As the offseason begins, Gang Green Nation will take a look at potential ways to improve the club. Today we will explore starting Brett Ratliff at quarterback.
Profile: Ratliff began his college career at Butte College, where he succeeded Aaron Rodgers. He set the school's career passing touchdown record. He transferred to Utah, where he took over as starting quarterback late in 2005 and led the Utes to a pair of victories. He finished his career at Utah with 23 touchdowns against 9 interception playing in the spread formation. The Jets signed him as an undrafted free agent in 2007, and he spent most of the year on the Practice Squad. He reportedly impressed the coaching staff in camp in 2008 and had a big preseason. He had a pair of memorable 70 yard touchdown passes to David Clowney against the Browns. Ratliff pushed Kellen Clemens and almost won the backup job.
Why It Makes Sense: Ratliff is untapped potential. His physical tools are excellent. Even though he was not heavily recruited in college or sought in the NFL, he has succeeded everywhere he has been. Talented guys fall through the cracks all the time. The potential is there for Ratliff to be a high level player. Perhaps he is the next Tony Romo.
Odds of Happening: Jets fans are very high on Ratliff because of the preseason he had, but they would be wise to remember that it is only preseason. Kellen Clemens got the same kind of hype in 2007, but that did not translate to the regular season. It is one thing to succeed against base defenses comprised of second and third stringers. It is another to have success against complicated defenses and the best athletes in the world, especially for a guy who played his career in a gimmicky spread system and never had to make pro reads. A lot of guys have an NFL skill set like Brett and never pan out. He has the potential, but losing the backup job to a struggling Clemens is not confidence-inspiring. If Brian Schottenheimer can develop him into an above average starter, the offensive coordinator will probably have a head job in the near future.