“Either He’s A Franchise Guy Or He’s Not”February 7th, 2014
Johnny Football chatter sure seemed to raise the blood pressure of former Super Bowl winning Coach Brian Billick during an interview on the Ron and Ian show on WDAE-AM 620 yesterday.
Billick was all relaxed talking about how Mike Glennon had a better interception-to-pass ratio than Russell Wilson and Matt Cassel, and how Glennon might be worth giving a second season as a starter, but Billick got fired up when asked for his opinion on Johnny Football.
Billick said he hasn’t finished his evaluation of Johnny Football, but all that chatter about the Bucs or any team taking a franchise quarterback in the first round of the NFL Draft should only be about two things: total confidence and job retention — for the head coach/general manager.
“It cant be, ‘Well, is he worth the fifth pick? Is he worth the tenth pick? Is he worth the 15th pick?’ You either think a guy that you’re going to take in the first round is either a franchise guy or he’s not. And if he is, if you determine that, you take him wherever,” Billick said.
“If he’s not, you can’t take him in the first round because it’s going to cost you your job. And that’s the decision we have to make on a Johnny Manziel. I think he is improved. I’ve been impressed in what I’ve seen. I’m not yet there to say he is a guaranteed franchise quarterback in the NFL. Therefore, I don’t know that I’m there yet to say he should be a first-round pick.”
Joe also agrees that any QB drafted in the first round must be considered “the guy” by the team that drafts him. However, Joe has no problem with a rookie QB developing and maturing from the sidelines for a season. Frankly, the new labor agreement is set up well for that. First-round picks don’t break the bank any longer, and teams lock them up for five years.
That fifth year is a huge advantage. Wilson or Colin Kaepernick, for example, will be in line for free agent fortunes following their fourth seasons — because they weren’t first-round picks. Andrew Luck, for example, could have to wait until his sixth season to land a nine-figure contract.
Enjoy Billick’s full interview below.