Earlier this week, I asked readers to name the quarterback they least would like to take a hit from. The question was prompted after Tampa Bay’s Josh Freeman got fined $5,000 for a late hit on Atlanta cornerback Brent Grimes last week.
Here are some of the best answers that showed up in my mailbag, followed by my thoughts on the matter at the bottom.
Richard in New Orleans: I know he doesn't have the size, but I would not want to take a hit from Michael Vick. If he was going full speed and caught someone who wasn't ready for it, he could really lay someone out. Other than that, I would say Freeman and maybe David Garrard.
Jerry in Pensacola, Fla.: You're right Pat. I wouldn't want to take a shot from Freeman. He's a beast and can get running at full speed in a few steps. Matt Ryan could give a good hit, he has decent size. Drew Brees and that shoulder wouldn't go for a hit, and Jimmy Clausen, Tony Pike, Brian St. Pierre and Matt Moore are a revolving door of failure
Hunter in Austin, Texas: Tim Tebow tops the list of QBs that I don't want to hit me. David Garrard is also on this list somewhere. Good call on Freeman though.
Jack in Washington, D.C.: Taking a different approach I would like to look at the most embarrassing QBs to be hit by: Peyton Manning, Doug Flutie, Brett Favre of today, Eli Manning (just because he constantly looks confused), Jay Cutler (because he would look all smug afterwards since, after all, he is the most important player in the world, at least I'm pretty sure that's how he thinks), and maybe Ryan Fitzpatrick.
My take: Good stuff all the way around and I particularly got a good laugh out of Jack’s different approach on QBs that would be the most embarrassing to take a hit from. I thought purely in terms of size when I wrote the first post and Freeman was mentioned because he’s bigger than a lot of linebackers. I definitely wouldn’t want to take a hit from Freeman, especially if he has any sort of running start.
Speaking of Lorenzen, if he were still playing, I’d take my chances. Yes, he’s huge. But, even at my advanced age and with a left knee that’s going to need cleanup after the season, I think I could still outrun him. Guys like Matt Ryan, Drew Brees and Jimmy Clausen … well, I wouldn’t particularly want to get hit by either one because they’re younger and in much better shape than I am. But, as far as size, I’m just slightly smaller than Ryan, reasonably bigger than Clausen and definitely bigger than Brees. I might be hurting a bit, but I think I’d at least be able to get up after taking a hit from them -- after an hour or so.
Now, the guys that readers brought up that I really wouldn’t want to take a hit from are Vick, Tebow and Garrard. Maybe even Derek Anderson because Jamie is right about his recent demeanor. But let’s stick with Vick, Tebow and Garrard. Vick isn’t huge, but he’s one of the best athletes on the planet. If he had wanted to, he probably could have been a top-notch defensive back. Give him a few steps and he’s going to be able to run down and put a nice hit on anybody.
Tebow, well, going back to before the draft, I said the guy should be a linebacker, tight end, fullback or H-back. I still think that. He doesn’t have Freeman’s size, but he’s athletic and strong. Garrard’s the surprise guy on this list, in my eyes. Once I saw several people mention him and thought about it, I had to agree. Garrard’s not particularly tall, but the guy is solidly built and he could put a hurting on somebody.