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.

hide

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. jsouhan@startribune.com

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Kansas City - J. Vargas 7:07 PM
San Francisco - R. Vogelsong
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Washington 10/27/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
New Orleans 10/30/14 7:25 PM
Carolina
Buffalo 0 2nd Prd 4:56
San Jose 0
Boston 6:00 PM
Toronto
NY Rangers 6:00 PM
Montreal
New Jersey 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Dallas 6:00 PM
NY Islanders
Detroit 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Chicago 7:00 PM
St. Louis
Pittsburgh 7:00 PM
Nashville
Tampa Bay 7:00 PM
Minnesota
Florida 8:00 PM
Arizona
Washington 9:00 PM
Calgary
So Florida 17 FINAL
Cincinnati 34
Troy 13 FINAL
South Alabama 27
BYU 30 FINAL
Boise State 55
(6) Oregon 59 FINAL
California 41
North Texas 21 FINAL
Rice 41
UAB 17 FINAL
Arkansas 45
Rutgers 24 FINAL
(16) Nebraska 42
Maryland 7 FINAL
Wisconsin 52
Texas 0 FINAL
(11) Kansas State 23
Minnesota 24 FINAL
Illinois 28
Memphis 48 FINAL
SMU 10
North Carolina 28 FINAL
Virginia 27
San Jose St 31 FINAL
Navy 41
Northern Ill 28 FINAL
Eastern Mich 17
(25) UCLA 31 4th Qtr 2:55
Colorado 28
Akron 21 4th Qtr 3:50
Ball State 32
Massachusetts 35 4th Qtr 2:22
Toledo 35
Ohio U 14 4th Qtr 1:45
Western Mich 42
Ga Southern 69 4th Qtr 4:00
Georgia State 31
Kent State 3 4th Qtr 7:11
Miami-Ohio 10
Oregon State 7 3rd Qtr
Stanford 28
Fla Atlantic 16 3rd Qtr
(23) Marshall 14
Louisiana Tech 3 3rd Qtr
Southern Miss 7
(1) Miss State 17 3rd Qtr
Kentucky 10
Georgia Tech 28 3rd Qtr
Pittsburgh 14
(22) West Virginia 14 3rd Qtr
Oklahoma State 10
Michigan 3 3rd Qtr
(8) Michigan State 14
Texas Tech 20 2nd Qtr 0:34
(10) TCU 34
Boston College 17 3rd Qtr 10:00
Wake Forest 0
Central Mich 14 3rd Qtr 14:49
Buffalo 7
Vanderbilt 0 2nd Qtr 1:07
Missouri 10
Old Dominion 23 2nd Qtr 8:19
Western Ky 35
UNLV 7 2nd Qtr 4:45
Utah State 17
Temple 0 1st Qtr 8:31
UCF 10
(15) Arizona 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10:59 PM
Hawaii
(2) Florida State 10/30/14 6:30 PM
Louisville
Troy 10/30/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
Cincinnati 10/31/14 7:00 PM
Tulane
Tulsa 10/31/14 7:00 PM
Memphis
Purdue 11/1/14 2:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
(17) Oklahoma 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Iowa State
Oklahoma State 11/1/14 2:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
(10) TCU 11/1/14 2:00 AM
(22) West Virginia
Texas 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Texas Tech
Northwestern 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Iowa
Maryland 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Penn State
Air Force 11/1/14 10:30 AM
Army
ULM 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Texas A&M
Duke 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Wisconsin 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
Rice 11/1/14 11:00 AM
FIU
(18) East Carolina 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Temple
UCF 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Connecticut
Boston College 11/1/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
North Carolina 11/1/14 11:30 AM
Miami-Florida
Washington 11/1/14 12:00 PM
Colorado
Central Mich 11/1/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
Western Mich 11/1/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Western Ky 11/1/14 2:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
NC State 11/1/14 2:00 PM
Syracuse
Texas State 11/1/14 2:00 PM
New Mexico St
Virginia 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Georgia Tech
BYU 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Middle Tennessee
Indiana 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(9) Georgia
Georgia State 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Appalachian St
Kentucky 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Kansas 11/1/14 3:00 PM
(12) Baylor
Houston 11/1/14 3:00 PM
So Florida
(20) USC 11/1/14 3:30 PM
Washington St
Arkansas State 11/1/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
South Alabama 11/1/14 4:00 PM
Louisiana
New Mexico 11/1/14 4:30 PM
UNLV
UAB 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
(5) Auburn 11/1/14 6:00 PM
(3) Ole Miss
Arkansas 11/1/14 6:00 PM
(1) Miss State
Old Dominion 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Colorado State 11/1/14 6:00 PM
San Jose St
Stanford 11/1/14 6:30 PM
(6) Oregon
Tennessee 11/1/14 6:30 PM
So Carolina
Southern Miss 11/1/14 7:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
(7) Notre Dame 11/1/14 7:00 PM
Navy
Illinois 11/1/14 7:00 PM
(13) Ohio State
(15) Arizona 11/1/14 9:30 PM
(25) UCLA
California 11/1/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
San Diego St 11/1/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Wyoming 11/1/14 9:45 PM
Fresno State
(19) Utah 11/1/14 10:00 PM
(14) Arizona State
Utah State 11/1/14 10:00 PM
Hawaii
Los Angeles 0 FINAL
Seattle 2
D.C. 0 2nd Half 35:00
Montreal 1
Toronto FC 6:30 PM
New England
Portland 7:30 PM
FC Dallas
Colorado 9:00 PM
Vancouver FC
Montreal 23 FINAL
Ottawa 17
Saskatchewan 27 FINAL
Calgary 40
Hamilton 7 1:17
Toronto 15
Brt Columbia 6:00 PM
Winnipeg
Hamilton 10/31/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Winnipeg 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Toronto 11/2/14 11:00 AM
Montreal
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

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 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
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

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How will the Vikings do Sunday in Tampa Bay?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close