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Booty Waits in the Wings at Quarterback

When writing about sports, there are a lot of unknowns, a lot of projections that aren’t really worthwhile. For some people involved with actual sports teams, this is their job; to anticipate who will most likely do what, and to what extent, and then get them on your team. That’s how you draft players, sign free agents, and rationalize who you put where.

A lot of times, in order to predict, we compare. We try to figure out who Adrian Peterson runs like, or what receiver in the past is most like Sidney Rice. We do that to get a ball park guesstimate of what we can expect from these current individuals in the near future.

Doing so is obviously dangerous. The people compared clearly aren’t one and the same, and the differences in training, desire, and mettle between the head can change the entire expected outcome.

But when I wanted to start writing this post about John David Booty and touch on some of the ideas brought up in this Star Tribune article, I naturally started by thinking of who I could compare Booty to as a quarterback. Is he similar to other USC products, Carson Palmer or Matt Leinart? Could I take an angle on his professional quarterback history like Tony Romo? Do I offer concerns about his overall arm strength like people had with Tom Brady when he came out?

None of those spins seemed totally appropriate, singularly. I’m hesitant to call JDB the next Palmer, Romo or Brady, without him actually ever even taking a NFL snap at the quarterback position, but the experiences that some of these quarterbacks have had in their NFL career can, dare I say comparatively, provide a bit of insight into JDB’s own career thus far.

Both Brady and Romo were drafted low and spent time on their team’s bench with reduced expectations. While Romo was coined as the future QB for the Cowboys, Brady was simply a roster spot with potential until he led the team to a Super Bowl. Neither player was expected to step right in and produce for the team. This delayed investment allowed Brady and Romo to develop into their role, learn the team offense, and get acclimated to the NFL in both training camps and preseason games.

Until this point, expectations have been low for Booty. His brief appearances in pre season games in 2008 were dismal. Many felt that Brooks Bollinger was more deserving of the third string quarterback spot even though his overall ceiling of potential was lower than Booty’s. Coach Childress learned from his previous foible with quarterback Tyler Thigpen though, and kept the younger QB with more upside on the roster. In reality, this is the same situation that Tarvaris Jackson should have been put in but was never allowed to.

Instead, here we find Booty, now entering his second season, and reports are already indicating that he is light years ahead of where he was last year. The Trib article indicates that he’s seen what it takes to succeed as and NFL QB, and has taken immediate steps to try and fit that mold. His body type has changed. His understanding of the play book is deeper. His team familiarity is greater. All of these things he has been able to do while not having any pressure on him to succeed in the immediate future.

While it’s not fair to compare, and probably really stupid to do so, it is interesting to note the advantage that quarterbacks who spend time on the bench learning have over quarterbacks who are thrown into the fire. Romo and Brady appeared more “game ready” than most rookie starting QBs, and, hopefully when Booty steps into the spotlight, he will look similarly poised.

Will he put up the same numbers or have a similar career as Brady or Romo? I’m not going to go that far, but the advantage of his apprenticeship period seems obvious, and his relative success in the NFL seems inevitable as well.

Hopefully, it will still be while he’s wearing Vikings purple.

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4 Responses to “Booty Waits in the Wings at Quarterback”

  1. Spanky says:

    JDB only got to play with the rejects….

  2. BUSTER RHYMES says:

    Does Booty have better hair than Chilledgreymatter?

    FIRE CHILDRESS NOW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. BUSTER RHYMES says:

    Oh yea, “foible”….. you need to attatch a dictionary link when you use words like that – I assume it means F**K UP…. or something similar to that. 🙂

    FIRE CHILDRESS NOW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Aaron says:

    Ha, yeah, pretty spot on. I’m pretty sure that they’ve used it in the Simpsons before, so I figured anything used there goes with me!

    Thanks for checking out the article!

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