It’s time to drop the fake macho football bullshit when it comes to quarterback behavior after a turnover.
Yeah, I said it. It is fake macho football bullshit.
Quarterbacks are quarterbacks, not defensive players. After a turnover, the quarterback has one job. To get out of the way, and to avoid getting injured. (Actually, that’s sort of two jobs. But you get the point.)
Broncos quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is getting called out mercilessly by many (including Broncos coach Vic Fangio) for not making more of an effort to tackle Eagles cornerback Darius Slay after a third-quarter fumble on Sunday. Bridgewater actually spoke to reporters on Monday (something he wasn’t scheduled to do) in an effort to explain his heat-of-the-moment business decision.
He would have been better saying nothing. Ultimately, here’s what Bridgewater should have said: “Hey, guys, I had a serious knee injury five years ago, without contact. I’m not going through that again. If you don’t like it, I don’t know what else to tell you.”
That should always be the attitude when it comes to a quarterback playing defense after a turnover. Remember when Dolphins coach Brian Flores said in the preseason that he wants quarterback Tua Tagovailoa to pursue the ballcarrier after an interception? Get the hell out of here with that; the quarterback should literally get the hell out of there after a sudden change in possession.
This isn’t a running back or a tight end or a receiver or a tight end pulling up after a fumble. It’s the most important guy on the team, the straw who stirs the drink. They guy who must stay healthy for the team to have a chance.
Let it be 11 on 10 after a turnover. Let the quarterback be as useless as the giant white plastic kick/throw/run piece in electric football, the one that no one ever wanted to actually use. Just leave. Get away. Go to the sideline.
Nothing good comes from trying to make a tackle. (Just ask Baker Mayfield; that’s how he messed up his left shoulder, way back in Week Two.) As Bridgewater has learned, nothing good comes from even pretending to try to make a tackle.
Just leave the field. Or, if all else fails, shelter in place, like Tom Brady did after throwing his second interception on Sunday.
For all coaches, media, and fans, here’s the message, again: Drop the fake macho football bullshit. We no longer make fun of a quarterback who takes a dive in a collapsed pocket, like Jim Rome used to do with Jim Everett. We also shouldn’t chide a quarterback who decides not to throw his body in the way of a defender who ended up with the ball.
Nothing good comes from putting a starting quarterback unnecessarily in harm’s way, since the harm that comes to the starting quarterback could derail a team’s entire season.