PDA

View Full Version : Best quarterback class ever? Trio from '04 makes its case over '83


mesaSteeler
08-30-2009, 08:28 AM
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/writers/don_banks/08/28/qbs/index.html

Best quarterback class ever? Trio from '04 makes its case over '83
Don Banks
INSIDE THE NFL

Eli Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, Philip Rivers have excelled in five seasons
John Elway, Dan Marino, Jim Kelly have long been the gold standard
The '04 quarterbacks already have more Super Bowl wins than the 1983 QBs

For years now, it has been accepted gospel within the NFL that the celebrated 1983 first-round quarterback draft class is the best in league history, and with the three Hall of Fame careers of John Elway, Dan Marino and Jim Kelly, how can anyone argue?

But this much is also now just as apparent: No crop of first-round quarterbacks has ever matched the start to the careers of the top three quarterbacks from the 2004 class: Eli Manning, Philip Rivers and Ben Roethlisberger, who were selected first, fourth and 11th that year.

Now five years into their pro careers, with all of them having moved beyond their rookie deals into lucrative second NFL contracts -- Rivers signing just this week a six-year, $93-million deal that includes $38 million guaranteed -- it's the perfect vantage point to assess just where the Big Three from 2004 stand so far in the scope of history.

A word of warning: Be prepared to be bowled over by their cumulative body of accomplishment, because that's exactly the reaction I got Thursday from Chargers general manager A.J. Smith, retired Giants general manager Ernie Accorsi, and Steelers director of football operations Kevin Colbert, the three men who drafted Manning, Rivers and Roethlisberger and know better than anyone how good they've been ever since.

"I knew they were all off to good starts, but to be honest you startled me with those facts,'' said Accorsi, who drafted Rivers at No. 4 that year, but of course traded him to San Diego on draft day for the rights to Manning, the No. 1 pick. "That's overwhelming. As a quarterback in the NFL, it's about winning. That's their job. And to hear those numbers, you can't refute this is the best start ever for a class. This is unprecedented. All those guys from 1983 were great players, but only one guy (Elway) won a Super Bowl. I'm not going to predict Hall of Fame, but they're on the road, these guys. It's quite a remarkable thing, when you figure they went No. 1, 4 and 11.''

Here's what had Accorsi, who is not one given to hyperbole, so effusive in his praise. In the first five years of their NFL careers, Manning, Rivers and Roethlisberger have accomplished the following:

They've won three of the five Super Bowls that have occurred since they entered the league, with Pittsburgh's Roethlisberger earning rings in 2005 and 2008, and New York's Manning in 2007. New England's Tom Brady (2004) and Indy's Peyton Manning (2006) have won the other two. The Class of 2004 is 3-0 in Super Bowl appearances so far.

In the seasons in which they have been their team's fulltime starting quarterback (the past three seasons for Rivers, the past four for Manning, and all five for Roethlisberger), they have combined to make the playoffs 11 out of a possible 12 times, and led their clubs to division titles eight out of a possible 12 times.

They've been to a combined three Super Bowls, five conference title games (with all three qualifying at least once), and are a gaudy 15-8 (.652) as starters in the playoffs. All three have made one Pro Bowl trip each.

Roethlisberger is 8-2 in the playoffs, and 51-20 (.718) as a starter in the regular season. Rivers is 3-3 in the post-season, and 33-15 (.688) in the three regular seasons since taking over for Drew Brees in San Diego. And Manning is 4-3 as a playoff quarterback, with a 42-29 record (.592) in the regular season. He and Rivers are a combined 7-of-7 in terms of taking teams to the playoffs as fulltime starters. Roethlisberger is four of five in that department, missing only when the Steelers went 8-8 in 2006.

"I don't know how you could expect that kind of production, because those are pretty astounding cumulative numbers,'' said Colbert, who said the Steelers never expected any of the Big Three quarterbacks would still be on the board at No. 11 in 2004. "Those numbers are kind of out there. From a success standpoint, you can definitely make the argument that's the best start ever. The great thing is they're all so young. Most great quarterbacks have best years in their later years. There are a lot of Hall of Fame quarterbacks who didn't have Hall of Fame starts.''

The Big Three from 1983 certainly had historic early career success, but it didn't match the bottom-line production of 2004's top three quarterbacks from a team standpoint. To wit:

Elway, Kelly and Marino combined to go to four Super Bowls in their first five seasons as NFL starters, but lost them all (keep in mind that Kelly played two seasons for Houston of the USFL, in 1984-85, and thus his first five NFL seasons were 1986-90). Elway was the top overall pick, Kelly was 14th to Buffalo, and Miami selected Marino 27th.
Posted: Friday August 28, 2009 11:04AM; Updated: Friday August 28, 2009 11:54AM

(The best of all of course is our own Big Ben. - mesa)

LambertIsGod58
08-30-2009, 08:56 AM
There's NO way IMO that '04 overshadows '83. No matter what stats say.

