News and Views (QB edition): Falcons’ hole, Schaub’s piehole

Here is D.J. Shockley (left) preparing to knock the ball out of Chris Redman's hand. Kidding. Sort of. (Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com)

It struck me the other day when rumors began circulating that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers may dump quarterback Luke McCown – whom they just gave a $2.5 million signing bonus to — about how comforting it is that the Falcons’ QB situation is set. And then I thought: Wait a minute: Is it really? . . .

NEWS: No. 3 (or 2 or 4) quarterback D.J. Shockley struggles in his second exhibition game against St. Louis, possibly sealing his fate on the roster.

WHY SHOULD YOU CARE: Because if Matt Ryan were to go down, this team does nothing without a decent safety net.

VIEWS: No. 2 (or 3, or 4) QB Chris Redman will play significant snaps Saturday against San Diego. If he plays well, the primary roster decision likely will be put to rest. Redman will be Ryan’s backup, and whatever happens to Shockley and John Parker Wilson happens. But folks, this isn’t necessarily good news. Shockley has the most talent. Redman played in seven NFL games in 2007, but’s that’s only because after the Michael Vick mess the Falcons were scrambling for bodies. (Note: Joey Harrington and Byron Leftwich also played that season — and they’re gone). Prior to that, Redman hadn’t played since 2003 and he was selling insurance in Louisville when Bobby Petrino signed him. (And there’s another reason not to feel great about Redman — Petrino’s the one who brought him in.) Bucs coach Raheem Morris is not denying that the team will trade McCown, Josh Johnson or Leftwich (who landed in Tampa). I’m not suggesting the Falcons need to get one of those guys. But I’m just not feeling Redman as the answer.

This guy hasn't done enough yet to rip Michael Vick.

This guy hasn't done enough yet to rip Michael Vick. (AJC photo)

NEWS: Matt Schaub rips Vick.

WHY SHOULD YOU CARE: Only because so many fans here were under the impression that Schaub was the next NFL superstar.

VIEWS: When Vick admitted publicly on a recent “60 Minutes” interview what everybody on or close to the Falcons already knew — that he had weak work habits — I actually thought it was a good sign. Admitting failures is the first step to correcting them. But I was surprised to hear Schaub, Vick’s former backup, take a shot at him. Nothing Schaub said on Dan Patrick’s radio show was overly inflammatory. The strongest comment probably pertained to Schaub, saying he tried to get Vick to stay longer at practice and study more video, adding, “You can only say so much to someone until a light clicks in their brain.” My issue is with Schaub. To me, if Dan Reeves or Rich McKay or anybody in the locker room with a decent resume says something, that’s fine.  But Schaub hasn’t done bupkis in his two years as a starter with Houston. He has been injury prone, and, when healthy, fairly average at times. When Schaub has done enough in his career to build a platform, then he is free to jump on it.

109 comments Add your comment

KC

August 27th, 2009
11:11 am

Shaub was always overrated IMO. The only thing I remember him for is being another sign of the large racial divide in the region. Many people rooted for him because he wasn’t Mike Vick.

On his comments, they were correct. Mike’s “Light” had to come on eventually. It is unfortunate that it took so much bad to happen to him before he realized it. When you are built up as Superman your entire life, it may take an abnormally large piece of crypontite to bring you down to earth again. I think the light has come on and I still believe that Vick will win a Superbowl. Maybe that is the Mike Vick fan in me talking/typing.

william

August 27th, 2009
11:13 am

Jeff i apologize, i did not realise you were a member of vicks media promotion team. You are doing a fine job of promoting a dog killer. Keep it up!

honest_abe

August 27th, 2009
11:18 am

didn’t you know you had to have 4 super bowl rings to be qualified to say that someone needs a better work ethic if they’re the starting qb.

bottom line is not whether or not schaub has blossomed into a hof qb but rather that vick never showed the dedication it takes to become a star in this league.

