How Josh Freeman handles this sort of adversity could impact the next five years of that franchise. I think Freeman is a talented quarterback, but I’ve never thought he had the intangibles to be a top-level starter. I liked Mike Glennon a lot, as he was the highest-rated quarterback in this draft class for me.
But I don’t think Glennon will really work as a rookie starter. The main issues I had with Glennon was that he wasn’t particularly mobile, nor does he have the intangibles that I think he could flourish as a rookie starter. In Dan Pompei’s piece linked to above, they make the comparison to Joe Flacco.
I do think that fits somewhat. You may or may not be surprised to discover that I don’t think Flacco possesses ideal intangibles. Flacco is a player that I think has benefited greatly from being on the right team. In Baltimore, he became a rookie starter because of injuries to Troy Smith and Kyle Boller. He made the most of that opportunity. But I think it helped greatly how much of the Ravens were a run-first, defensive-minded team that already had a leader in Ray Lewis. Flacco essentially never really had to assert himself as the guy up to this point. Moving forward with Lewis and others gone, and fresh off a Super Bowl he will now.
I think that’s why I’ll likely always consider Matt Ryan to be a better overall quarterback than Flacco. I know Flacco has better physical tools, and he’ll make throws look easy that Ryan will never be able to make in a million years. And for that, there are those that will consider him the better player. But I think given what Ryan has had to be in Atlanta from the very beginning, a stabilizing force, that makes him the better overall player. I just believe that if you had put Ryan in Baltimore in 2008, you’d likely to get the same if not better results. If you had put Flacco in Atlanta, I don’t think he would have had the same success. Flacco reached a level the past two years (running no huddle) that Ryan was doing Day One.