As the pendulum moves further toward a pass-first sport, quarterbacks are becoming more valuable than ever. In the interest of self-preservation they should realise it is OK to take a knee rather than a beating.
Quarterbacks should pass on going on the run
No receiver was open. So, on third-and-goal from the three-yard line, Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III tucked the ball under his golden arm and called on his quicksilver feet, seeking to convert a scramble.
Rookie mistake, even if understandable, given Griffin's hurdler background and competitive nature. Griffin absorbed a clean but nasty hit to the head from the shoulder of Sean Weatherspoon, the Atlanta linebacker and left the game with a concussion.
Griffin, who already has 42 carries, is the latest from the mould of quarterbacks whose speed and elusiveness are considered assets. But there is a downside that should have teams questioning whether such talents are worth the trouble. The Griffins of this world, following their natural instincts, too often run the ball and are disinclined to surrender with a feet-first slide. They expose themselves to injuries and fumbles.
When Michael Vick joined the NFL in 2001 he was held as the new-and-improved signal-caller who could inflict damage in different ways. Vick has missed a game in all but one season, due to injury. Fumbling - eight committed, five lost - this year has hurt Philadelphia, and is hardly an aberration. His 84 career fumbles, 39 lost, are more than any active player.
As the pendulum moves further toward a pass-first sport, quarterbacks are becoming more valuable than ever. In the interest of self-preservation they should realise it is OK to take one for the team by, metaphorically speaking, taking a knee.
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