Moses: the role of the veteran QB
This week marks the beginning of a new book- the final one in fact, of the five books of Moses. It’s name “Dvarim” is taken from the first phrase uttered in the book: Eilu Hadvarim- These are the words or “things”. Moses recaps a long journey with his family throughout the dessert land as he begins to embark on his farewell tour. Moses never did get to the Promised Land. He died at the mountain top, viewing his dreams from afar. It’s tough for any individual to be told, “hey! You did a great job doing all the work, but we’re going with the young gun to lead us to the promised land!” How does Moses respond? Can he be a mentor to Joshua?
The same questions arise from this past week’s barrage of free agent signings and trades in the NFL. Three teams stick out as undergoing major facelifts at the quarterback position- the Minnesota Vikings, Tennessee Titans, and Jacksonville Jaguars. While the Jaguars have been able to ponder the dynamics of their quarterback duo over the past few months (one can contemplate even during the lockout), the Vikings and Titans signed veteran quarterbacks this week- Donovan Mcnabb in Minnesota, Matt Hasselback in Tennessee. Both men have started Superbowls, but both are being asked to be mentors to Christian Ponder and Jake Locker. This is always a dicey predicament- what happens when the veteran charged with the task of leading a squad for one or two years happens to lead them to the promised land (see Kurt Warner)? Do you give up on the young talent? These men are asked to play for mediocre teams without line protection when, ironically, their speed has left them long ago.
Once in awhile, we encounter a scenario like the one in Green Bay- a veteran qb (Brett Favre) who held back another future star (Aaron Rodgers) from leading his team to the promised land. It’s important to recognize the power and wisdom of “upper management” – to realize that leading an NFL franchise is a gift, a privilege. Hopefully, teams like Jacksonville, Minnesota, and Tennessee will find their veteran qbs to be strong role models, knowing that that when the time comes to hand over the team, they will do so gracefully and graciously.