Quarterbacks and the Parcells Rules

by George Richmond on April 21, 2012

Stealing a page out of Dave Hyde’s playbook, I thought it might be interesting to have a look at the top quarterbacks in this year’s draft class and apply the ‘Parcells Rules’ to them.

Now I know that it’s not the most popular of topics around these parts, but depending on your opinion, you’ll probably get what you want out of this.

To refresh, Bill Parcells wants his quarterback to be a senior, a three-year starter, have 23 wins under his belt and be a college graduate.

 Player  School Senior 3-yr starter 23 wins Graduate
 Andrew Luck  Stanford
 Robert Griffin III  Baylor
 Ryan Tannehill  Texas A&M
 Brandon Weeden  Oklahoma St.
 Russell Wilson  Wisconsin
 Kirk Cousins  Michigan St.
 Nick Foles  Arizona
 Brock Osweiler  Arizona St.
 Ryan Lindley  San Diego St.
 B.J. Coleman  Chattanooga
 Kellen Moore  Boise St.


Personally, I think the senior aspect is lowest on the totem pole. More of an and/or. If a guy ticks the other boxes, the senior designation is irrelevant. See Luck, Andrew and Griffin, Robert. Both extremely intelligent, graduated very early. Cut from a different cloth off the field.

The guys who tick all the boxes: Wilson, Cousins, Lindley and Moore. Personally I like Wilson best of that bunch. Undersized or not, he started and excelled at two schools. Was flat out beastly as a senior. He is exactly one inch shorter than another NFL QB whose draft stock fell due to size concerns: Drew Brees.

My admiration of Wilson aside, most folks seem to agree that he can be an NFL-caliber backup. Considering the other three players on the list, it appears Parcells’ rules might actually be geared towards finding you a longtime backup QB in this league. Not the worst thing in the world, but not exactly what they were designed to do.

As for the guy most fans and media have destined for Miami, Ryan Tannehill checks only the off-field boxes on Parcells’ list. Tannehill only started two seasons at quarterback at A&M (winning 12 games) and is considered at least a year away from being ready to vie for an NFL starting gig.

But he was good enough to compete for the job as a freshman. After losing the upper classman, Tannehill immediately became his team’s leading receiver as a freshman. He continued the trend as a sophomore while also serving as the Aggies’ backup quarterback.

Ultimately the Parcells rules may be a decent consideration in the grand scheme of things, but I don’t believe they should be an actual guide to finding a franchise QB. After all, the two players he selected in Miami — Chad Henne and Pat White — didn’t pan out despite checking all the boxes. Henne started three sub-.500 seasons for the Dolphins while White was woefully miscast as an NFL QB and retired from football after one season.

Here’s to open minds and new beginnings.


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