Souhan: For the best show, leave it to these QBs

  • Article by: JIM SOUHAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 16, 2012 - 3:19 AM

Some have savvy, some have swagger, some have freakish ability. Some have all of the above. They are the QBs worth the price of admission.


Peyton Manning

Photo: David Zalubowski, Associated Press

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

NFL quarterbacks play the most scrutinized position in America's most scrutinized sport. ESPN fills a few dozen hours of programming every day with debates of which ones are "elite."

Sunday, in Indianapolis, Andrew Luck and Christian Ponder will represent hope for their franchises, and account for two of the nine rookie or second-year quarterbacks starting in the NFL.

I can't tell you which NFL quarterback is going to have the best season, although I suddenly suspect it may not be Jay Cutler. I can't tell you which young NFL quarterback is going to become the next Manning or Brady, although I suddenly suspect it might be Robert Griffin III.

What I can tell you with certainty is which NFL quarterbacks I'd pay to see in person, based on nothing more than entertainment value. Here is my top 10:

1. Peyton Manning: His might be the most famous neck since Anne Boleyn's, only Anne couldn't audible her way out of the ultimate blitz.

Quarterback is a mystical position because we presume the good ones can control almost everything that occurs when they're on the field. Manning comes as close as anyone ever has to fulfilling that silly notion. He's a nerd playing a glamour position, a guy whose line-of-scrimmage adjustments let us all think along with him.

Manning thinks of everything. After the Colts beat the Bears in the Super Bowl, his longtime center, Jeff Saturday, talked about Manning making him practice snapping wet footballs. Manning would pull Saturday to the side during practice and dunk a football in a bucket of water.

I asked Archie Manning, Peyton's father, whether he had taught his son to do that. "I have never even heard of that," Archie said.

2. Griffin: Tom Brady and Manning have brainwashed a generation of football fans, and perhaps scouts, into believing that your feet have to be dipped in cement for you to be an elite NFL quarterback.

Wrong. You can't win with a running quarterback, but you can with an accurate passer who is capable of running. John Elway, Roger Staubauch, Joe Montana, Steve Young and Fran Tarkenton knew how and when to use their legs.

Griffin is accurate, composed and smart. He throws a beautiful deep pass and can scramble or run at will. Luck may be the safer pick, but Griffin could be unique.

3. Drew Brees: A great NFL quarterback who, according to reports, is not tall enough to get on the rides at Disney World.

4. Aaron Rodgers: Accuracy, athletic ability, a championship and a sense of humor. What more do you want?

5. Brett Favre: If he returned tomorrow, we'd all watch. He's a Greek tragedy in a crusty ball cap.

6. Brady: The homecoming king with the hot girlfriend and rich parents you can't bring yourself to hate, because he's so dang cool.

7. Cam Newton: Build a quarterback from an à la carte menu, you'd end up with Newton.

8. Tim Tebow: Not a joke. He's a lousy quarterback, tremendous entertainer.

9. Tony Romo: How can a Cowboys quarterback be the most underrated player in the NFL?

10. Michael Vick: Anyone who was in the Metrodome when Vick, as a Falcon, ran 46 yards for a touchdown in overtime to beat the Vikings saw something almost indescribable. It was like watching Usain Bolt roar around the turn in the 200 meters.

Also receiving consideration:

Luck: There is nothing more rewarding as a sports observer than watching a good young quarterback develop. When I watched Troy Aikman as a rookie, I could see the open receivers he missed, and the sacks he took because of indecisiveness. Three years later, the NFL was a Rubik's Cube he had solved.

Ben Roethlisberger: Looks like he's playing flag football in the back yard with the big kids.

Philip Rivers: When he misses a pass you can almost hear him saying, "Dadgummit!"

Cutler: All the pouting and whining makes him more interesting. Matt Ryan is a better quarterback, but who wants to talk about Matt Ryan?

Joe Webb: Minnesotans think the most intriguing quarterback in the NFL is always the Vikings' backup.

Jim Souhan can be heard Sundays from 10 a.m. to noon and weekdays at 2 p.m. on 1500-AM. His Twitter name is SouhanStrib.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Cleveland - WP: C. Allen 4 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: G. Holland 3
Baltimore - W. Chen 6:05 PM
NY Yankees - M. Pineda
Kansas City - D. Duffy 6:05 PM
Cleveland - C. Carrasco
Seattle - J. Paxton 6:07 PM
Toronto - J. Happ
Chicago WSox - C. Bassitt 6:08 PM
Detroit - K. Lobstein
Pittsburgh - F. Liriano 6:10 PM
Atlanta - A. Harang
Houston - N. Tropeano 7:05 PM
Texas - D. Holland
St. Louis - A. Wainwright 7:05 PM
Chicago Cubs - T. Wood
Arizona - J. Collmenter 7:10 PM
Minnesota - R. Nolasco
LA Angels - C. Wilson 9:05 PM
Oakland - J. Samardzija
San Francisco - J. Peavy 9:10 PM
Los Angeles - D. Haren
Colorado - T. Matzek 9:10 PM
San Diego - E. Stults
Chicago 7:30 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Buffalo 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Green Bay 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Carolina 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Detroit 9/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
Tampa Bay 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Miami 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville 9/28/14 3:05 PM
San Diego
Atlanta 9/28/14 3:25 PM
Philadelphia 9/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
New Orleans 9/28/14 7:30 PM
Ottawa 2 FINAL
NY Islanders 3
Ottawa 5:00 PM
NY Islanders
New Jersey 0 2nd Prd
NY Rangers 0
Detroit 6:00 PM
Toronto 6:00 PM
Washington 6:00 PM
Minnesota 7:00 PM
St. Louis 7:30 PM
Anaheim 8:00 PM
Colorado 9:00 PM
Los Angeles 9:00 PM
Arizona 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(24) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(11) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
Texas-El Paso 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(25) Kansas State
Tennessee 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(12) Georgia
Vanderbilt 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Wyoming 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(9) Michigan State
Northwestern 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
TCU 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Iowa 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Tulane 9/27/14 11:00 AM
So Florida 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Colorado State 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Western Mich 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
Maryland 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Akron 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Bowling Green 9/27/14 2:00 PM
Arkansas 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(6) Texas A&M
Kent State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Western Ky 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Minnesota 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest 9/27/14 2:30 PM
FIU 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
NC State
Miami-Ohio 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Colorado 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Louisiana Tech 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(5) Auburn
Texas 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Temple 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(16) Stanford 9/27/14 3:15 PM
TX-San Antonio 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
South Alabama 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Cincinnati 9/27/14 5:00 PM
(22) Ohio State
Rice 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Missouri 9/27/14 6:00 PM
(13) So Carolina
Boise State 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Air Force
North Carolina 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Central Mich 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Troy 9/27/14 6:00 PM
New Mexico St 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(17) LSU
Memphis 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(10) Ole Miss
Duke 9/27/14 6:30 PM
Texas State 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Washington St 9/27/14 7:00 PM
(8) Notre Dame 9/27/14 7:00 PM
(7) Baylor 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Iowa State
UNLV 9/27/14 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 9/27/14 8:00 PM
(21) Nebraska
Oregon State 9/27/14 9:30 PM
(18) USC
Nevada 9/27/14 9:30 PM
San Jose St
Toronto 40 FINAL
Brt Columbia 23
Edmonton 23 FINAL
Hamilton 25
Calgary 15 FINAL
Montreal 31
Ottawa 32 FINAL
Saskatchewan 35
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters



Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pm
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pm
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo Noon
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon




question of the day

Poll: Grade the Vikings offense

Weekly Question