantasy football owners into at least the playoffs. It takes so much relief off of an owner to not have to worry about a serious backup quarterback, but you still want to take measures just in case the unthinkable happens.

My pick for backing up Manning, would be the other Manning in Eli. Obviously Peyton has lended down some advice to the youngster, and the Giants have great players built around Eli. Not to mention, Eli is going to be an after thought for serious consideration in fantasy football drafts until the eighth or ninth rounds.


You must be logged in to post a comment.