Monday, November 10, 2008

Kerry Collins is not Trent Dilfer 2.0

Posted By on Mon, Nov 10, 2008 at 7:02 AM

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So different yet so alike. And both, obviously, milk lovers. Up until yesterday, it still might have been safe to assume that Kerry Collins was nothing more than Trent Dilfer 2.0. Remember Dilfer? Back in 2000, while with the Baltimore Ravens, Dilfer, like Collins, was a backup. When the Ravens failed to score an offensive touchdown for four straight games, Dilfer was handed the keys. A veteran without a terribly strong arm, he personified the back-handed compliment given to QBs of his ilk: a game-manager. Despite that, and thanks to one of the best defenses of all time, Dilfer and the Ravens won the Super Bowl, beating Collins and the New York Giants. Until yesterday's game against the Chicago Bears, Collins looked like Dilfer's spiritual heir: the stopgap made good in spite of his obvious limitations: advanced age and lack of mobility. In eight games, Collins had yet to throw for 200 yards. This was largely by design. With arguably the league's best offensive line, two solid running backs and a coach who worships the ground game, thus far this year Collins had never been asked to do much more than not turn the ball over. But now this... 41 pass attempts. Nearly 300 yards. And best of all: no picks. The Bears stacked the line, dared Collins to beat them and he did. Not that this should come as a surprise. Collins was never Dilfer precisely because Collins possesses qualities that either aren't going to go away or are receding slowly. He can still see over the line. He can still throw the eight-yard out. He can still be the guy who wins the game. Now after this year, all bets are off. The Titans are wisely sticking by the idea that Vince Young is their quarterback of the future. And with Collins closer to 40 than 30, eligible for a new contract and already lobbying for a starting gig next year (no matter where he may be), that's no doubt the right decision. For right now, though, Collins is deservedly The Man. The guy who, now that he's proven himself as more than a game manager, could lead the Titans back to the Super Bowl. No, he's not his doppelganger. But the Dilfer comparison could benefit Collins, and Titans' fans, assuming their seasons ended the same way.

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