C. Tampa Ironworse

August 27th, 2009
11:24 am

Under the “why should you care” portion of this article is should read…you shouldn’t. Why, oh why do we keep getting Vick stories? He’s polarizing, he’s ATL’s past super sports figure, he’s a hot selling story, blah, blah, blah. PLEASE…we don’t care. Maybe I’m wrong. I know it sells and money/net traffic is the bottom line now and not actual news/commentary…but come on, JS. You’re a good writer and I’ve read great article about the Thrashers, Hawks, golf and even pop culture. Let’s move on for Pete’s sake. Unless you’re one of those “Vick still be my man” people…we just don’t care anymore.

C. Tampa Ironworse

August 27th, 2009
11:25 am

MightyQuinn

August 27th, 2009
11:33 am

A serious and I hope non-inflammatory question: Has Dan Reeves had anything to say on the record about Vick recently, and if so, what? Or McKay? Good column, Jeff. But when Vick went away, who would you rather have had at QB, Herrington Redman or Schaub? I mean that as a non-rhetorical question with no sarcasm, I would like to know what you think.

JSS

August 27th, 2009
11:40 am

PSSST, your earlier blog my need some tending… :-( Ha ha ha ha…. The veal or the beef, how does one decide? Night Jeff

midnite

August 27th, 2009
11:42 am

The blind Vick supporters used to call Schaub a thug. The reason-because Schaub got into a bar room brawl in college. Schaub actually looked fairly good in his first few games for the Texans.

Redman did step up when given the chance in 2007. I like Shockley however, the safest way to go is with experience. That being said-Redman is your #2 QB.

Russ

August 27th, 2009
11:56 am

Vick probably never wanted to study film with the Falcons because he was so sick of all the studying he did as a scholar/athlete at Virginia Tech.

Jeff Schultz

August 27th, 2009
11:58 am

Mighty Quinn — Reeves has been interviewed several times about Vick. Not McKay. Falcons pretty much aren’t talking about him, and you can understand why. He’s not their player anymore.

Tim

August 27th, 2009
11:59 am

I don’t really care about Schaub….or Vick for that matter. Once you take off the Falcon’s uniform, I’m done with you. I would like to say that Vick and Schaub are non-stories, but here I am commenting on them. I guess anything involving Vick will always be a story in the ATL.

Navigator

August 27th, 2009
12:00 pm

The only issue I have with this mess is the summation of Schaub’s career, post Atlanta. The officials there are saying he is one the critical additions that has changed the direction of the franchise. I don’t mind kicking butts, Vick’s problems all started with his attitude toward a lot of things in his life. I have no idea what the coaching staff said about Vick’s habits, and I think Schaub was wrong to fall in the trap of saying something the sports muckrackers (Dan Patrick). Some things are better left unsaid.

Davan S. Mani

August 27th, 2009
12:03 pm

Matt Schaub and Michael Vick are two examples of that football is a mind and body game. You have to have both are you will get out of the league quick. Matt doesn’t hit weight room hard enough. Mike doesn’t hit the film room hard enough. I wish one would try to learn from one another (sounds like James Ingram’s “Just Once” LOL).

Jeff Schultz

August 27th, 2009
12:17 pm

Navigator — agreed. But I certainly wouldn’t refer to Schaub as a critical addition yet. Andre Johnson and Mario Williams — I’d put them in the critical category.

Davan — Sing it!

fred dre

August 27th, 2009
12:24 pm

well said navigator.

Boom Dizzle

August 27th, 2009
12:25 pm

Jeff, I usually……Ok HARDLY EVER agree with you….but on these two topics I actually do. While I’m ok with Redman being number 2, I’m hoping that we are looking to see if something better happens to come along that wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. I was really hoping that Shockley would’ve taken the job from him this preseason…..

