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Why in the world am I doing this?!

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; This post is about Aaron Brooks. If you don't want to get drug into the same argument, stop reading here. If you have some belief that this thread will change opinions, when the evidence of their own two eyes will ...

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Old 01-30-2005, 10:55 AM   #1
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Why in the world am I doing this?!

This post is about Aaron Brooks. If you don't want to get drug into the same argument, stop reading here. If you have some belief that this thread will change opinions, when the evidence of their own two eyes will not, stop reading. This thread is here because I need to make this point - and no matter how hard I try to stop myself - I just have to do it.

Aaron Brooks is not a terrible QB. He has a ton of athleticism, and the ability to scramble, which makes enemy defensive coordinators have to plan for that. AB has a powerful throwing arm, and is capable of throwing the long ball. AB led us to our only playoff win.

Aaron Brooks is not a great QB. He has trouble reading a defense. He gets happy feet in the pocket when under pressure. He throws off his back foot. He is slow to start a play (why his center keeps stepping on his feet) and he drops back WAY too far (you've all seen the ten step drop?). He has trouble throwing the touch pass. His record as a starter stays at .500, including the year he tooks Blake's team to the playoffs and beat the Rams.

The problems that AB has, he has always had. Though people like to throw stats around (Low INTs) as if they indicate he doesn't throw off his back foot any more - I suggest they are not watching the same games I am. AB has always been, and likely always will be, inconsistent. The entire NFL knows it. Profesional sportswriters use him for the gag reel and call him "the most overrated player in the NFL."

Even so, I would keep him if that were all there was to it. Many people compare him to other QB and say they have the same types of problems. These comparisons are 100% accurate. The difference is that those other QBs, DON'T THINK THEY ARE GREAT! Those other QBs recognize their shortcomings. They acknowledge them and work on them. Many of them show CONSISTENT IMPROVEMENT.

AB is an arrogant, ego-maniac who cannot even acknowledge where he needs to improve. He calls himself a great QB on an average team. What kind of selective vision of reality is that?!

One of the medical definitions of insanity is attempting the same actions over and over again, and expecting a different result. For example, running full-steam at a wall. You hit the wall, bounce off and wind up in pain. You do it again, expecting this time you will fly over the wall, maybe? For that reason, I am going to try to make this my last post about AB and the reasons I think we need to get rid of him no matter the cost, no matter the consequence.

These posts won't change anything or anyone's opinon, especially when it appears stapled to their brain. Lord knows, my opinion of AB has changed this year - but it seems obvious to me by now that some people are incapbale of changing their mind - even when the evidence is overwhelming.

So be it and that, as I have said before, is my two cents.
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Old 01-30-2005, 12:18 PM   #2
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Why in the world am I doing this?!

FF, great post. Both level headed and intelligent.

I, of course, cannot resist comment, even though I share the same frustration as most do with this very topic. Some of the points are general, so don\'t take them as directed at your very even and well written post.

(1) People do change their mind. Some are more honest than others about it. Of course, there are some who dig in and become more pig-headed about their view rather than less, but many do slowly change their views, arguments, and thoughts even if it is only about subtleties.

(2) All this stuff about inconsistency boggles my mind. Imagine a team with an inconsistent running game, inconsistent defense, inconsistent passing game, and an inconsistent special teams. On any given Sunday any two of these five things could be relatively poor and the team could win - it really just is a matter of all of them not being off at the same time. Sure, inconsistency is frustrating, improvement would be good, but it isn\'t the end all be all of a winning team. Also, I grant that Cullpepper is a better QB than Brooks, how much better is debateable, but here is a QB who can throw more INTs than TDs one year and another year throw almost 40 TDs - it that isn\'t inconsistent, what is? Granted those are his yearly stats, but many other QBs are game to game inconsistent and still great QBs (Farve, still my favorite example, sorry Whodi).

(3) W-L records actually only give us information about the team and not really much at all about the players. Since games are won and lost by teams, I don\'t see how that really provides much, if any, about any particular player. The details of the W or L matter much more. Throwing a pick on the goaline with seconds left costing you the game - that says something about the player. Having a L, without information like that, says nothing IMO about the player(s). I guess I never really understood why W-L were used in arguments about players, as they are aggregate stats (apply to large groups). Thus, a QB\'s W-L record is a bit of a red herring, since it is NOT the QB\'s W-L record, but rather the TEAM\'s W-L record. I\'m open to argument here, but that is my current view.

