Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A Quarterback’s Worst Nightmare

It’s Carolina Week 2008 which means it is time for our annual match up with the Ole’ Ball Coach himself. Spurrier announced that he plans to play both Chris Smelley and Tommy Beecher against the Dawgs this week. At South Carolina, Spurrier has not found the superstar quarterbacks that he had while he was at Florida. Spurrier’s record for developing quarterbacks was impressive at Florida, but was the stats those guys put up more a result of Spurrier’s system and less a result of their talent and development? Here is a look at Spurrier’s former quarterbacks and their success, or lack there of, after leaving the Evil Genius’s control.

Shane Matthews

Matthews played quarterback for Spurrier during the his early years at Florida. Matthews had a fine collegiate career, setting a number of Florida passing records and finishing as high as 5th in the Heisman voting (1991). Matthews was drafted by the Chicago Bears in 1993, however did not even see the playing field until 1996. After spending a few years with the Jaguars, Matthews returned to Chicago and finally got a chance to start some games (with moderate success) however returned to his backup role the next season. Matthews was given one final chance to be a starter again in 2002 by none other than Steve Spurrier (with the Redskins). He started 7 games, but the magic that existed between them at Florida never cam back at the pro level.

Good job! You didn't throw a pick this time.

Danny Wuerffel

The middle man in the group that now includes three Florida quarterbacks who have won the Heisman (Spurrier and Tebow are the others), Danny Wuerffel put up huge stats in leading the Gators to the National Championship in 1996. He was drafted by the New Orleans Saints as their next great quarterback, however Wuerffel never found much success. Like Matthews, he joined the Redskins when Spurrier took over in 2002 but also failed to rekindle the old Gator magic.

Bates does a great Spurrier and makes Wuerffel seem like a pansy...a good Christian pansy.

Doug Johnson

Johnson played under Spurrier during the close of the 90’s and moved onto the Atlanta Falcons. In 2003, Johnson got a chance to start for the Falcons when Vick “The Dogfighter” got hurt and missed most of the season. Johnson proved to be an ineffective pro passer, finishing the season with a paltry 67 QB rating. He would only play 4 games the rest of his career and retired in 2006.

Jesse Palmer

Palmer lost his starting job senior year to Rex Grossman and never got to be a starter at the NFL level. He spent a few years as a backup with the Giants before he found a new hobby: Reality TV. Palmer appeared on ABC’s the Bachelor and after ending his NFL career, went back to the Mouse and got a job with ESPN.

What a douche.

Rex Grossman

Arguably Spurrier’s most successful NFL product, Grossman has been the on again off again starter for the Bears for the last few seasons. The Bears reached the Super Bowl after the 2006 season, but were crushed by Tennessee’s own Peyton Manning. People have been known to say that the Bears made the Super Bowl despite Grossman’s play, rather than because of it. He lost his starting job again this preseason and is currently riding the pine behind Kyle Orton.

“I couldn’t beat you in college Spurrier, but I sure had the last laugh!”

In conclusion, Spurrier’s quarterbacks put up great stats in college, but none of them really caught on at the next level. With the announcement this week that Alex Smith is out for the season and also appears to be a major NFL bust, current Florida coach Urban Meyer is not off to a good start. Tebow, maybe you should hope that you don’t turn out like the Ole Ball Coach’s protégés, or you might be sitting there next to Jesse Palmer before your thirtieth birthday.

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