It’s a story that happens every year - retired NFL quarterback alerts the media to his intention to consider playing again. The QB’s supporters in the media kick up the “will he or won’t he” rhetoric. Speculation on where he might land abounds. But most people just scoff at all the kerfuffle and wish the guy would just hang ‘em up and go away.
We are, of course, talking about former NFL quarterback Jeff George. Yes, it’s that time of year where the NFL bust with the rocket arm informs the world he’d like another shot at an NFL roster. The only surprising part about it is that the news didn’t come in a Jason Whitlock column.
No, the news actually came from another George-friendly source, the NEWS-GAZETTE of Champaign-Urbana, IL, the site of George’s alma mater, the University of Illinois. Perhaps someone owed George a favor - how else do you explain coverage like this?
“You look throughout the league, you see 20 teams that need quarterbacks – 20 teams need starters – and probably everybody needs a backup,” George said. “In my opinion, there’s just not a lot of quality quarterbacks out there these days.”
So far, George hasn’t piqued much interest from any of the NFL’s 32 teams, but in his recent workouts in Champaign, George has impressed at least one guy with experience as an NFL coach.
“I coached against him when I was in the National Football League, and he was out there just throwing the ball around and I was like, ‘Holy smokes.’ He looked like he did when I coached against him,” Illinois coach Ron Zook said. “He was throwing the ball on the money. He can throw all the balls. He looks about 25 years old, and I was very impressed with where he is right now.”
How fitting is it that the only endorsement of Jeff George’s abilities comes from Ron freaking Zook, the doofus-iest college coach in America? Even Whitlock seems to have gotten over the whole Jeff George thing at this point - then again, there’s no racial angle to George’s failures, so it’s understandable that he’d ignore it.
For the record, we completely support George’s quixotic attempts to return to the NFL while at the same time bashing the league’s teams. It’s amusing, which is a hell of a lot more than you could say about certain other quarterbacks’ never-ending attention whoring (which we will ignore for the next month).