So like, a month or two ago I made basically this same joke after the Hack got traded and cut by the Raiders. I sat back and waited, because I knew what would happen. I was waiting for that guy to show up. Show up he did, not too much later that day.

And I quote:

Dude, you are STILL throwing shade at the Hacks. I figure you would have dropped it after all this time. The NFL just does not understand him, he is a QB ahead of his time. The Jets did not know what they had. Raiders got a bargain and they just squandered it. Sure, Hack might not have immediately replaced Carr, but this very well could have turned into a Bledsoe to Brady situation if the Raiders held onto him.

Being mis-understood is not the same thing as being bad.


Christian Hackenberg found a job (at least until I assume the Eagles cut him before the season starts) and his first two passes as an Eagle were both interceptions.  But there are still folks who think he’s actually an NFL ready gem of a QB who would do great if given the chance. I saw it with Tebow. I saw it with a lot of players who some fans just have that irrational blindness for. I understand why Penn State fans would want to defend the Hackster. He helped drag that team out of the dumpster they were banished to after the Sandusky scandal. He might be a genuinely great dude. Loyalty means a lot, especially to college fans who are basically brainwashed and hardwired to defend anything about their school to the death. Penn State fans already have a reputation for defending certain individuals to a…lets call it unnecessary level.

But in regards to Hackerberg defenders I’m gonna dredge up an argument I used against Tebow turds back when that was still a thing. The most common argument I hear for players like Tebow, or Hackenberg, is the “Well if they gave him a proper chance he’d be great” argument. It’s the classic hypothetical that makes it sound like their precious player was victimized. Here’s the issue I have with this argument:

You could basically say this about every player who has ever existed.

I fully believe that every player drafted or undrafted could succeed in the NFL if they were given the correct situation. I think Tebow could have been great, if given the attention and structure required. It’s pretty easy to build around someone in college like Florida did with Tebow. Everyone could succeed if placed within a system that suited them, surrounded by talent, coached well, etc. Even Christian Hackenberg. The problem is this simply will not happen for 99% of players. There’s no telling how many great players we may have missed out on simply because they got drafted into a spot that wasn’t the right fit, where things went wrong. A lot of greatness requires luck just as much as hard work or talent. Imagine Tom Brady got drafted onto the Browns or Belichick traded him somewhere, or Bledsoe stayed healthy. Who knows if we’d even know his name. It’s easy to say he’s so great of course we would have, but it really isn’t that simple. Brady worked his ass off to earn that spot, but he still got very lucky in the process.

So yeah, Hackenberg could have been great if given the correct opportunity. But getting to that correct opportunity would not be worth the investment, and there’s no guarantee Hack would have succeeded anyway even if the teams did put the effort in.

The problem is building a team is very hard and catering to every player to make that player succeed is basically impossible. A coach would have to commit to keeping Hackenberg around and make sure to develop him, to surround him with talent that fits his skill set. The coach would have to not get fired while making this work. Who knows how long it would take to properly build around Hacks to a point where he would be successful. At some point, the player themselves needs to prove that they are worth investing in. Players who can fit in different systems with ease are going to be more valuable than players who fit a specific system. So far, Christian Hackenberg has not proven he’s worth the investment. He was not all that great in college. He never saw a regular season snap for the horrifically QB-starved Jets. The Raiders didn’t even bother to check him out, even though he seems like a total Gruden Grinder guy to me. The Eagles picked him up likely as a camp body to fill in with Nick Foles dealing with a slight neck issue and Wentz still being watched after his ACL tear. I assume he’ll be cut and probably find his way onto a practice squad somewhere. Christian Hackenberg has not proven to anyone who’s literal job it is to evaluate players that he is worth the kind of investment some Penn State nutters think he should get. Hackenberg has to prove he’s worth that, he doesn’t deserve it just because you like him. Hackenberg isn’t getting screwed over or misjudged any more than most players are. It’s just the nature of the beast when you’re dealing with a win-now league filled with the top 1% of football talent in the world.

*sits back and waits*