After the pounding
the Good Guys gave the Broncos, can there be any doubt as to who the Dolphins’ starting
quarterback should be?
As I have previously written,
it isn’t in a rebuilding team’s best interest to play a 34 year old veteran
quarterback unless that veteran is clearly superior to his competition.
As of 12:59pm ET on
September 11, Gus Frerotte hadn’t successfully proven his case. His Dolphin body
of work up to that point was a collection of missed opportunities and uneven
In other words,
generally uninspiring stuff.
And nothing Nick Saban was saying to justify
his faith in Frerotte mattered. Essentially, Frerotte was being panned by
outsiders as Jay Fiedler 2.
“Zzzzzzz”, said the
faithful. The number of no-shows at Dolphin Stadium certainly underscored the sentiment.
My friends, legitimacy
and respect in football comes from only one thing: making plays. That’s how you
show you belong. That’s the only way to end the debate, especially at the most
crucial of positions.
24 completions from
36 attempts, 275 yards passing, 2 touchdowns, and a 96.4 quarterback rating
later, the controversy is indeed over. The Miami Dolphins have a quarterback,
at least for 2005.
Numbers are nice, but
testimonials from your peers are even better. Be it guard Rex Hadnot or tight
end Randy McMichael, the kudos for Frerotte keep rolling in.
Certainly, one game
does not make a season. That’s the prudent reminder that Saban offers anyone
Still, what gets
people thinking ahead are the new found possibilities that stem from having a dependable
player who makes the big throws
needed to win games. “Wad ball”, the term Saban uses to describe the run
philosophy of the past, is, well, in the past.
Frerotte to Marty Booker for a 60 yard touchdown, right on the heels of a Bronco
score that brought them within 10 points of tying the game with 9:24 left to
As many have
correctly opined, the previous regime would have been more likely to run-run-run…the
ball and the clock…to keep from losing the game.
Not this bunch. The
philosophy has changed. Now, they play to win.
Big difference, folks.
Offensive coordinator Scott Linehan dialed it up, but Frerotte delivered it!
During the preseason,
Frerotte didn’t deliver it. He overthrew it, underthrew it, and the Dolphins
Not Sunday. Game,
set, match. Denver never had a chance.
Perhaps the knowledge
that A.J. Feeley would no longer be a factor is what settled Frerotte down. As
Saban observes, high performance expectations and high anxiety are a bad
You figure it would
be normal for Frerotte to have had a case of the nerves, given what he and his family
sacrificed for a run at the Miami job.
Of course all of that
is in the past now. Last Sunday, Frerotte finally earned his captaincy. With that kind of quarterbacking, a playoff
berth can now be widely viewed as a truly achievable goal.
Yes, I remember…it’s was
just 1 of 16. A rotten egg against the most hated rival, the J-E-T-S, could instantly
send many spiraling back down to the depths of 4-12.
Don’t count on it. It
is all too clear now that this team is good enough to get it done. That
competitive product we’ve been looking for is there and Frerotte is a big
No, he’s not about to
make us forget You Know Who. Not even close. But Frerotte proved he can still
bring it at a level that forces other teams to take him into consideration.
dangerous corps of wide receivers is something that defensive coordinators have
to respect. And McMichael becomes a bigger pain in the neck to guard.
Quick! When was the
last time an opposing defensive coordinator was truly concerned about handling
the Dolphins’ passing game?
Ronnie Brown and
Ricky Williams might be the giddiest of all with the prospects, by land and by air.
Dolphins still have a long term quarterback problem to solve. Many believe the
heir apparent is still plying his trade in college.
That may be. As Saban
says, he isn’t Carnac. Neither am I.
But in the Not For
Long league, getting what you need in the here and now is always a good thing. You
get the feeling that Saban will eventually solve his long term QB problem.
Today, thanks to
Frerotte, that’s the least of his worries.
“Can Frerotte keep it
up?”…that’s the million dollar question. Again, you’ll need Carnac for that one.
For now, everything
is just dandy with the Dolphins as the loyalists are proclaiming something
about a Dolphin QB we haven’t heard in quite some time.