Steeldude
08-30-2009, 11:26 AM
'83 is still better

Preacher
08-30-2009, 11:53 AM
There's NO way IMO that '04 overshadows '83. No matter what stats say.

Its funny... the same thing is said about the Steelers Defense.

However, I think the truth of the matter is more that it was the first one that we saw, and thus, will always be the best in our minds.

Fact of the matter is, Ben is quickly becoming an equal to Elway... actually, better. I remember watching Elway quite a bit since he played in the same division as Seattle (living in Washington, we saw all the Seattle games).

Marino was a prolific passer, but never won the big game. Same with Kelly.

With this group, two of the three have already won the SB? That playoff record?

Sorry, I know we like to immortalize people in history--tell the youngens "it was like this son."

But this class of QB's are on path to be the best class of QB's ever.

And this year's defense has the distinct possibility of being the best Steelers defense ever.

MasterOfPuppets
08-30-2009, 11:58 AM
they definitely the richest......$$$$$$$$$

sherlock
08-30-2009, 12:08 PM
1983 was waaaaay before my NFL fandom but from the clips I`ve seen I`m always knocked out by Dan Marino.
Some of his passes were stunning..Would you guys say he was the best ever passer of a ball? :noidea:

stillers4me
08-30-2009, 12:10 PM
The story of the class of '04 has many chapters yet to be written.

wootawnee
08-30-2009, 12:19 PM
I watched the some old games from the eighties recently.........Here is how those guys were when they were young........Marino just had this amazing zip of an arm.......He could really toss it faster than anyone has ever seen.......I mean he was the equivilant of the quickest old west gunfighter.......That type of fast......He could have it out faster than anybody.........Not that his velocity was the fastest.......His reaction time was.....Fastest ever.............Now Elway well he was just very strong in all ways.......He was a stong powerful guy and had a rocket arm........He could knock someone over with his pass.......Bradshaw could too.........These guys now would go toe to toe with those guys..........Manning(payton) is way better at manipulating a drive than Marino was, no offense Dan........He just has all these plays he can call at the line and he can find holes in Defenses better than anybody.............

You can be all these great passers and have all these guady numbers but you are not gonna win championships just passing.........Cause in the big game the d line will get to ya cause they will be one of the best in the league......You gotta be able to run it and run it well........The mix up is what wins games.......That is what Elway and Marino lacked in ther respected attacks.......The balance.....D's new they were gonna throw it so that is all they keyed on........Now the 07 Giants the 05 and 08 Steelers had a mix...........That is what wins champiionships.....The mix.........

That is wy Ben's numbers are not on top of the fantasy league........He got the mix though....
Breeze don't........Marino didn't......Elway did not........
Bradshaw did.......Montana did........Staubach did........Starr did......Eli does.......Aikman did.....

You have to have the balanced mix of power...That keeps the Defenses guessing.......

fansince'76
08-30-2009, 12:31 PM
1983 was waaaaay before my NFL fandom but from the clips I`ve seen I`m always knocked out by Dan Marino.
Some of his passes were stunning..Would you guys say he was the best ever passer of a ball? :noidea:

Marino was the best passer I've ever seen.

And as far as the thread topic is concerned, I still give the edge to the class of '83. Marino was the ONLY reason the '84 Dolphins got to SB XIX and Elway was the ONLY reason the Broncos went to the SB 3 times in 4 years in the late '80s. Sure, the class of '04 collectively may have more rings as of now, but Marino, Elway and Kelly combined started in TEN Super Bowls.

LambertIsGod58
08-30-2009, 12:33 PM
Marino was the best passer I've ever seen.

Agreed!

mesaSteeler
08-30-2009, 12:49 PM
1983 was waaaaay before my NFL fandom but from the clips I`ve seen I`m always knocked out by Dan Marino.
Some of his passes were stunning..Would you guys say he was the best ever passer of a ball? :noidea:

He was the best passer I've ever seen as well. It still breaks my heart that the coaching staff didn't listen Dan Rooney when he suggested that the Steelers draft him.

triphahn
08-30-2009, 01:45 PM
I have long said and still do say that Marino is the greatest QB of all time. For whatever reason Ben is just starting to get some recognition even though his numbers are amazing.

triphahn
08-30-2009, 01:51 PM
He was the best passer I've ever seen as well. It still breaks my heart that the coaching staff didn't listen Dan Rooney when he suggested that the Steelers draft him.

That's no lie. How they missed him when he played college in there back yard. Imagine Marino playing for the Steelers in the 80's. We might be close to filling all our fingers with rings.

mesaSteeler
08-30-2009, 02:11 PM
That's no lie. How they missed him when he played college in there back yard. Imagine Marino playing for the Steelers in the 80's. We might be close to filling all our fingers with rings.