(4)
One of the medical definitions of insanity is attempting the same actions over and over again, and expecting a different result.
No. This is not a medical definition of \"insanity\", since there is no medical definition of insanity. This is a handy way of talking about a particular kind of problem we like to talk about here. It is more like \"folk wisdom\" on \"nut jobs\", than it is like any medical definition.

(5) I agree 100% that AB says some stupid sh-t. I also agree that he is lacking in the leadership department. However, since when did being arrogant make you a bad football player. Think Deion Sanders - a pretty darn good cover corner (if nothing else) - arrogant as sh-t. If you are saying that AB impacts the other players on his team with the stupid stuff he says, I agree, but there are many players like that (Horn was like that once, and no one is saying ship him out right now!). I suppose, I agree with you that this is a knock against AB, but I\'m confused as to why it is conclusive reason to get rid of him (especially given the ambivalence in the arguments you note earlier in your post).

(6)
I think we need to get rid of him no matter the cost, no matter the consequence.
I\'m guessing this is an overstatement. Brooks would be a starting QB on some other teams, if we just said \"here ya go\", I bet they\'d take him, and they\'d improve. Surely, even if you want him gone, you\'re in favor of getting something for him. This is a small point, but I am more swayed by arguments that imply we could get some advantage from trading him - cap space, draft picks, a rookie replacement, etc. I for one am never in favor of doing something \"no matter what the cost\" (and I\'m sure you actually agree). What if Bouman were our ONLY other option (I know he isn\'t but what if)? I would definitely want AB over Bouman - believe me.

(7) Thanks for the very level post with good points on each side. I see your position, and I hope you will explain it a bit more to me, since I have the confusions above about it. Nicely posted, FF.

"... I was beating them with my eyes the whole game..." - Aaron Brooks :cool:
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Old 01-30-2005, 01:01 PM   #3
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Frenzy, you\'re my hero. I love you man. :heartpump: You cut right to the heart of the matter.

Kool, I know you always want an explanation, but I think this is one where all included should just agree to disagree. Obviously some are seeing things in AB others are not, and that is fine. It\'s funny though how people who disapprove of AB have the SAME opinions of him but people who support him differ. Some use stats, some use the playoff win, some use noone better out there, some use potential and talent, some blame the rest of the team, but ALL who want him gone say the SAME thing. Now this could be a hive mentality, or a piling on, but it just seems odd to me that so many who want the same thing can see it the same way, yet the opposite argument have different criteria for basing their decision. Just ranting. But anyway Kool, I think this one calls for a handshake at the 50 yard line, and going in opposite directions. There are enough AB threads on here already to weigh in on. Of course if Frenzy chooses to address your fine questions, more power to you guys. Peace.
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Old 01-30-2005, 01:27 PM   #4
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Please, please, please bring back the monster \"Brooks\" thread to discuss this topic. I\'m dying to pull that one out of the mothballs. We had a virtual encyclopedia on all the different takes on Brooks. Great thread that received the JoeSam stamp of approval. (deep sigh)

But to the thread we have...

Frenzy, I feel you man. I agree with large parts of what you have to say.

JKool, as always a lucid post.

As a show of solidarity, I\'ll outline my own case against our current starting QB in order of importance in my own thinking.

1. He has an ever growing cap number. This year he is slated to jump up from 3.25 million to 5.5 million dollars. In 06 the number goes to 6.25 million and in 07 up to 7.25. Based on what we are seeing on the field from him, I don\'t think he\'s worth 5.5 million dollars.

----a. He is fishing for a new contract. Talking to the press about whether he will stay in NO while he still has 3 years on his contract seems peculiar to me. My own personal take on this is that he wants a deal like the ones recently given to McNabb, Manning, Culpepper and Vick. I fully expect him to hold out if the Saints refuse to give him some sort of 10 year mega deal.

-----b. He is a financial ticking time bomb. I think it\'s ruinous to allow him to hold this franchise hostage over his contract demands. I also think that it would be wiser to let some other team deal with his money requirements.

-----c. He tends to view success through paycheck. By this I mean, it seems that he\'s more interested in being compensated like a top QB than playing like an elite QB. Simply put, this franchise cannot afford him as he is.

2. His trade value will probably never be higher. At 28, I\'m really sure that some organization will become enamored with his stats. I also figure that someone with a huge ego will believe that Haslett\'s incompetance as a coach is what has held our current QB back all this time. I have no doubt that we could probably get a couple of picks and maybe a player out of a deal and given our needs on defense it might be important to do so before we really do need a full rebuild.

3. He is maddeningly inconsistent. He teases you with ability, he\'s the classic coach killer kind of player.

-----a. You can\'t count on him. He may win the game for you and he may snatch defeat from the jaws of victory on you. It\'s impossible to tell when he\'s going to put you behind the 8 ball.