As for Mr Schuab, how is it that a guy who has been injury prone, average when he has been and probably should’ve lost his job to Sage last year talking about Vick’s (or for that matter ANYBODY’s work habits)……unbelievable

Greg

August 27th, 2009
12:26 pm

Jeff, I think exactly the same thing about the q-back situation. We need a better back-up. WE NEED A BETTER BACK-UP!!! Let’s be honest. McCown is in a different league than our current back-ups. I remember the Saints game he threw for over 300 yards a couple years ago (when Garcia had gotten hurt). Potentially a very good quarterback.

mountain_jim

August 27th, 2009
12:28 pm

The Schaub trade was McKay’s finest hour. Got 2 seconds AND moved up in the draft. Was it DE Anderson he moved up for? Oh well, and apparently drafted him without ever working him out. Thank God McKay does not make the draft decisions anymore….

pritdapit

August 27th, 2009
12:33 pm

i,m so sick of reading about vick

we dont care about vick so let him go jeff

August 27th, 2009
12:34 pm

jeff vick is garbage just like you. guess thats why you enjoy writing about him o so much!!!!

Torrie

August 27th, 2009
12:36 pm

Here we go again…you’re really starting to scare me with your Vick man crush. As for Schaub, where in Schaub’s statements does he rip Vick? It’s not a backup QBs job to push Vick to do more. As a matter of fact, do you really put that on the backup or do you look at the coaches and hold them more accountable. Come on Jeff really man come on. You must be interviewing for another job with these lame duck columns!

DawgNDallas

August 27th, 2009
12:38 pm

Jeff — Perhaps you have your rake out and want to rake a little muck…just a tad? Doesn’t seem like that big a deal. Schaub was just trying to help a teammate. Whether he was ultimately the best guy to be doing it is debatable, but it looks to me as if Schaub’s intentions were honorable.

Bubba

August 27th, 2009
12:40 pm

Hey Jeff, why the beef with Schaub? A guy who plays the game and had firsthand knowledge of the topic has no basis on which to render an opinion, but a journalist who doesn’t play the game has a valid opinion?! And I thought the crap coming from the Capitol was fetid….

DUFFERDAWG

August 27th, 2009
12:42 pm

Schultz, you don’t have to be talented or gifted to have an opinion…you can verify this by looking in a mirror !
I truly don’t understand your rationale as to why Schaub doesn’t have a right to rip a former lazy teammate. It should be expected that everyone regardless of talent, put in the same amount of effort for the good of the team. If you don’t, then you are fair game for anyone to ridicule…

Mark Olsen

August 27th, 2009
12:45 pm

I wouldn’t say he “ripped” Vick.

Bushwacker

August 27th, 2009
12:46 pm

Hopefully the FALCONS mgmt is smart enough to not judge DJ on 1 bad outing.
He is talented, loyal and a good guy who will start in this league some day for some one.

And if Ryan were to go down, at least DJ would fill the dome with fans!!!

Crowler

August 27th, 2009
12:48 pm

I am surprised that it has taken Schaub 7 years to RIP VICK. Vick was the guy who ruined what would have been Schaub’s Hall of Fame Career. Schaub is ten times a better quarterback than Brett Farve was and Schaub was denied what was to be one of the greatest quarterbacks of our generation. Schaub had better tools to work with than Dan Marino. Schaub had to wait patiently holding a clipboard when he should have been starting at quarterback and piling up statistics for seven years. Schaubs career was ruined because of Mike Vick and managements inability to identify Schaub as a future hall of famer. If Brett Farve will make the hall of fame, Schaub would have been a no-brainer for the hall of fame, had Schaub gotten the playing time that he deserved. But Arthur Blank offered Vick a pile of money ($250 million), which forced Schaub to the bench. Schaub pretty much had to hit the deck (bench) after the bank was broken for Mike Vick. The Falcons were committed to Vick and couldnt turn back at that point because of all the money that was thrown at Vick. Schaub knew Vick was uncommitted but never told management about it. I knew Vick was not dedicated because he would show up in games unprepared and abysmal at throwing the football. I hope Schaub writes a book about how he was robbed out of a hall of fame career by Mike Vick.