The way I've heard the story is that the suggestion to draft Marino originally came from John Clayton (ESPN) who mentioned it to Dan Rooney. Dan suggested it to the coaching staff but they rejected it when they found out the idea came from a Clayton.

MACH1
08-30-2009, 02:16 PM
83 is better

There's what 10-11 Superbowl appearances between them all.

steelreserve
08-30-2009, 03:36 PM
I don't know how you can expect to seriously answer this question, since, you know, the class of '04 are all still at the start of their careers. Maybe they'll all become Hall of Fame QBs, or maybe they won't. That's all you can say right now.

Gnutella
08-30-2009, 03:56 PM
I'd say Dan Marino is the third-best of all time, behind Bart Starr and Joe Montana.

43Hitman
08-30-2009, 05:10 PM
Weren't there rumors about Dan use of cocaine in college, and that being the reason the Steelers didn't draft him?


LACES OUT DAN!!!!

sharkweek
08-30-2009, 06:14 PM
Right now, I think only Ben (barring a catastrophe) is on a clear path to enshrinement. Manning, while good, hasn't really ever proven he's the reason for the Giants' success. Rivers could potentially end up with the "best stats" of the 3 but he hasn't even made it to a Superbowl (let alone win one), something even Marino got to, and Rivers certainly isn't in his league yet as far as passing is concerned.

However the biggest factor on their side is time - they're only 5 years in on careers likely to last 10-15+ (again, barring any sort of disaster such as career ending injury or criminal act or death, etc)

At their current pace they're certainly a lock to be the best QB class ever, however that pace is ridiculous and most likely to slow down or at least be caught up to. However the claim isn't too far fetched, they have already won more Superbowls, and I certainly wouldn't bet money they're done winning any more between the 3 of them.

wootawnee
08-30-2009, 07:19 PM
Weren't there rumors about Dan use of cocaine in college, and that being the reason the Steelers didn't draft him?


LACES OUT DAN!!!!

Yea there were the party rumors, but who did not party back in the 70's......The real reason is Joe Greene just retired and the consensus was to start a new team around a new great D tackle.......So they got one....In Gabe Rivera.........He got in a car accident before the season and ended up not being able to play football ever again........MGBYG

BlastFurnace
08-30-2009, 07:20 PM
1983 is still a lot better.

Ben is the only one that is the equal of those 83 QB's.

Manning is a David Tyree catch away from not even being in the discussion. I would take any one of the 3 from 1983 over Manning any day of the week...and it's not even close. IMO, Manning is just a tad better than Ken O'Brien, who was the QB taken before Manning.

Rivers - what exactly has he accomplished to be mentioned with any of the 3 from 1983? Again, it's not even close comparing Rivers to any of them.

Also, whenever we faced Marino, Elway, or Kelly....they scared to me to death because they were tremendous QB's. We have faced Manning and Rivers...I doubt anyone is really that scared of either one of them.

The book isn't closed yet on the 04 class, but as it stands right now, I wold take 1983 as a collective whole over the 04 class.

4xSBChamps
08-30-2009, 07:24 PM
Marino was the best passer I've ever seen.

And as far as the thread topic is concerned, I still give the edge to the class of '83. Marino was the ONLY reason the '84 Dolphins got to SB XIX and Elway was the ONLY reason the Broncos went to the SB 3 times in 4 years in the late '80s. Sure, the class of '04 collectively may have more rings as of now, but Marino, Elway and Kelly combined started in TEN Super Bowls.

Marino never had 1/2 the talent that Eli had @ NYG while winning SB42, or 1/2 the talent that Roethlisberger has had his entire career with 'em Stillers:
for all the credit the media likes to blow up Shula's skirt about being a great coach, how could he have the most dangerous QB the League has ever seen, yet not draft or coach-up any type of

A - running-game, or

B - defense in those 10+ years?

:noidea:

These types of articles (the '04 QB class is better than the '83 QB class) is nothing-more than catering to today's younger fans, with no history of the game, and gives the talking-heads at ESPN something to yammer about until poker or cheerleading comes on

rich4eagle
08-30-2009, 07:29 PM
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/writers/don_banks/08/28/qbs/index.html

Best quarterback class ever? Trio from '04 makes its case over '83
Don Banks
INSIDE THE NFL

Eli Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, Philip Rivers have excelled in five seasons
John Elway, Dan Marino, Jim Kelly have long been the gold standard
The '04 quarterbacks already have more Super Bowl wins than the 1983 QBs

For years now, it has been accepted gospel within the NFL that the celebrated 1983 first-round quarterback draft class is the best in league history, and with the three Hall of Fame careers of John Elway, Dan Marino and Jim Kelly, how can anyone argue?

