After Vince Young and David Garrard exited with injuries, week 6 saw only three black QBs finish the game for their team — easily the lowest number since people started noting this sort of thing. Maybe Rush Limbaugh is last night’s winner.
Yes, Donovan McNabb, Josh Freeman and Jason Campbell were the last men standing, and Cambell’s only in there because Bruce Gradkowski is hurt (Kyle Boller probably gets the start next week). Dark days (no pun intended) for a breed of athlete that’s seen much ink spilled over their particular plight.
The season started off so promisingly, with Campbell finally getting out of Washington, Seneca Wallace getting a shot in Cleveland, and David Garrard finally having a legit number one receiver. Charlie Batch had four games behind center. Michael Vick looked like the guy in Philadelphia.
It went downhill quickly. Vick was injured, Roethlisberger returned, Campbell and Wallace lost their starting gigs, Garrard’s receiving corps never materialized and he was nearly benched for Trent Edwards.
That leaves us with just three sure things, and they’re not excelling. McNabb is toiling away on a mediocre offense, Freeman is a talented young guy toiling away in the anonymity of Tampa Bay, and Vince Young, if he’s healthy, will continue to be a good game manager who doesn’t electrify like he did in college.
What happened? Nine years ago Ebony Magazine was heralding the dawn of a new era, with Steve McNair, Daunte Culpepper, Kordell Stewart and McNabb leading the charge, with promising young players like Aaron Brooks, Quincy Carter, Akili Smith set to take up the mantle. An exciting Virginia Tech QB named Vick was set to make his debut. And yet here we are, the QB position looking as monochromatic as, well, the RB position.
I wouldn’t get worried. The notion of a black quarterback has been entrenched for long enough that the high school and college ranks are replete, so it’s fair to say that it’s cyclical and the numbers will bounce back. McNabb, Young and Freeman aren’t going anywhere. Michael Vick, still just 30 (with three years less wear-and-tear than others his age) will be starting somewhere next year. Terrelle Pryor, Denard Robinson and Jacory Harris will lead the next generation.
There’s no need for a Great Black Hope to swoop in and save the position. It’s doing just fine.