Q. In Dr. D's world, how much does it matter that Whitehurst had 2 weeks to prepare?
A. Very little.
Game timing is just different, my friends. There is no way to convey that, if you haven't competed against top-flight opponents at game speed.
(Not that Dr. D is Mr. Athlete; he isn't. But, whether it's aikido randori, tourney chess, or 3-on-3 basketball ... two months off and I need all kinds of time to get quick again.)
You can't practice for that kind of speed. Michael Jordan played 9 years in the NBA, took one year off, and needed at least a month of game action to "see" the action again.
Take two weeks to prepare or two years? You're still going to need X amount of full-bore game action to be able to see.
Tarvaris Jackson looked awful for what, 2.5 games, and then the game kind of slowed down for him. Should Whitehurst get to his 3rd, 4th game then you will see the game slow down for him too.
Q. Is it possible that Whitehurst just can't see the field?
A. Sure it is.
To me, he clicks through his receivers better than Jackson does, even now, three starts against 20, or whatever. But I could be wrong.
Q. Your take on that brutal pick down the left side of the field?
A. By that time, Whitehurst was badly "on tilt." Expecting to be hit quickly, expecting not to be able to execute a normal play, just throwing the ball and hoping for something good to happen.
Most NFL quarterbacks would have been on tilt by that point, including some good ones.
True, Tom Brady would have stayed in flow, had 3.5 lousy quarters, and then come back to engineer the drive that beat the Cowboys. But Tom Brady isn't the minimum acceptable standard.
Q. C'mon. You're just refusing to state the obvious.
A. You remember when Bill Bavasi brought Shin-Soo Choo up, asked Mike Hargrove to try him in CF, and Choo made one error. Hargrove yanked him and never gave Choo another serious chance.
I am talking one error. Literally one. Hargrove calmly explained to the press that this demonstrated that his instincts about Choo had been right.
All my life, I have bitterly hated knee-jerk reactions. Think first. Act later. Today's media lynchings are different from 1860's back-field lynchings only in manifestation, not in spirit. Okay, simmer down now, Dr. D.
Whitehurst may be lousy. But that game wouldn't prove it, now would it? Get some information. Then talk. Unless your radio ratings are down, I guess.