Elway was a great QB but stinks at scouting them

Judging quarterbacks is one of the toughest jobs in sports.

It’s so difficult that even John Elway can’t seem to get the hang of it.

A first-ballot Hall of Famer who took the Broncos to five Super Bowls and won the last two, Elway would seem to know a good quarterback when he sees one.

The evidence, though, is that the Denver Broncos boss makes just as many mistakes as scouts who never played the position.

Just look at his record in trying to find a quarterback to replace Peyton Manning.

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When will the NFL realize the Kaepernick issue isn’t going away?

Most of my younger readers have probably never heard of Frank Serpico.

He was a New York City police officer whose campaign against police corruption was chronicled in the 1973 movie “Serpico.’’ He was played by Al Pacino. It’s a very good movie, by the way.

Anyway, it turns out Serpico is now 81 and still an idealist.

He turned out at a rally Saturday of about 75 mostly minority police officers who gathered in Brooklyn wearing black shirts reading “imwithkap.’’

Kap, of course, is Colin Kaepernick, the quarterback who remains unsigned after refusing to stand for the national anthem last year.

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Despite the rhetoric, don’t count on an NFL lockout or strike

The saber-rattling between the NFLPA and NFL has already started, even though the current labor deal runs until 2020.

Some players have already starting tweeting about their salaries not matching NBA salaries.

And NFLPA head De Smith told The MMQB that a lockout or strike is a virtual certainty in 2021.

The rhetoric, though, doesn’t match the reality.

I doubt there will be a lockout or strike.

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Bortles’ garbage-time stats are another damning indictment

“Blake Bortles is the Tom Brady of Garbage Time,’’ blared the headline on the fivethirtyeight.com website.

The site is noted for crunching the numbers on political issues, but also covers sports. And Michael Salvino studied the numbers on Blake Bortles, the fourth-year Jaguars quarterback, for the past two seasons.

It turns out he was the best quarterback in the league in garbage time the past two years. Garbage time is defined on being down by nine or more points with four minutes or fewer left.

There has been a perception that Bortles tends to put up meaningless numbers in garbage time and Salvino’s research shows it is true.

Bortles completed 78 of 118 passes for 964 yards and 12 touchdowns and just four picks with a passer rating of 111 in garbage time. Tom Brady, who barely even knows what garbage time in a loss feels like, had a 112 passer rating for the season last year.

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As the only team with a quality (healthy) QB, Titans sitting pretty in AFC South

It’s usually not noteworthy when a quarterback completes two of three passes for 15 yards and runs for six yards in the first preseason game.

But it was significant for the Tennessee Titans and the AFC South when Marcus Mariota made his preseason debut against the New York Jets last week.

That’s because Mariota showed no ill effects of the broken leg he suffered at the end of last year and appeared to be able to run the same way before he was injured. And being able to run is a huge part of Mariota’s game.

On the first play, he rolled right on a run fake and dodged defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson, who got in his face.

“Instincts just kind of took over,’’ Mariota said after the game. “You just kind of play the game you’ve always been playing.’’

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Fournette makes rookie mistake judging NFL on one preseason game

Jaguars rookie running back Leonard Fournette got a lot of attention in New England on Thursday night in his preseason debut again the Patriots.

Not so much for what he did during the game, but what he said after it.

Fournette is noted for having a lot of confidence, and he certainly showed it after he gained 31 yards in nine carries and a touchdown in the Jaguars’ eventual 31-24 victory.

“It’s a lot slower than I really thought,” Fournette told NFL.com after the game. “That’s how I’ve been since I first got into the NFL. A lot of people were like, ‘It’s going to be fast.’ But by me playing in the SEC, that kind of helped me a lot. I think, to me, it was really easy.”

Naturally, he said he could match what Ezekiel Elliott did in his rookie season for Dallas last year. Elliott rushed for 1631 yards, the third-most ever for a rookie running back.

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Fitzgerald just biding time before his inevitable Hall of Fame date

When the Arizona Cardinals played in the Hall of Fame game in Canton a week ago, it was a special moment for wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald.

At age 33 as he begins his 14th season in the NFL, Fitzgerald has already punched his ticket to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

This past weekend won’t be his last visit.

Fitzgerald already is third all-time in catches with 1,125 and ninth in yards with 14,389, so there won’t be much debate about his qualifications.

His induction will likely happen five years after he retires because he figures to be a first-ballot selection.

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