Progress isn’t always helpful.
Example: Kyle Orton’s career in the NFL.
People have started to call football a passing league. There’s a ridiculous amount of attention on quarterbacks and keeping the ball in the air. Because of Peyton Manning and Tom Brady’s work with Bill Belichick.
Most coaches have tried to create their own winning teams built around the quarterback position. But people are misguided. Football is its own game and is unique every season as well as every Sunday. There is a complexity formed by the amount of players and situations that allow for all kinds of 60-minute games. The people involved, however, have been distracted by their illusions and imaginations have been stunted. And while commentary and statistics are following names like Griffin III, Sanchez, Romo, E. Manning, Manziel, etc. at least one name – Kyle Orton – and the career that follows it is suffering more than it should.
Quarterbacks have started to believe that they are the central role in this sport but unlike some identities on the field football is just work and provides a paycheck. Orton was caught before the flurry of top-priority quarterbacks and 5,000 yard passing-50 touchdown seasons.
Kyle Orton began behind Rex Grossman in Chicago and hasn’t really been given a chance to work as he is comfortable. The influences of pass-heavy games claimed a comfortably orphaned Orton into a lifestyle he isn’t quite accustomed to.
Because of Orton’s better-than-most playing style: most of his coaches have created a misinformed environment for him to work. It isn’t that he shouldn’t be considered “elite” in playing-style and in his position but that he is on a level just a pinch below the group of the current winning-est quarterbacks. Given a proper chance and a proper attempt at establishing the run: Kyle Orton can manage a game, create opportunities, turn a game to come out on top, and be the player coaches want him to be. But what every coach seems to be doing is giving him full responsibility for the team by letting him throw 30, 40, 50 times a game. It is not that he can’t win games like that, ‘cause he can – and has –, but rather the strategy behind that style of play does not work to Orton’s advantages.
He is an above average quarterback with good presence and solid playing experience. He can manage a game and be a leader given the right circumstances. He plays – or should play – in low-scoring games. He would have a greater success in slower games probably with lower TV ratings. Games he could consistently win would focus more on possession and time management. But I guess changing a style to accommodate Mr. Orton might be too much of a risk; I don’t really see anyone giving him that kind of chance.
Coaches get excited after a high rating from any quarterback and after a successful outing they proceed to give that player more chances for success. The fault in this action at this position is that there is a higher chance of failing.
…The NFL is all over the place right now: Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson, amendments to the pass-interference rule. Point is: although records continue to be broken and once-impossible plays happen at least once every game, football has not really progressed in terms of improvement. I don’t know that the league will ever figure it out but I hope they do.