doc

August 27th, 2009
12:48 pm

sportswriters reported vick’s poor habits so someone in the know isnt able to say what was obvious to the world. come on jeff, low on possible material today necessitates a shot at schaub to meet your writing quota for the day? you are better than that. so what who said it and when at least someone has finally called it for what it was. sad thing is the falcons loaded up the brinks truck knowing it was right in front of their faces. isnt that who you should be ridiculing?

athensdawg

August 27th, 2009
12:51 pm

schaub has issues and he is taking them out on everyone’s favorite victim, mike vick. I will attribute it to schaub’s frustrations at going from mr. all acc everything to a mediocre NFL quarterback.
you know, the old “I’m pretty bad, but at least I’m not as bad as the next guy.”

long time falcon

August 27th, 2009
12:52 pm

Honest Abe took the words right out of my mouth. Regardless of what Shaub has done as QB, he had an up and close personal view of Vick’s work habits. Who knows the truth about vick’s work ethic more than shaub, his primary backup? I’m glad Shaub elaborated on the issue because as a long time falcon fan who has spent money on this team I want to know the truth.

jordan

August 27th, 2009
12:55 pm

I’m fine with Schaub’s statements. He was there. He has personal knowledge as to the matter. He should be allowed to give his opinion, which is what he was doing. And just because he’s not a superstar doesn’t mean he can’t recognize that it takes hard work and long hours to be a superstar. And he’s certainly not the first non-star to make similar comments about Vick, which probably means the statements are true. So why dog him for that??

Chea

August 27th, 2009
12:56 pm

Vick isn’t somebody who’s always been able to articulate exactly what he’s thinking, so I’d like to propose that under Jim Mora’s coaching staff, Vick was more disillusioned than lazy. You don’t get to be as athletic as he is without some passion and ability to focus. It’s just hard to work at something when the people who should be guiding you are getting in your way, refusing to work out gameplans that maximized his strengths.

That being said, Matt’s right. It’s a good lesson to learn about trying to convince anyone of anything; you can only say so much until a light clicks. I wonder if someone like Lovie Smith would have been better at getting that switch to go off.

JayRoot

August 27th, 2009
12:58 pm

.

Hey Schultzie!!!

.

You don’t have to be successful to have an opinion on Sick Vick.

Take YOU … for instance?

.

Smoothie

August 27th, 2009
1:00 pm

Jeff, I’m pretty sure I recall Schauby torching our pathetic defense in his return to ATL for a September, 2007 game against the Texans. If I recall, he threw for over 300 yards. Not to mention he torched a pretty damn good NE defense in 2005 when subbing for Vick passing for nearly 300 and 3 scores. Too bad our pathetic D couldn’t stop them from prevailing late. I realize he hasn’t achieved much outside of ATL, but as someone who was in the lockeroom and in the film room with Vick, I think his opinion matters here. He witnessed Vick first-hand and as a starter in this league, I think he’s a bit more credible than you give him credit for.

Bird fan

August 27th, 2009
1:02 pm

Schaub may not have the talent Vick had but trashing the guy for saying he tried to give Vick some advice on a better work ethic is ridiculous. Although we wouldnt have Matt Rayan right now doesnt it seem like we would have been much better off giving the no talent Schaub (paraphrsing your article) that big contract instead of Vick?

slaugh

August 27th, 2009
1:02 pm

Mike vick is news, like it or not

washedup

August 27th, 2009
1:03 pm

All Matt Schaub said was that Vick could have been one of the all time greats if he had worked as hard as Manning or Brady. He certainly has the tools, without a doubt. The truth is, he didn’t have to work hard because he’s such a great athlete. .had his coaches done their job and called him out, he may have been the best ever. Schaub’s statements were correct. .and he certainly has a right to say them, especially when he was asked a direct question about Vick’s work habits.

tj

August 27th, 2009
1:03 pm

keep Shockley, Cut Redman!! Enough Said!

