Kellen Moore solidified himself as the number two quarterback behind Matt Cassel following franchise quarterback Tony Romo’s second collar-bone fracture in the last two months.
The fact that Jason Garrett named Kellen Moore the number two quarterback entering the week 13 match-up vs the Washington Redskins Monday rather than the team looking to sign another veteran, indicates they trust him to step in as the signal caller in the event Matt Cassel can’t get the job done or sustains an untimely injury.
Jason Garrett spoke very highly of Kellen Moore when he addressed the media and rightfully so. People have repeatedly knocked the Boise State standout because of his size and questions about his arm strength. What most fail to grasp is it’s the things you don’t see that determine the success or failure of a quarterback at the NFL level. Tony Romo’s mentor, Hall Of Fame head coach Bill Parcells said:
“Quarterbacks are missed on so often in the NFL because scouts and coaches get so caught up in the intangibles they see, but forget to look for the the things you don’t normally see on the outside. The things you don’t see are what will make or break a QB in the NFL”
What most people fail to realize is the most important trait in a QB is intelligence and the ability to process information quickly. The next most important trait is accuracy/anticipation, followed by poise/pocket awareness. Too many times you hear people say that college success means nothing; which in many cases is true. However, every quarterback in the NFL was evaluated solely on their college tape. No one knows for sure how it will translate.
The problem is: too many times quarterbacks get discounted simply because they didn’t pass the eye test or look good in gym shorts at the combine. However, Kellen Moore accomplished something no other quarterback in NFL history was able to. He finished college with a 50-3 record and in a division-one program no less. Amassing over 14,000 yards and146 touchdowns to only 28 interceptions is good for second all time in interception percentage. He did this throwing to a bunch of WR’s who never had a successful NFL career..
When it comes to evaluating a QB at the college level you don’t ask: who was he playing against, but who was he playing with? I have seen good quarterbacks make average receivers look good many times. But, how many times do you see an average receiver make a quarterback look good? My question becomes: If Kellen Moore isn’t a good quarterback, how was he able to outperform every quarterback currently in the NFL at the college level with mediocre receivers? Many of the current QBs had 1st round talent all around them.
It’s simple: he made up for what he lacks physically with the traits most don’t see. Having the ability to walk up to the line and read a defense as if he was in their meeting room when they game planned, and call the right play to beat that protection is what separates elite quarterbacks from the average ones. Having the ability to make all five post snap reads in two seconds or less, find the open man and deliver an accurate pass is imperative. Cassel and Weeden have the size and above average arm strength, but lack the ability to accomplish that. That is why they have failed to succeed in the NFL.
If there are two things anyone that has ever studied or been around Kellen Moore will tell you, it’s he is really smart and accurate. Every year quarterbacks are drafted in the first round that passed the eye test, but fail because they lack the things you don’t see on the outside. Per an article by Nick Eatman Jameil Showers was running the scout team in practice which is indicative to me that Moore is sharing reps with Matt Cassel to prepare him in the event he needs to step in.
Jason Garrett pretty much reiterated what we have been preaching here at YDCFF in his press conference.
Can you just talk about his development since he’s been here and his learning of the play book?
“Oh I think he’s done a great job. He’s a really smart player. I think that’s one of his real assets, is that he’s a really smart football player. Obviously he’s been around Scott Linehan in Detroit, so he has a comfort level with him and with our system. The terminology and some of the nuances and details of our system is different than what he ran in Detroit, but I do think he has a comfort level with the concepts and how we try to do things.”
“He’s a really smart guy, and he’s a hard working guy. He’s diligent in everything that he does. And that reflects on how he’s improved since he’s been here. He hasn’t gotten a lot of work: most of his work has come in practice, but you can tell he’s developed a comfort level with our system and how we do things and he’s gotten better and better within that.”
Would you be comfortable if you had to play him?
“Absolutely. He wouldn’t still be on our team if we didn’t feel that way about him.”
At this point all we can do is hope that if Matt Cassel is not getting it done Monday night that Jason Garrett pulls a Bill Parcells and brings Moore out in the second half. He will have had less reps with the starters than the other QBs so it may take some time for him to develop some chemistry with them, but having the type of anticipation and accuracy he has, I don’t think it will take more than one game. Don’t expect the kid to be Tony Romo the first time he takes the field: he will have some growing pains, but expect some immediate improvement at the position.