But this much is also now just as apparent: No crop of first-round quarterbacks has ever matched the start to the careers of the top three quarterbacks from the 2004 class: Eli Manning, Philip Rivers and Ben Roethlisberger, who were selected first, fourth and 11th that year.

Now five years into their pro careers, with all of them having moved beyond their rookie deals into lucrative second NFL contracts -- Rivers signing just this week a six-year, $93-million deal that includes $38 million guaranteed -- it's the perfect vantage point to assess just where the Big Three from 2004 stand so far in the scope of history.

A word of warning: Be prepared to be bowled over by their cumulative body of accomplishment, because that's exactly the reaction I got Thursday from Chargers general manager A.J. Smith, retired Giants general manager Ernie Accorsi, and Steelers director of football operations Kevin Colbert, the three men who drafted Manning, Rivers and Roethlisberger and know better than anyone how good they've been ever since.

"I knew they were all off to good starts, but to be honest you startled me with those facts,'' said Accorsi, who drafted Rivers at No. 4 that year, but of course traded him to San Diego on draft day for the rights to Manning, the No. 1 pick. "That's overwhelming. As a quarterback in the NFL, it's about winning. That's their job. And to hear those numbers, you can't refute this is the best start ever for a class. This is unprecedented. All those guys from 1983 were great players, but only one guy (Elway) won a Super Bowl. I'm not going to predict Hall of Fame, but they're on the road, these guys. It's quite a remarkable thing, when you figure they went No. 1, 4 and 11.''

Here's what had Accorsi, who is not one given to hyperbole, so effusive in his praise. In the first five years of their NFL careers, Manning, Rivers and Roethlisberger have accomplished the following:

They've won three of the five Super Bowls that have occurred since they entered the league, with Pittsburgh's Roethlisberger earning rings in 2005 and 2008, and New York's Manning in 2007. New England's Tom Brady (2004) and Indy's Peyton Manning (2006) have won the other two. The Class of 2004 is 3-0 in Super Bowl appearances so far.

In the seasons in which they have been their team's fulltime starting quarterback (the past three seasons for Rivers, the past four for Manning, and all five for Roethlisberger), they have combined to make the playoffs 11 out of a possible 12 times, and led their clubs to division titles eight out of a possible 12 times.

They've been to a combined three Super Bowls, five conference title games (with all three qualifying at least once), and are a gaudy 15-8 (.652) as starters in the playoffs. All three have made one Pro Bowl trip each.

Roethlisberger is 8-2 in the playoffs, and 51-20 (.718) as a starter in the regular season. Rivers is 3-3 in the post-season, and 33-15 (.688) in the three regular seasons since taking over for Drew Brees in San Diego. And Manning is 4-3 as a playoff quarterback, with a 42-29 record (.592) in the regular season. He and Rivers are a combined 7-of-7 in terms of taking teams to the playoffs as fulltime starters. Roethlisberger is four of five in that department, missing only when the Steelers went 8-8 in 2006.

"I don't know how you could expect that kind of production, because those are pretty astounding cumulative numbers,'' said Colbert, who said the Steelers never expected any of the Big Three quarterbacks would still be on the board at No. 11 in 2004. "Those numbers are kind of out there. From a success standpoint, you can definitely make the argument that's the best start ever. The great thing is they're all so young. Most great quarterbacks have best years in their later years. There are a lot of Hall of Fame quarterbacks who didn't have Hall of Fame starts.''

The Big Three from 1983 certainly had historic early career success, but it didn't match the bottom-line production of 2004's top three quarterbacks from a team standpoint. To wit:

Elway, Kelly and Marino combined to go to four Super Bowls in their first five seasons as NFL starters, but lost them all (keep in mind that Kelly played two seasons for Houston of the USFL, in 1984-85, and thus his first five NFL seasons were 1986-90). Elway was the top overall pick, Kelly was 14th to Buffalo, and Miami selected Marino 27th.
Posted: Friday August 28, 2009 11:04AM; Updated: Friday August 28, 2009 11:54AM

(The best of all of course is our own Big Ben. - mesa)

Great post. Ben and Rivers have earned their stars with performance. Eli, may be just a guy who had one remarkable finish to an ordinary year:tt:

St33lersguy
08-30-2009, 09:01 PM
I think it's too early to decide. I certainly wouldn't put Eli in the elite class. His defense shutting down the cheatriots was the key to Manning's victory.

The_WARDen
08-31-2009, 07:57 AM
and with the three Hall of Fame careers of John Elway, Dan Marino and Jim Kelly

until there are 3 members of '04 in the hall, the '83 class gets the nod.

stb_steeler
09-01-2009, 02:39 AM
Hard to judge the 83 with 2004 class....2004 class has a ways to go yet.