-----b. He makes bad decisions. The examples of this are legion. I\'ll just underscore the under hand pass to the Denver linebacker backed up on our own goal line as a classic example.

-----c. His mechanics and fundamentals are bad. 10 step drops, backing into the pass rush, throwing off the back foot, no touch, no screens, fumbled snaps, the center exchange, tripping himself down at the snap. For all the things he does well, you have to admit he does a LOT of things badly--at the worst possible time.

-----d. He doesn\'t read defenses well. He doesn\'t realize that when the safety or linebacker comes up on the line of scrimmage, they want a sack. Probably not a good time to put the back in motion to your other side. He\'s ok against zone teams, but always takes too long to let the WR get separation when the defense plays man.

-----e. He doesn\'t play the game intelligently. If we were playing flag football at the company picnic, then he would be my first pick. But I wouldn\'t pick him to be the starter for a pro team. He\'s a great sandlot player, but he struggles against teams that prepare for him.

-----f. No intangibles. Leadership, chutzpah, guts, whatever, he doesn\'t seem to have \"it\" that all the greats have.

4. Ego/Selfishness/Mouth.

-----a. Whatever he means to say (which I think is a kind way of putting it), comes out awfully wrong. He is notorious about saying the wrong thing to the press. Whenever the mic is on him, you can count on him to say something that alienates fans, team-mates, etc.

-----b. Me-First. There\'s a reason that people call him \"Leon\". The team is here for him, not him for the team.

-----c. Finger Pointing. He is never to blame when things go badly. He doesn\'t take responsibility for his own faults. It\'s one thing to play on a bad defense that cost the game, it\'s another thing to hear your QB (who may or may not have played well himself) blame the loss on your unit. His self-centeredness erodes the team concept.

-----d. Baselessly high opinion of himself. Whatever else one might say about him, I think we can all agree, he isn\'t an elite QB. He isn\'t the best to play the game. He isn\'t a great player being held back by an awful team. I think we can all agree that Archie could have been a great player if the rest of the team had even been decent. Our current QB has some of the best players this organization has ever had to work with. It rings false to suggest that guys like Deuce and Horn are holding him back.

-----e. He\'s a hard guy to pull for. He\'s a little bit like Bill Romonowski, Deion Sanders or Michael Irvin. Even when he is playing great, he still comes off like a jerk. He rubs some fans the wrong way.

-----f. He doesn\'t seem to care. Statements like, \"I\'m just here to do my job and leave\" and \"fake love\" make me question his heart and his will to win. I\'d rather not have a guy just putting in his time and phoning it in. As much as the language drives me crazy, I\'d rather have someone making Reggie White \"this is a team of destiny\" statements. Or things like the Patriots all being in it together.

Now after all this, do I want to just cut him and take the cap hit? Nope, I think the reason to get rid of him is financial. He costs too much for what he brings to the table. However, plenty of other teams are probably willing to deal for him and laugh all the way to the bank. I think he has great trade value now and with the cap savings we could sign 2-3 key players on defense and get serious about a playoff push.

Cutting him doesn\'t seem smart to me, dealing him does.

Anyway, that\'s my take on why we shouldn\'t keep our current QB.

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Old 01-30-2005, 01:40 PM   #5
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BMG, great post. Very concise.
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Old 01-30-2005, 01:43 PM   #6
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a fine thread. wouldn\'t it be interesting to see how loomis would respond. beyond the bs and covering his rear i somehow think we wouldn\'t be impressed. i wish we had more insight into what the philosophy of the franchise, specifically the front office, is. again though, i think we might feel worse if we did. not a rant on the front office here. it is just that i find so much logic and continuity of thought (i do see the ab mr. wonderful/cut him at all costs chasm narrowing) here on some of these things that it makes me i wonder if such is there or if they are just along for the yacht ride.
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Old 01-30-2005, 02:06 PM   #7
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Whodi,

(1) As always,

(2) Since most people agree on the \"facts\" about AB, it is my thesis that the difference between the keep Brooks and the get rid of Brooks camp is mostly a difference in risk aversion. Those of us who are interested in keeping him are averse to the high risk that might entail (a worse player, etc). Of course, I\'m in the camp that has agreed with BMG\'s financial argument - if we can get a replacement that appears to us to be of roughly the same ability (given our risk averseness) and some other benefits, I say go for it. Those of you who are in the get rid of Brooks camp appear to be much less risk averse - yourself being a prime example. I think this is where the handshake at the 50 is appropriate. I don\'t think that arguing over whether or not some poster\'s personality should be adjusted is worth while. On the other hand, I have learned a lot from these discussions, and just because no argument that has been conclusive is forthcoming, I think my view is MUCH better having discussed it, in particular with you and BMG in this case.

