The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

An Unusual Consensus

Posted on | September 30, 2023 | Comments Off on An Unusual Consensus

Tyson Bagent — remember that name, because some people who know a lot about football agree that he’ll be the starting quarterback for the Chicago Bears before this season is over.

Remember what I told you last month about Trey Lance?

In the 2021 NFL draft, five quarterbacks were first-round picks:

1. Trevor Lawrence (Clemson) — Jacksonville Jaguars
2. Zack Wilson (Brigham Young) — New York Jets
3. Trey Lawrence (North Dakota State) — S.F. 49ers
11. Justin Fields (Ohio State) — Chicago Bears
15. Mac Jones (Alabama) — New England Patriots

Being a lifelong Alabama fan, of course I was outraged by the implied disrespect to my boy Mac, who had just led the Crimson Tide to an undefeated season and a national championship. Mac had the most passing yards of any college quarterback that season, and set an NCAA record for highest percentage of passes completed (77.4).

Barely three weeks later, the 49ers traded Lance to Dallas in exchange for a fourth-round pick in next year’s draft, vindicating my judgment. As for Zack Wilson, New York Jets legend said he’s “seen enough” of him.

That brings us to the subject of Justin Fields. After three games, the Bears are 0-3, and the former Ohio State quarterback doesn’t look like he belongs in the NFL. Fields may actually be worse than Zack Wilson, which is as about as bad as it gets. Fields has completed 51 of 88 passes (58%) for 526 yards and three touchdowns, and has thrown four interceptions. Meanwhile, Mac Jones — despite playing behind a shoddy patchwork offensive line — has completed 81 of 125 passes (65%) for 748 and five TDs, with two interceptions. There is no question which one is the best quarterback, and it ain’t Justin Fields. Meanwhile . . .

Tyson Bagent, from Martinsburg, West Virginia, attended tiny Shepard University, a Division II school with barely 3,000 students. Six-foot-three and 210 pounds, Bagent broke all the records:

Bagent became the starting quarterback for the Shepherd Rams as a freshman and was named first team All-Mountain East Conference (MEC) after completing 253 of 387 pass attempts for 3,029 yards and 29 touchdowns. He was named second team All-Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) East, Shepherd’s new athletic conference, after passing for 4,349 yards and 36 touchdowns [as a sophomore]. . . .
In 2021, Bagent passed for 5,000 yards and 53 touchdowns and was named the PSAC East Offensive Player of the Year and won the Harlon Hill Trophy. Bagent also won the Hardman Award as the best amateur athlete in West Virginia. After the season, Bagent entered the NCAA transfer portal and visited West Virginia and Maryland, but ultimately opted to stay at Shepherd for his final season of eligibility.
On December 3, 2022, Bagent broke the record for touchdown passes across all NCAA divisions with 159, in Shepherd’s 48–13 win over IUP during their quarterfinal game. . . .
Bagent participated in the 2023 NFL Combine. He went undrafted but was signed by the Chicago Bears as an undrafted free agent in 2023. He made the Bears’ 53-man roster at the end of the preseason. He was named third on the Bears depth chart to begin the season behind starter Justin Fields and veteran Nathan Peterman.

The veteran backup QB Peterman is only there as an insurance policy, but Chicago fans fell in love with Tyson Bagent who, in three preseason games, completed 20 of 29 passes (69%) for 156 yards. And given how badly Fields has played, I’m not the only expert on football who thinks Bagent is going to be taking over as Chicago’s QB pretty soon:

“If Fields continues to think and not react, they got a guy named Bagent, their rookie that I predict you will be seeing him before the season’s over. Even though I wish Justin Fields the very best, but this kid Bagent — just like [San Francisco’s] Brock Purdy — he’s played a lot of college football at quarterback and he’s ready to be a pro quarterback.”

The source of that prediction? A guy named O.J. Simpson.

The two things that O.J. Simpson knows best are football, and how to get away with murder. So when he says Tyson Bagent’s going to be starting for the Bears? Well, if the prediction fits, Justin Fields quits.

Serves ’em right for not drafting Mac Jones.



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