Our friend Mike Sando at ESPN spoke with 35 different NFL coaches and executives to hear their thoughts on starting quarterbacks across the league. Sando asked these individuals to rank quarterbacks in different tiers: first tier meaning they're the best, second tier meaning the quarterback is really good, all the way to the fifth tier, which means Geno Smith (who ranked dead last).
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady ranked number one. He was unanimously in the first tier. This is the second consecutive season he's been ranked number one.
Okay, he tied with Aaron Rodgers as the only two unanimous first tier quarterbacks. And Sando gave Rodgers "top billing" because a lot of the personnel folks noted that Rodgers was on another planet with regards to individual performance.
But the Patriots managed to beat the Seahawks last season, so I'm sure Brady doesn't mind.
Andrew Luck placed third behind Rodgers and Brady, with Ben Roethlisberger, Peyton Manning, and Drew Brees rounding out the first tier (in that order). Brees was one voter away from falling to the second tier, and another voter gave Peyton "the lowest [tier 1 vote] that there is."
Sando highlights that Brady's played with 25 different starting skill players over the past three seasons, fifth highest in the league. Manning has had 15, the second lowest in the league. Brady has also played with 12 different starting receivers, the second most in the league over that time frame. Peyton has played with six, the lowest in the league.
"Brady is still on another level because he just mentally dominates every game, every time," an offensive coach told Sando.
That's a part of his game that will take the longest to fade. Here's to another fifteen years of dominance.
Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill ranked 17th, just above the Andy Dalton and his imaginary line of success. Bills quarterback Matt Cassel and Jets quarterback Geno Smith brought up the rear of the list, ranking 31st and 32nd.