Please assign a menu to the primary menu location under menu


Tagovailoa or Herbert? That’s not the prime question around these QBs anymore – Boston Herald


Would you pick Tua Tagovailoa or Justin Herbert in a 2020 re-draft?

I’d pick Herbert.

There. I said it again. But that’s not the relevant question anymore, not really, not like when I asked it during their rookie seasons in a column readers still throw at me — and is being asked again this week as Tagovailoa’s Miami Dolphins play at Herbert’s Los Angeles Chargers.

The right question isn’t a yes or no, true or false, Ginger or Mary Ann type of binary issue of one or the other. They’ve both shown a good ability to be a good NFL quarterback. Each is on an individual road to success.

Tagovailoa and Herbert have shown the ability to lead teams, direct offenses, make throws, score points, come back from troubling days, weather bad situations around them and manage their careers in winning ways.

One primary question for Tagovailoa is arm strength. But arm strength is down the list of importance in some ways for NFL quaterbacks after decision-making, leadership and accuracy – all of which are areas Tagovailoa ranks high in.

One primary question about Herbert was his personality. He didn’t have “It.” He wasn’t “Clutch.” Yet he’s led 12 fourth-quarter comebacks in his three years, just behind NFL leader Derek Carr of Las Vegas and one ahead of Tampa Bay’s Tom Brady after his comeback Monday night against New Orleans.

Here’s the updated and relevant question about Tagovailoa and Herbert: Who will win more?

This goes down a maze of issues beyond just their play — of surrounding talent on offense, on defensive strength, on health, on front offices and and the bottom-line phrase Hall of Fame coach Bill Walsh used that I’ve quoted frequently: “Organizations make quarterbacks.”

If the early chapters of Tagovailoa and Herbert show anything, it’s the truth in Walsh’s line. Each quarterback has been saddled with poor organizations. Herbert still is. Tagovailoa, cross your fingers, looks out of that for now.

Tagovailoa didn’t have much offensive firepower his first two years or the confident support of a team that twice tried to replace him. What he did have was decent defenses that ranked 16th and sixth his first years in points allowed before ranking 24th this year.

Herbert had offensive help his first two years and set NFL records like most touchdown passes as a rookie (31) and after two seasons (69). What he didn’t have was good coaching (like Tagovailoa, his original coach was fired) or a good defense, as the Chargers have ranked 22nd, 30th and now 30th in points allowed.

You didn’t have to live through the career of Dan Marino to know what a good organization means. You could just remember Ryan Tannehill. The quarterback everyone wanted the Dolphins to unload is about to go to the playoffs again in Tennessee after making the AFC Championship and being the No. 1 playoff seed his first two years there.

Ask it another way: Why does Brady have seven Super Bowl rings and Aaron Rodgers one? Is Brady just that much better? Or has he been on better teams, too?

The Dolphins brought in coach Mike McDaniel, who has straightened out some problems in his first season. But the work isn’t over. And Tagovailoa isn’t a finished product, as his lackluster game against San Francisco showed.

Herbert? He’s not just saddled with a bad defense this year but injuries across his offense, so fourth-fifths of the starting line and top receiver Mike Williams didn’t play last week.

Still, it’ll be Tagoviloa versus Herbert in the way Sunday is discussed and the way the 2020 draft will be replayed. The Dolphins took Tagovailoa at No. 5 before Herbert went sixth to the Chargers.

I posed the re-draft question to Jimmy Johnson and Randy Mueller, who ran NFL drafts, and three others currently in NFL teams’ front offices and there’re which quarterback they’d pick.

All five said Herbert. None discounted Tua’s talent.

“It’s why Baskin Robbins has 31 flavors,’ Mueller said. “I actually like them both, but Herbert is bigger, stronger and durability is a concern for Tua.

“These factors were there when they both were chosen. Tua is efficient when all parts around him are functioning. Herbert can do more if they are not.”

Beyond durability, Herbert’s strong arm would matter on windy, wintry weather like coming up in Buffalo and New England. That’s why I’d go with Herbert in a do-over.

Bottom-line: Both Tagovailoa and Herbert are on their roads to probable success. Their organizations are the questions. Herbert started with a better supporting cast. Now Tagovailoa has more help. Where will that stand in two years?

And that 2020 draft? The one certainty is Cincinnati got it right, taking Joe Burrow at No. 1.



Source link