(3) I\'m sorry I got frustrated last week, I swear it was mostly outside stuff. You da man.

"... I was beating them with my eyes the whole game..." - Aaron Brooks :cool:
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Old 01-30-2005, 02:23 PM   #8
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BMG, mad props buddy. That is a fine summary.

While I agree with almost all that you\'ve said (in particular your points 1 and 2) and I, a long time ago, agreed that the financial argument is the strongest I\'ve heard for getting rid of Brooks, I have to cavil with a few of your points:

3b - I think you should add that how bad the mistakes are matters. There are few starting NFL QBs who are merely managers of the game that people can get excited about. As a result, many QBs make dumb mistakes - again, Farve is an example of this. The manager QB is the guy who won\'t lose you the game, but most of the time he won\'t win it either (Brady is one guy who I think can do both, but he is a rarity). Thus, I think you could make this point more strongly, and I also think it could be a weakness of your argument (but we\'d have to investigate it more thoroughly).

3c - This is not only AB\'s fault. Coaching has not helped him here. While I agree that this may be symptomatic of his \"dumbness\", it may also be due to coddling and/or poor coaching. I feel it is difficult to say how much of this is really on AB himself.

3f - I actually disagree here. There are two intangibles that Brooks does have (though, I agree that for the most you are right on this point): (1) he is actually pretty darn tough - he takes a lickin\' and keeps on tickin\', and (2) he is a threat to gamble. On point (2), I believe it is the coaches fault that teams aren\'t affraid of Brooks making plays with his feet. That first season, teams had a bit more trouble with Brooks, as he \"improvised\" more often, adding a more Vick-like dimension to our offense. That appears to be gone, and I think that is our loss - I honestly believe this is a coaching (game planning) error.

4c - I take your point here, but I feel like people can\'t have it both ways. Either you think that Brooks should get up on people and lead - thus, sometimes calling guys out (even when he had a bad game), or you think that he should shoulder all the blame. A really good leader, which Brooks is not, would do both. However, during all those \"leadership\" discussions, it was often pointed out that Brooks didn\'t challenge others to be better - then, when he does it, he\'s doing something wrong? This point needs to be clarified, since it appears that many have contradicted themselves here - I feel like this may be two or three separate points. I hope you can see what I\'m getting at here, since a greater diagnosis might be possible.

It is still my view that while 1&2 (and I very much enjoyed 4e) are good points, they are only really going to be convincing when a good alternative to AB is presented.

Don\'t take that the wrong way, I know a number of candidates have been mentioned - other than Brees or perhaps a rookie (and I\'d need some serious convincing), I\'m mostly unimpressed.

I want a QB who wins games, not one of those \"manager\" types; I just don\'t think our running game (mostly due to the Oline) or defense is strong enough to have that kind of QB.

Note my point about \"risk aversion\" in my post to Whodi to get a better feel for my point (beyond the problems with our OLine and D) here.

"... I was beating them with my eyes the whole game..." - Aaron Brooks :cool:
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Old 01-30-2005, 02:24 PM   #9
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PS - I don\'t think the \"get rid of Brooks\" camp has any greater similarity in view or argument than the \"keep Brooks\" camp, just for the record.

BnB, that\'s three...
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Old 01-30-2005, 03:33 PM   #10
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JKool, As always, it is refreshing to discuss things with you. I\'ve never been caviled before though?

3b - I think you should add that how bad the mistakes are matters. There are few starting NFL QBs who are merely managers of the game that people can get excited about. Thus, I think you could make this point more strongly, and I also think it could be a weakness of your argument (but we\'d have to investigate it more thoroughly).
I agree entirely on the timing of the mistakes. Our current QB tends to make them as such awful times that they are underscored in the minds of people watching. I would also agree that what I\'m arguing for is basically to have a game manager for the coming season. However, like you and everyone else, I\'d rather have an Elway than a Dilfer for the long term.

I also agree that more investigation would clear this up. As a fan, I tend to get really nervous when our current QB is inside the 20\'s--backed up or in the redzone. I expect bad things to happen. Between the 20\'s I\'m never worried. I\'m not sure if I\'ve been trained to this or just notice it more, but that\'s basically my take on the current QB.

