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Taking a step back could mean taking a leap forward

Since this is my first post since my “vacation” home to North Carolina, I thought that I would go against the grain (that is my normal line of thought) and say that the black quarterback may need to take a step back to play in the NFL.

Before the four or five regular readers of my blog start sending me nasty emails, I want to say that it isn’t the same thought that you’re thinking.  It’s not about the NFL reverting back to the years when racism prevented blacks to quarterback.  It isn’t about the era when as former black Toledo quarterback Chuck Ealey said that NFL owners believed that black quarterbacks couldn’t perform at the leadership position. 

Chuck Ealey was bypassed by the NFL in 1972 even after being named First Team All-American in 1971 while a quarterback at Toledo.

Chuck Ealey was bypassed by the NFL in 1972 even after being named First Team All-American in 1971 while a quarterback at Toledo.

“When I was growing up, I didn’t have a black quarterback to emulate,” said Ealey in William Rhoden’s book Third and a Mile, the Trials and Triumphs of the Black Quarterback. “The only quarterbacks I saw were white — Fran Tarkenton or Y.A. Tittle.”

Stephen A. Smith agreed saying in Third and a Mile:

The fact is, you had a lot of people who questioned the intellectual capacity of the black quarterback.  His ability to lead.  The willingness of others to follow him.  All of those things came into play.  The perception was that the black athlete was inferior intellectually. 

No, society shouldn’t step back like that.  Black quarterbacks — athletic quarterbacks — should become pocket passers.

That’s going completely against conventional wisdom but it’s about doing what has to be done for the betterment of the people.  It’s about seeing the NFL flooded with black quarterbacks, not athletes.  Although Doug Williams was the first black quarterback to win the Super Bowl, Warren Moon beat him to the Hall of Fame.

Moon’s 49,325 yards passing puts him among the top five all-time in league history and a Hall of Fame induction in 2006 because mainly for his arm, not his legs.  Black quarterbacks should follow suit.

There have been tons of black quarterbacks in college but have been converted to another position or not make the NFL at all because of their athleticism superseded their arm.  Kordell Stewart, Hines Ward, Tommy Frazier, Woody Dantzler, Ronald Curry, Brad Smith, Arnez Battle, Antwaan Randle-El and Justin Gage.  The Dolphins drafted NCAA’s all-time leading rusher at quarterback Pat White as an athlete and now people (sports writers) view Mike Vick as something else besides a quarterback.

Eric Crouch won the 2001 Heisman Trophy while as a quarterback at Nebraska, but all NFL teams saw him as was a reciever.

Eric Crouch won the 2001 Heisman Trophy while as a quarterback at Nebraska but all NFL teams saw him as was a reciever.

White athletic quarterbacks aren’t immune either most notably Nebraska quarterbacks Scott Frost and Heisman winner Eric Crouch.  Frost played a few seasons with the Jets as a safety and Crouch never played a down in the league after being labeled as a wide reciever by scouts.  Even Tim Tebow is questioned about whether or not he could play quarterback in the NFL.  

It would be a joyous day when there are 20 starting black quarterbacks in the NFL instead of four and 16 formers turned reciever.  The NFL still believe in the pocket passer so let’s give it to them.

Black quarterbacks need to be more like Moon and less like Vick — so there can be more quarterbacks and not less.

 

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