Too many close games, too many mistakes.
There’s a number of factors people can point to for the disappointing season: The Horned Frogs were just 1-6 in one-score games. They went through the expected growing pains of starting a true freshman quarterback in Max Duggan.
And, the team battled injuries, including one of those NFL talents — right tackle Lucas Niang — missing the final five games. Duggan also battled a finger injury the final four games.
The list goes on, but Patterson isn’t big on excuses. However, he acknowledged the challenges of winning at this level with an inexperienced quarterback.
“You look across the nation, look at who played with a true freshman quarterback, who had a great year? If they did, congratulations to them,” Patterson said. “From our standpoint, we’re disappointed. (In six of the seven losses), we had a chance to come down and score to tie or win. At the end of the day, we didn’t.
I really hope he lands with a real franchise.
Dalton, a second-round draft pick by the Bengals in 2011, leaves the Bengals as the franchise’s all-time leader in passing touchdowns (204), fourth quarter comebacks (20) and game-winning drive (24). He’s second in passing yards (31,594).
Dalton was selected to three Pro Bowls and carried the Bengals to five playoff berths. He’s in an exclusive group of quarterbacks who have thrown for 30,000 yards passing, 200 TDs and won 70 games since 2011, along with Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Matt Ryan and Ben Roethlisberger.
But the organization is readying for a new era after drafting LSU’s Joe Burrow with the top overall pick last week.
GP is defending Duggan, as he should.
He’s super-excited about the prospects of improved quarterback play after the growing pains freshman Max Duggan endured last fall in a 15-touchdown, 10-interception season with a poor 53% accuracy, and he insists he looks at that process differently than most outsiders.
He reminds that “everybody wanted us to get rid of Andy Dalton after we went 8-5 (in 2007), and then he went 36-3 after that” and beat Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl. Same for Trevone Boykin, who floundered before pacing the Frogs to a pair of top-10 finishes and 12-1 and 11-2 records in 2014 and 2015.
Patterson said he has always been wedded to a two-year process for the development of quarterbacks. But he was particularly peeved when ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit and other pundits harshly panned Duggan’s performances. Some others have suggested wide receiver Jalen Reagor — one of five Horned Frogs drafted by NFL teams last week and one of an impressive 10 that will be in NFL camps — was hurt by poor quarterback play.
Miller and his co-hosts, Adam Lefkoe - an Eagles fan - and Connor Rogers, were baffled by the Eagles picking Reagor over Jefferson. Rogers gave the move a C+ grade, and Miller gave the move a C- minus grade.
NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Andrew Kulp also gave the Reagor pick a C-:
The pick simply comes off as the Eagles missing out on an opportunity to trade up and land a superior prospect, or passing on more of a known quantity. It’s even fair to ask how much better Reagor is than the receivers who might’ve been around in Round 2.
Roseman, of course, explained his decision on Thursday night, shortly after making the pick:
Jalen fits something we were really looking for. An exposive guy, ability to contribute as a runner and as a returner, the ability to be explosive with the ball in his hands. These were all things we were looking for and things coach really wanted to stress.
It’s possible Reagor turns into a reliable weapon for Carson Wentz, but early returns aren’t overwhelmingly positive.