Who he is: We’ve already examined the coaching side of #3 but let me introduce to you the more important version.
What he does: He strong-arms lasers past the faces of former many-star recruits at more prestigious universities. And he does with a self-awareness (have you not seen this picture?) that one of his former organization-mates (ARod) and the golfer he aspires to be (Tiger) could learn from.
Where he fits in: He means everything to this team in this season for these next four months. He is a future professional quarterback biding his time in a system which, if we’re being honest, nobody really knows what to expect from. But we do know what to expect from Weeden behind center (though I’d prefer Gundy not literally put him behind center…remember Troy?). Care for a list of the last seven QBs to win the title?
2010: Cam Newton
2009: Greg McElroy
2008: Tim Tebow
2007: Matt Flynn
2006: Chris Leak (and Tebow)
2005: Vince Young
2004: Matt Leinart
What did all these dudes have in common (throw out Flynn for the sake of the argument)? They had it on the college level. That doesn’t always translate professionally but the intangible greatness of this gene in the NCAA is nothing short of the inverse of Ron Powlus. Weeden has it (you saw that Colorado game, right?). He’s got the moxie and the cannon for a right arm to back it up.
Why he matters: Some of you are probably all up in arms over the fact that I have him number one over Blackmon. Here’s why: this list was, by definition, created to see who the most important people in the organization, not necessarily the best. Think of it this way, if OSU loses Justin Blackmon that sucks, right? They’d be running two white guys in their four or five man WR rotation and none of us would be able to even watch the games. But they could cope, they could probably go 9-3 or 8-4 and survive. If they lost Weeden though, that would be completely devastating. 7-5 might be out of reach. In fact, I want him to go Peyton Manning on us and just act like he’s been shot when a defensive lineman gets within eight yards of him. Just go to the ground and play dead.
Clint Chelf probably wants that too.
That’s all for our top 20 people of 2011 list. Let me know in the comments what you liked and didn’t like about it, what you agreed with, when you thought I was an idiot. And be sure to check out the full list here.