BrodyNelson

August 27th, 2009
1:08 pm

Washedup: Schaub is really modest if he said that Vick could have been one of the all time greats. I happen to know that Schaub would have been the BEST QUARTERBACK ever had he been named the starter his first season in Atlanta.

Garry Smyrna

August 27th, 2009
1:09 pm

What Schaub said was ripping him? I just think the truth hurts.If thats ripping someone we should all not be so thin skinned

PMC

August 27th, 2009
1:11 pm

Didn’t Matt Shaub get into a fight over a girl in some virginia bar and also have some alcohol related charges? I’m not sure he said anything that wasn’t true or that Vick didn’t admit… but Glass Houses… or rather Glass bodies and all….something something stones.

BatmanPritchard

August 27th, 2009
1:13 pm

I know what Schaub was upset about years ago. Schaub was saying to himself after Vick signed his $250 million deal, “Why are they paying so much money to a mediocre quarterback?” I am so much better than Mike Vick!

heckler

August 27th, 2009
1:13 pm

BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

YOU SUCK SCHULTZ!!!! THIS GARBAGE COLUMN IS NOTHING BUT A BUNCH OF LAZY JOURNALISM!!!!

BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

Jeff Schultz

August 27th, 2009
1:14 pm

A lot of Schaub defenders on here, and that’s fine. We’re all entitled to out own opinions. I just happen to think that, as a player, when you’ve done little to nothing in the league yourself, you shouldn’t be talking about somebody else. I would have far less of a problem is say, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning or Donovan McNabb had said something about Vick.

junebaby

August 27th, 2009
1:15 pm

always quick to defend the white guy……, you guys don’t fool anyone! the hate, hate for m. vick, and other black players will never go away, because it’s not rooted in football. matt shaub couldn’t beat mvick out as a falcon, nor was he the star some fans hoped he would be. he had more in houston to work with, than vick had in atlanta, but what has he done?? nothing at all! he should have been a pro-bowler by now, don’t u think? what about carson palmer, matt leinert? does their work effort lack?? brady quinn? brett favre’s, you know he only retires every year so he won’t have to go to training camp!

Be-little, BeBOLD

August 27th, 2009
1:16 pm

Jeff, you just like to play racial cards don’t you! Knowing the colors of the two quarterbacks in question, the “whitey” had no business asking the “African American” to stay longer and study more film to help the team! That is the key right there “TEAM” of which “whitey” was a member and he saw what the “African American” wasn’t doing for the TEAM. Now tell me you are not a RACIST Jeff . . . you knew when you wrote this piece of s-it what it would do for your “brothers.” Take up for your bloody brother at the expense of trying to make “whitey” the bad guy here . . . sorry I don’t buy your crap!

Jack

August 27th, 2009
1:17 pm

How is what schaub said “ripping” him. That was a lousy conclusion. He gave his opinion on vick which is true. This article is a joke and should be deleted.

MarkSilverstein

August 27th, 2009
1:17 pm

I realize that Schaub IS MEDIOCRE NOW. But seven years ago, Schaub had the most talent that I have ever seen in the league in over 60 years. Had Schaub been fortunate enough to land a starting job and had the chance to develop that talent, SCHAUB WOULD HAVE BEEN ONE OF THE GREATEST QUARTERBACKS IN NFL HISTORY. PERIOD.

Jeff Schultz

August 27th, 2009
1:18 pm

Boom Dizzle – Of course, I think you’re brilliant (you agreed with me).

Greg – I suppose the case could be made that if Ryan got hurt, the team is dead anyway. I’d just like to see somebody better than Redman.

DawgNDallas—I think “honorable” is a little bit too strong of a word there.

Mark – you’re right, “ripped” might’ve been too strong of a word, too. Critical would’ve been better.

Heckler – you rock. why don’t you start a wave?

Jeff Schultz

August 27th, 2009
1:20 pm

Mark Silverstein. “But seven years ago, Schaub had the most talent that I have ever seen in the league in over 60 years.” … Seriously. Was this sarcasm — it’s hard to tell in print.