Bulger or Warner?
Bulger or Warner?
Oh, whoops. Wrong lopsided poll.
It has to be Bulger. Fitter, stronger, younger, better supporting cast, better OL, arguably. And not in competition with our good friend Beerbong Leinart.
I know that HUbison posted a detailed defence of Bulger in the "Franchise choice" thread the other day, but Warner showed last season what he can still do with a healthy line to protect him. I'm not as sold on Bulger as many here seem to be (as I said in that thread, Marc is a solid QB but nothing special) and I'd love to see Warner back here for a year or two while we draft and groom a new QB for the next generation.
I think he's just trying to keep the thread from being derailed.
I'd still take Bulger not least because we don't have a different quarterback-in-training for the future. In my opinion, a guy like Jon Kitna, Byron Leftwich (when healthy),or Jake Delhomme is what I'd qualify as "solid". I think Bulger is better than that. Bulger is not Warner in his prime, but Warner hasn't been Warner in his prime since about 2001. Few quarterbacks ever achieve that level.
In my opinion, Bulger is still a top 10 guy but not exactly on track for the Hall of Fame at the moment. This last season was an anomaly, as Bulger did not display his usually impressive precision. His arm strength might not be considered a true strong suit, but neither is it prohibitive. He has proven accurate at short, medium, and long passing routes. In fact, this team used to be known for using a higher-than-average number of intermediate and deep routes back in the Martz days. He has a quick release and traditionally has made good decisions--again 2007 was uncharacteristically bad in that department.
It always surprises me how easy some folks on this board seem to think it is to find a star quarterback. The question here might as well be: Would you rather bank on the future success of Bulger as a quarterback or roll the dice on just any other quarterback coming out of the college ranks?
This is a coin flip for me with all the different variables and uncertainties, but Warner in the last 8 games of 2007 when he got into a groove as the starter for Arizona looked like Warner in his prime IMO. Extrapolate his numbers in those 8 games to a full season and it more than stacks up to what he did when he was a perennial MVP.
Last 8 Games of 2007:
199 of 309 for 2362 yards, 64% comp pct, 21 TD's, 12 INT's, 95.5 rating
Of course, it isn't essential to have a great QB and having one is no guarantee of success (how many Superbowls did Miami win with Marino?) but having one can make the difference. Given that there are some very interesting QB prospects in line for the 2009 Draft (as well as the obvious ones, like Tebow and Stafford, there are potential talents such as Longshore and Painter bubbling under), it could be that we draft a QB prospect next year.
If that's the case, my answer to your closing question is that I'd prefer to take a chance on one of the 2009 class becoming a better quarterback than Bulger; ideally, I'd have Kurt back to mentor our new prospect, too.
My biggest problem with Bulger is he's good at moving the ball, but not the score. Between the 20's he's top shelf. In the red zone he's mediocre at best.
2007 - 64.7 Comp % / 9 TD's / 2 INT's / 88.8 Rating
2006 - 59.5 Comp % / 21 TD's / 0 INT's / 108.1 Rating
2005 - 63.6 Comp % / 19 TD's / 6 INT's / 114.1 Rating
The rest of his career red zone numbers are just as impressive and can be found in his NFL.com player profile situational stats.
Some interesting and useful stats there, r8rh8rmike. I agree that some people tend to be too derisory about Bulger's perceived lack of effectiveness in the red zone and those figures prove that he does well there. However, my concerns about him are centred more on his leadership abilities and his mental toughness when it's "backs to the wall" time.
Getting back to the main topic of this thread, it's interesting to note that Warner's red zone figures last year read:
58.3% pass completion, 20 TDs, 1 int, 98.3 QB rating
Compare that with Bulger's