Clever title, right? Obviously I'm going to make some clever observation about a quarterback who has been so terrible we should throw him back like the too-small fish I caught this summer. Of course, there isn't just one quarterback that falls into this category after today, and multiple teams are suffering the consequences.
First, you have the most glaring bumbler on the field, J.T. O'Sullivan of the San Francisco 49ers. My ire was initially raised by watching the 49ers-Giants game. I am 100% certain that, no matter what else happens, the following things are all true:
- J.T. O'Sullivan attended Cal-Davis instead of a D-IA school for a reason
- O'Sullivan was drafted way down in the middle of the 6th round back in 2002 for a reason
- O'Sullivan entered this season as a 29-year-old with one career start and 30 career snaps for a reason.
Based on these facts, I find it very hard to believe 49ers offensive coordinator Mike Martz (whom O'Sullivan followed to San Francisco from Detroit in the offseason) when he says that "(O'Sullivan) will eventually turn into a very good quarterback."
Sorry Mr. Martz, but as much as you love your buddy O'Sullivan, I'm doubtful that a guy who had taken a total of 30 snaps in six seasons with three different teams is not going to suddenly skyrocket anywhere beyond "useful backup."
Add onto those details the performances that O'Sullivan has turned in this season, and it looks even worse. Sure he has a strong arm – he's had at least one completion of 30+ yards in six of the 49ers' seven games this season. That's about where the positives end, however.
His 221 passing yards per game and eight touchdowns look respectable, until you look at the rest of the stat sheet. He's balanced out those eight TDs with nine interceptions, been sacked 29 times and leads the league in fumbles, having coughed it up eight times.
After having the joy of watching O'Sullivan look lost today, not knowing where the pressure was coming from, not protecting the ball when he got sacked, and generally not doing anything that successful quarterbacks do right, I can't help but wonder if this team will win another game until Alex Smith gets back under center.
J.T. O'Sullivan is 29 years old and is very obviously not the answer.
Shaun Hill played a few games at the end of last season and looked at least respectable, but was terrible in camp, will also be 29 at the end of this season, and isn't even shown on the team's depth chart.
Right now, their #2 quarterback is Jason Hill, a quarterback they drafted in the third round last year, and think so highly of that he's touched the ball one time in the 23 games since he was drafted – as a receiver.
Their #3 quarterback is Jamie Martin, a 37-year-old journeyman who has appeared in two games since the end of the 2005 season. So the 49ers appear to be doomed to whatever fate J.T. O'Sullivan hands them until the future of their franchise is healthy again.
Injuries have had their effects felt elsewhere as well.
Brad Johnson look exactly like the incredibly rusty 40-year-old that he is in getting embarrassed by the Rams. Matt Cassel is not doing a great job of making Bob Kraft look like a genius for drafting a guy who never started in college to be his backup for Brady. We'll see if this is also merely a case of readjusting to the life of a starter or a guy who was never really meant to be one.
Another great example is Joe Flacco's insertion as the starter because of the two injuries above him on the depth chart in Baltimore. He has clearly shown the already-known fact that he is not ready to be a starter. Granted, in the case of Baltimore, it's no guarantee that Flacco was going to spend the entire season behind the always-disappointing Kyle Boller and the "great game manager" Troy Smith, and perhaps the trial by fire is a good thing, but it sure isn't showing results just yet.
I don't mean to rag on these teams, but the 49ers used the #1 pick on a quarterback in 2005 and have gone 18-37 since. The Ravens gave up their first round pick the following year so they could move up four spots and draft Boller, and they've gone 46-40 since then. Surely they would make some amount of effort to bring in proven names, try to move up in the draft, something to avoid playing guys like O'Sullivan or a far-from ready Boller? I guess that's why I'm not a football executive.