I had a chance to visit with Eagles safety Brian Dawkins this week. I could be president of the Dawkins fan club, to go along with my responsibilities as president of the Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Donovan McNabb fan clubs. There is a common denominator that goes with this respect. Respect for the game.
All these cats treat the game with respect. They conduct themselves with dignity, and they understand that in order to be great in this league, you must be a student of the game.
Manning doesn’t have any more arm strength than Matt Leinart. Vince Young has physical skills on par with McNabb. The difference is Manning and McNabb are willing to dedicate themselves to the craft. Being a quarterback in the NFL requires you to immerse yourself into learning the position for several years. It took Joe Montana, Steve Young, Brett Favre, Matt Hasselback and McNabb several years before they mastered the West Coast offense well enough to get to the Super Bowl.
When I think of Leinart, Young and many other young QBs, I realize they are “kinda QBs.” They kinda want to be good.
Young and Leinart can’t wait each offseason to go back to Austin, Texas, and L.A. to be the big men on campus again. Young promised his mother that he would get his degree, and that is noble, but he could do that through correspondence courses. Last I checked, you go to college to get a job, and both young signal-callers have $50 million-plus contracts, which means they have a job. Leinart is more puzzling because he has his degree from USC.
So the question is, will the light bulb ever go on for these talented young signal-callers? What say you?