You may be wondering why Charlie Weis is on the cover of this story. No we are not saying that we wish Charlie Weis were heading back to the Golden Dome. Charlie Weis’ hand groomed quarterbacks were available this offseason and it sparked a debate over which QB Charlie would choose to run his Kansas City Chiefs offense.
Lets look at some of the pros and cons of each QB…
Charlie Weis returned to the NFL as the offensive coordinator of the Kansas City Chiefs. He has now been reunited with his fellow Belichick disciple Romeo Crennel. Together they make a formidable staff that is coached by Todd Haley, a Parcells disciple. The Chiefs are quarterbacked by Matt Cassel another QB who got his start in New England with Belichick. Cassel has a long term deal in place, but recently the Cleveland Browns traded their quarterback Brady Quinn.
After sharing a few beers with my friend Ben, we got to talking. Both Brady Quinn and Jimmy Clausen were available in the same offseason and Charlie Weis is in the NFL. Who would Charlie pick if he needed a QB. Would Weis take the QB he groomed first that now has NFL experience, albeit with a shitty Cleveland Browns Team (sorry Browns fans)? Or would Charlie take the QB he recruited out of high school and spent the last 3 season mentoring at South Bend. To me the answer was easy. You take the QB with the NFL experience.
Yet if the answer was an easy one, we wouldn’t have a post now would we. Ben reminded me that Jimmy Clausen broke a bunch of records that Mr Quinn set and would most likely break them all if he stayed for his senior year. Dare he say that he was the better college QB? Lets look at both sides of the picture. Keep in mind we are not factoring in draft picks or what KC would have to give up to get either QB’s, we’re just debating which signal caller Charlie Weis would want under center.
KGG’s side: Brady Quinn would be the easy pick for Charlie to take. Brady’s college line reads like this. 929-1,602 for 58%. 11,762 passing yards, 95 TD’s and only 39 INT’s for a rating of 134.4. Oh yeah, he also rushed for 6 TD’s in his career as the master of the QB sneak. At 6’4″ 235 the dude is a beast. Brady was recruited under Ty Willingham and became the starter as a freshman. It wasn’t until Quinn’s JR year that his success took off under Charlie Weis.
Brady looked like a different QB under Charlie. Charlie adjusted his mechanics from his throwing motion to his “duck stance”. Charlie clearly had a moldable QB that he could teach. Brady clearly benefited from Weis and proved he could learn film, read pre-snap coverage’s and know when to make adjustments after the snap. This is evidenced by the numbers of not only Quinn during his 2 years with Charlie but also the teams success. Brady quarterbacked Charlie’s team to 9-3 and a BCS bowl in 2005 and 10-3 and another BCS bowl in 06. That’s a lot better record than he was able to attain with Jimmy under center.
The thing that really sets Brady apart from Jimmy Clausen is 353 passing attempts. Thats 353 more passing attempts in the NFL that Jimmy Clausen has. Quinn has played in 15 NFL games. He has experience reading coverage’s, trying to figure out pre-snap disguises and has had game time to adjust to the speed of the game. Brady’s numbers might not be the best in the NFL, but they are NFL numbers nonetheless. He completed over half his passes and he has more career TD’s than INT’s. He did all this while playing behind a porous line for the Browns and had almost zero talent at the skill positions. Brady is clearly the better option for Charlie to take.
Ben’s Side: Jimmy Clausen would be a perfect fit in Kansas City. His college career numbers read like a polished QB’s should. 695-1,110 for 62%. 8,148 passing yards, 60TD’s and only 27 INT’s giving him a rating of 137.2. Tack on 5 TD’s rushing and you wonder how Jimmy’s teams ever lost (thats a different post for a different time). Jimmy’s numbers may be less than Brady’s, but he also had one less year as he is forgoing his senior year for the NFL. There is no doubt that Jimmy was certainly on pace to break Brady’s ND records. Jimmy was a standout college QB, but there are more than just numbers with Jimmy Clausen. No question about it, Jimmy and Charlie are forever linked together. Quinn might have NFL experience, but that experience is limited and not exactly a stellar highlight reel. Besides, Quinn was a Willingham guy, Charlie just groomed Quinn into the successful QB that he was.
Jimmy was Charlie’s first big get. The number one QB coming out of high school, Jimmy chose ND to specifically work with Charlie Weis. Since Jimmy arrived on campus the two went through a veritable gauntlet together. From Jimmy’s dismal first season, to the promising blowout over Hawai’i, to the dramatic “toe watch” final season. Through all that the two never wavered in support of one another.
On a purely technical side, it would be much easier for Weis to pick up right where he left off with Jimmy. Brady has been out of the Weis system for three years, and it might take some getting used to for Brady if he wound up in KC. Jimmy has proved he has the arm, the accuracy, and the guts to make it in the pros. He left ND because Weis got fired, there is no question these two share a bond, which is why Clausen would be the best fit for KC. Jimmy’s numbers + bond with Charlie = Jimmy rules (That’s exact science).
So there you have it. We have no clear winner. Does shitty NFL experience trump no NFL experience? Is Jimmy going to be more successful in the pros? What do you think? If you were Charlie Weis and you were choosing between Jimmy and Brady, who would you pick?