3c - This is not only AB\'s fault. Coaching has not helped him here. While I agree that this may be symptomatic of his \"dumbness\", it may also be due to coddling and/or poor coaching. I feel it is difficult to say how much of this is really on AB himself.
Agreed. Halo has said on several occasions that he felt the organization has ruined the current QB during his development. I think it\'s certainly possible. The trouble is, I\'m not sure it\'s fixable. He seems to think he\'s elite and the coaching staff hasn\'t ever really held him accountable. So I\'m not sure that we\'re ever going to see marked improvement from him in NO. I wouldn\'t be surprised if he went somewhere else and did quite well though.

3f - There are two intangibles that Brooks does have (though, I agree that for the most you are right on this point): (1) he is actually pretty darn tough - he takes a lickin\' and keeps on tickin\', and (2) he is a threat to gamble. I honestly believe this is a coaching (game planning) error.
I agree that he is tough and seems to do a good job of staying in good condition. I also agree that he is better on bootlegs where he is dangerous to run.

However, I\'d qualify that a bit. I don\'t think he\'s nearly as dangerous as McNabb, Culpepper or Vick. This could be a game planning problem. Maybe McCarthy emphasized that he shouldn\'t run at all, but throw the ball away? Even the scramblers settle down into the pocket as their career goes on, so I\'m not sure we\'re going to see as much freelancing from him regardless?

The one key difference I\'ll note from the last couple of seasons is that he tends to go backwards. When he used to roll out, he stayed close enough to the LOS that he was a threat to run. Now with 10 step drops, he ends up so far back that he takes his running out of the equation--a good run will just get him back to the line. Maybe this can be fixed, I don\'t know, but I\'m relatively sure that he\'s not going to have as good a rushing performance as when he was younger.

4c - I take your point here, but I feel like people can\'t have it both ways. A really good leader, which Brooks is not, would do both. This point needs to be clarified, since it appears that many have contradicted themselves here - I feel like this may be two or three separate points. I hope you can see what I\'m getting at here, since a greater diagnosis might be possible.
Here\'s the BMG spin on the subject. I think the current QB is weak on people skills. I would compare it to this: imagine Cheers. Our current QB is more like Lilith, I\'d rather have a guy like Norm.

All I\'ve read suggests that our current QB is kind of a recluse, he comes in and does his job and then leaves. I\'d rather have a QB that the other guys respect and trust. I\'d rather have a guy kind of like Roethlisberger who comes in and shakes everyone\'s hand, values what they do and conveys in word and action that nothing good happens without their contribution.

This overlaps another area, but it seems like our current QB conveys that he\'s in it for himself and tolerates the guys around him.

It is still my view that while 1&2 (and I very much enjoyed 4e) are good points, they are only really going to be convincing when a good alternative to AB is presented.
I understand the risk aversion part. (Spend WAY too much time around lawyers). This is really where it gets sticky and where I can\'t really offer a lot of suggestions. Our current guy is, after all, the devil we know.

I think, for example, that Mike McMahon from Detroit could be very good if given the chance. I also think we could get him for less than 1/4 of what we\'re paying this season. So strictly from a cap standpoint, I think it\'s a good idea. I also figure from a cap standpoint that if we paid McMahon around 1/2 million a year we\'d be in far better financial shape to shore up the defense and LT and have a coachable QB.

However, here\'s a fun hypothetical for you. Let\'s say that McCarthy gets Nolan and the 49ers to drink the Cool-Aid and they are willing to part with the #1 overall for Brooks. Would you be willing to accept such a trade to get Aaron Rogers or Alex Smith? Or would you be willing to deal our current QB and try to pick up Rivers from the Chargers? I\'m curious as to who it would take to get the more risk averse fans to sign off on the trade?

And my last hypothetical for the risk averse. Deciding to keep the current guy brings up 2 questions for me.
1. Are we going to be able to draft or free agency the players we need to make a superbowl run with his number against the cap?
2. Are we going to be able to make this superbowl run while our WR corps is still playing at a high level? It seems to me that the decision not to deal the current QB brings up all kinds of problems with Horn. For example, if we decide not to pay Horn his 4.5 million this year and cut him where are we at then? Or if we can re-sign Joe to a cap friendly deal, how long is he going to play at such a high level?

I want a QB who wins games, not one of those \"manager\" types; I just don\'t think our running game (mostly due to the Oline) or defense is strong enough to have that kind of QB.
I agree, long term it\'s better to have Elway than Dilfer. I\'m wondering whether our current guy could be our Herschel Walker? I think that his trade value is such that he could buy us 2-3 players that could go a long way towards fixing the defense and OT problems we are facing.


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