I bet he just hates it. I would have to guess that he just doesn’t like hearing about himself this way.
Fresno State quarterback Ryan Colburn doesn’t want to be labeled as a game-managing quarterback. Given the choice, who wants to be the quarterback whose main job is to make sure things don’t get screwed up?
There are three general quarterback labels, and it’s obvious, no one wants to be a game manager.
I grew up watching Brett Favre when he was still playing on the Frozen Tundra. I wouldn’t consider myself a Favre fan, especially now, but I admire the gunslinger he is. Favre was and still is incredible theater to watch.
It was routine to see the now 40-year-old signal-caller throw a 14-yard pass across his body, off his back foot, into double coverage and actually pick up a first down on third down and 12.
To me, he defines a gunslinger. Favre made it really cool to throw those low percentage passes. And it was amusing to see if his coaches would get ulcers midway through the season.
The second quarterback category is much less flashy, but to a football fan, it is just as impressive to watch.
Peyton Manning, the purest quarterback in the NFL today, is the prototype precision passer. The guy is a football savant with a “laser-rocket” arm. If he were teaching a coaching football class at Indiana University in his spare time, it would be more difficult than calculus and require more study hours than molecular physics.
OK, so the guy understands football in a different way than most and has a mixture of arm strength and accuracy to put opposing defenses to bed.
The third, final and much less desirable category is the game manager. This is the guy with mediocre arm strength, decent field vision and is pretty streaky.
Oh, and in most cases, he is the best hander-offer you’ve ever seen. When the term game manager comes up, everyone always uses Trent Dilfer as an example.
Dilfer won Super Bowl XXXV with the Baltimore Ravens in 2001, and got none of the credit. The Ravens started the season with Tony Banks at the helm, eventually “settled” with Dilfer in the last 11 games of the year.
The 2000 Ravens had arguably the best and scariest defense the NFL has ever seen. All Dilfer had to do was … well, not screw things up and score about 14 points a game.
The three categories of quarterback are all so different. But even with their differences, not one has emerged as the best.
Favre, Manning and Dilfer, just like their quarterback categories, don’t share much in common. The one universal fact – all three have one Super Bowl title.
While it may be less desirable to be labeled as a game manger, it really isn’t the worst place to be. A game manager can win just as many games as a gunslinger or a precision passer.
Saturday night at the Kibbie Dome, Fresno State knocked off the Idaho Vandals and the ’Dogs’ game manager, Colburn, had a perfect game.
I don’t mean that he did a great job handing the ball off to tailback Ryan Mathews. And I don’t mean he avoided the costly turnover.
Colburn had a perfect game. The junior completed 100 percent of his passes to nine different receivers. Doesn’t get much more “precision” than that.
Colburn’s perfect completion percentage set a school record that Billy Volek, David Carr or Dilfer never reached. Colburn was the first quarterback to complete every single one of his passes in a game.
Colburn went 14-for-14 for 159 yards and one touchdown – a 218.97 passer rating. His current season passer rating, 150.44, ranks 11th this season in all of college football.
The Bulldogs’ offense is tenth in the nation in time of possession, keeping the ball for 32:40 a game. Colburn is running the offense with efficiency and keeping the defense off the field. He’s killing two birds with one shot – now that’s a gunslinger.
Colburn’s stats have been deceptively good since the Bulldogs’ rough start to the season. But the most important statistic of all – the Bulldogs have won five games in a row and are bowl-eligible with three games remaining.
So what if Colburn is labeled as a game-managing quarterback. As long as he keeps slinging the ball with precision and winning games, it doesn’t matter what they call him.