Bad Quarterback, Good Team?
It's hard to recall a recent season where there's been less enthusiasm going in about the quarterback position. In 2009, Nebraska probably saw its worst performances at quarterback and yet had its best season under Bo Pelini. Is that just an odd fluke or might there actually be some strange benefit to a limited quarterback.
Former Ohio State quarterback Woody Hayes was credited with saying only three things can happen when you throw a pass and two of them are bad. By that logic, if you don't throw the ball very often, you might win a lot. That was certainly the case for Hayes' teams.
If you think about it, a lot of the most damaging plays for an offense come on passing plays. You've got interceptions, sacks, and fumbles by the quarterback to name a few. When you're high on your quarterback, you roll the dice more often and dial up passing plays. When the trust isn't fully there, you play it safe - which isn't always a bad idea.
Cody Green was never an explosive option at quarterback, but whether it was for Nebraska or Tulsa, he won a lot of games. That seemed in part due to the recognition of his limitations. No one asked Green to thrown the ball fifty times in a game. Instead, they asked him not to lose the game and he was able to play smart enough to allow the players around him to make plays to win the game.
That's not to say you wouldn't want to have another Tommie Frazier. But a tantalizing talent like Taylor Martinez could make a bunch of big positive plays yet manage to seemingly do equal or greater damage with negative plays. Tommy Armstrong may not be the next Turner Gill or Russell Wilson, but the fact that his coaches know that may keep them from taking needless risks. It may not produce the most exciting brand of offensive football, but it can be very quietly effective.