Let me preface this article by saying that I am not one of those that has the opinion that Matt Stafford is the second coming of Joe Montana, or John Elway. I was never very impressed by his career at Georgia.
Yes, he put up good numbers, but he didn't strike me as a quarterback that could put a team on his back and carry them to victory. I don't see him as being the quintessential first round pick that so many have, since his combine workouts. Based on what I've seen of his play, he might be a decent backup somewhere, and four or five years down the road, might turn into a Trent Dilfer style. The type that doesn't help the team much, but doesn't hurt the team much either.
Having said that, the recent announcement that the San Francisco 49ers are going to stay away from drafting him because their team therapist doesn't think Stafford is handling his parents' divorce perfectly, is laugh out loud funny.
This once very proud franchise, one that in the interest of full disclosure, I spent my formative years openly rooting against, has fallen on very hard times thanks to some colossal mis-management.
Since Steve Young left, it's charitable to say that their quarterback situation has been in a state of flux. Their last first round pick at the quarterback position was Alex Smith, and he has been a universal disappointment. The team has been unwilling to go after, or unable to land a high profile established quarterback to man the helm, with Shaun Hill, and J.T. O'Sullivan taking all the snaps a year ago.
This season, the quarterback battle appears to be between Shaun Hill, and the aforementioned Alex Smith. Which is why these comments by head coach Mike Singletary are so head scratchingly bizarre.
“If you’re going to look at drafting a guy in the first round, and you’re going to pay him millions of dollars, and asking him about a divorce about his parents, if that’s going to be an issue, uhhh, then you know what, maybe he doesn’t belong here.”
Let me get this straight, because the quarterback didn't feel comfortable discussing a deeply personal matter with a person he didn't know, and who he did know would most likely report whatever he told them to the team, that means he doesn't belong on the 49ers?
It isn't like the kid is stupid. Thanks to leaked information, we know that Stafford scored one of the highest scores, on the famed Wunderlic, of any of the incoming rookies, posting a 38. This blows away the other quarterbacks in competition for a first round draft slot, as Mark Sanchez scored a 28, and Josh Freeman scored a 27.
So if you are going to ignore the glowing reviews of Stafford's physical performance at the combine, and pro-day workouts, and pay special attention to his mental acuity, why does the Wunderlic not carry more water with Singletary and staff?
When Singletary arrived on the scene, the team instantly began playing better football, winning four of their last five games—he seemed to have the team going in the right direction.
That's why it's hard to understand how passing up a quarterback who, by accounts from people who admittedly know more than I do, could be a franchise quarterback because he didn't answer a personal question to their liking, is a step in a right direction.
From here that seems like a way to become the next incarnation of the Detroit Lions.