October 2015 – Building and Maintaining a Quarterback Carousel – For Dummies (Ride Them Doagies!)

Step ONE: As I said before, if you REALLY want to mess with the quarterback succession on your team, be sure to NEVER allow ANY backup any MEANINGFUL playing time. Most CFL quarterbacks take years to develop. More on that later. So your established QB needs to take EVERY snap…other than short yardage plays, snaps in the last minute of blowouts (either way) AND the 1 or 2 last games of the season…assuming the team’s post-season ranking has been fully decided. It makes NO difference what your GUY does in any given game…he is ALWAYS your best chance to WIN. Say stuff like THAT whenever anybody asks. Even when he isn’t. DON’T say THAT. Besides…he’s an ATHELEETE…does KungFOO. NEVER under ANY circumstances allow your backups to throw a pass, downfield or otherwise…on short yardage plays OR at the end of meaningful games. Once garbage games start…he can basically do what he wants. Nobody will notice or care.

Zombie KungFu
Kungfu Calvillo

Step TWO: Once your established starter has retired OR has been injured the Quarterback Carousel can begin in earnest. Now you REALLY aren’t interested in developing talent up through the system. If you were you wouldn’t have left things to the last minute….now would you? So you’re gonna wanna rake in as many FAILED QB development projects as you can. It doesn’t really matter who: Troy Smith, Joss Neuswander, Alex Brink, Jonathan Crompton, Quinton Porter, Dan Lefevour…come one come ALL.

Step THREE: Now you KNOW these quarterbacks are basically cannon fodder. So throw them in there in any order you like. Once the 1st one craps the bed for 3 quarters, put the next one in in garbage time, down 2 or 3 possessions. Once the opposing defences are laying off in “prevent” you can WATCH THE NEW GUY GO. As soon as you can after the game declare the new guy “THE GUY”. Start him next game and the whole process starts all over again. Yeeeehaw…ride them doagies! With ANY luck the rest of the league will catch on and turn “garbage time” into “chow time at the dumpster” YUM YUM. Everybody LOVES your Quarterback Carousel.

Step FOUR: Now that you’ve learned how easy it is to corral other teams’ quarterback rejects apply the SAME PROCESS to your receiver group. ONLY sign receivers who’ve spent their ENTIRE careers with one team, had a SERIOUS injury, have been (sadly) released or otherwise dissed by team and fan alike (traitors) and are looking to prove that they’ve got something to prove. No puddin. THAT way you can tell your fans that your young quarterback rejects DESPERATELY need receivers with experience and wisdom. NEVER mention shite like “old folks just don’t run very fast…or for very long.” THIS kind of comment can grind a well oiled carousel TO A HALT. Just don’t do it!

Step FIVE: You’ve been a silly boy…haven’t you? You figured 2 OR 3 “eighthbacks” (half a quarterback) should be sufficient. You indulged yourself and signed one or two super talented rooks right out of college. What’s the harm? They’ll never get on the field anyways. Forgot Step THREE already have we? Cannon fodder…remember? Now your eighthbacks are ALL injured and you’ve got to play a legitimate quarterback. You signed all those deceivers…not to mention incompetent coaches to keep that carousel spinning…NOW what are you going to do?

Step SIX: Blame the ROOKIE. Look…we know it makes NO difference if the team wins or loses. The point of this game is NOT to be blamed for it. Deflecting criticism is an artform. If you release a guy who ends up MOP in a couple seasons…tell EVERYONE he tried to blackmail you into releasing another super talented player. If your uber-talented wunderkind isn’t moving the ball…it’s NOT the deceivers you signed…it’s not the incompetent coaches you hired or promoted (especially if you self-appointed your Self…SELFLESSLY). NO…that young guy just a)ISN’T seeing he field well b)ISN’T distributing the ball to his “weapons”…lol. c)IS yelled at that incompetent coach who’s tanking his chance at a career in football…etc. There are PLENTY of options. Be CREATIVE.

Step SEVEN: Even though your poor bewildered rookie quarterback has somehow managed to keep his head above water…and has kept pace with some of the better QB’s in the league, once your eighthbacks ARE back from injury you have to find a way to get them back in there. Wait for the 1st game the rookie appears to flounder a tiny bit…then YANK the upstart for the closest 1/8. It makes NO difference HOW he now does. If he’s REAL bad yank him in garbage time for another eighthback and WATCH THE NEW GUY GO. Now HE’S your GUY and the Quarterback Carousel can start in earnest again. WHEW! That was close.

Step EIGHT: Now there’s gonna come a time when you’ve used all your eighthbacks up…like tissue paper after a good cry. I mean let’s face it…you’ve fooled ALL THE PEOPLE ALL THE TIME. The coolaid is evaporating in the light of day *sound of diabetic crickets chirping. You’ve sent the supertalented KID home and concocted some kind of story for the press and those annoying fans who DO they think they ARE?. But he came back dagnabbit, Some folks NEVER learn. You’re gonna have to play him. BUT YOU HAVE A PLAN. Of course you do. The guy you just promoted to offensive coordinator in his first season as a coach has NEVER designed or called plays for ANYONE but himself. AND fortunately his skillset and style of play are diametrically opposite to those of the KID. What you want to do is HOBBLE the little begger. “We’re gonna to have a competition to see who chokes you first” Say stuff like that. Sure…you and I (and everyone else) know that this kid is a great athlete…can do a full body fake like a gazelle…so the thing to do is make him a pure pocket passer. THAT way the only running he gets to do is FOR HIS LIFE. Pause for sinister chuckle. “If you EVER want to quarterback in the NFL, you’re going to have to do it from the pocket.” Say stuff like THAT. A lot. NEVER mention that normally he’d spend a few years learning how to read defences etc on the sidelines and putting what he’s learned into practice whenever you can get him some reps. And NEVER EVER let anyone (like Matt Dunigan) tell him that his legs were created so that he can be successful even WHILE he’s learning all the subtleties of being a quarterback in the CFL. You REALLY don’t need him to know that.

Step NINE: So now you’ve set the kid up GOOD. The offensive system is COMPLETELY mismatched to his skillset. His receivers couldn’t catch a cold in a snowstorm, besides they NEVER get out into the OPEN. You haven’t ANY deep threat (as if) so defences are creeping in as far as they possibly can. THEY can BLITZ on EVERY down because man coverage is MORE than adequate with this crew. Basically you’ve got it DONE. I don’t care HOW athletic the Kid is. Eventually he IS going DOWN.

Step TEN: Once that pesky Kid is out of the way, find the nearest OLD timey quarterback reject and POUNCE before the trade deadline. When he messes the bed…well “he hasn’t had much time to learn the offence.” Say stuff like that. Seriously ignore ANYONE who claims that uber-talented KID had better stats in his rookie season than your old-timey eighthback reject in his 15th year! “Look…I got stats.” You really don’t need to hear that. NOBODY does.

Scary Popp
Kevin Glenn, Jim Popp 2015 Sincerest Smile Contest Co-Winners

Step ELEVEN: Before long the season’s OVER and you’ve missed the post season AND have deflected ANY blame. “I can go home and sleep at night.” Say stuff like that. DEFIANTLY! It’s been a successful campaign. If there EVER was one. Sit back, smoke a stogie and do it ALL over again NEXT SEASON.

That’s how you Build and Maintain a Quarterback Carousel…





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