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    Post Keeler: Ex-Hawkeye QB fights tag of little man Tate

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    The starting quarterback of the NFC Pro Bowl team stands barely 6 feet in stocking feet. If that. But since Drew Brees threw for a staggering 4,418 yards and 26 touchdowns in New Orleans last year, nobody talks much about his height anymore.

    "If he's taller than me, it's not by much," Drew Tate says of Brees, a native Texan like himself whom he met at a camp a few years back. "Everyone wants to look at the negatives, especially with a business like that. They just want to say, 'He's not tall enough. He's not good enough.' "

    Welcome to the NFL, son, where the money comes out and the kid gloves come off. Like a lot of good senior college quarterbacks last weekend, Tate wasn't drafted. He knows why. Heck, we all know why. It wasn't the nagging injuries that ruined his senior season (although that didn't help). It wasn't his fiery on-field demeanor (although that may not have helped, either).

    No. Teams took a pass on the former Hawkeye signal-caller because he's about 5-foot-11 and change.

    "Five-foot-11 and three-eighths, 191 pounds and runs a 4.93," Jerry Jones says. The longtime draftnik had Tate rated as the 21st-best quarterback available - just behind Akron's Luke Getsy and just ahead of Tuskegee's Kevin Huff - in the latest edition of his "Drug Store List" newsletter. "Which kind of cuts you in all directions, if you're looking at numbers. (Ohio State's) Troy Smith was 6-foot, 225 and 4.72. Faster, heavier, taller."

    But not, in all cases, better. Every year, it's the same spiel: You can't invest in a short quarterback.

    Every year, somebody, somewhere, proves that to be complete poppycock.

    "I understand that that's just the way it is," says Tate, who reports to St. Louis next week for his first rookie mini-camp, having signed a free-agent contract with the Rams on Sunday. "Everywhere I've played, I've always had success. It doesn't matter how tall you are or how big you are."

    At this point, if you're Tate, you're not looking to make a splash. You're looking to stick. In that sense, the Rams - Chicago had called to say they almost snapped him up in the seventh round - present just as good an opportunity as any. For the moment, St. Louis' backup quarterback is the oft-traveled Gus Frerotte. The incumbent No. 3, Ryan Fitzpatrick, boasts a career passer rating of 58.2.

    "I think he has to go in there and just prove to himself that he can play," says Dick Olin, Tate's stepfather. "At (the NFL) level, if you're going to err, you're going to err on the side of size."

    Among the top six NFL passers in 2006, half - Brees, Detroit's Jon Kitna and Green Bay's Brett Favre - were officially listed at 6-foot-2 or shorter. Among the top six in passer rating, three - Brees, Philadelphia's Donovan McNabb and Dallas' Tony Romo - were under 6-3.

    Johnny Unitas was 6-1. So was Otto Graham. Fran Tarkenton was 6-0. Sonny Jurgensen was 5-11. Doug Flutie hung around for 13 NFL seasons, including eight in a row from 1998-2005, at 5-10.

    "I sent him a text message on Sunday night," Tate says of Flutie, now a commentator with ABC. The two struck up something of a phone friendship late last summer, at the behest of a mutual acquaintance, former Iowa receiver Tim Dwight.

    "It's easy to relate to somebody like that. He and I, we've gone through a lot of the same situations."

    A lot of the same stigmas, too. Making it in the NFL isn't about the size of your shoes. It's about the size of your heart.



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    Re: Keeler: Ex-Hawkeye QB fights tag of little man Tate

    I didn't hate Drew Tate, but I'll be shocked if he lasts more than a season on an NFL team.

    For every short QB that makes it, there are 10 others that don't.

    I was hoping for a Seneca Wallace comparison - so I could've laughed so hard I'd wet myself.

    Sadly, Keeler disappointed me...again.



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    Re: Keeler: Ex-Hawkeye QB fights tag of little man Tate

    he might be 5-10 I am 6 foot and I stood right next to him about 3 weeks ago at the Union in IC. And he definitely had a little man complex.


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    Re: Keeler: Ex-Hawkeye QB fights tag of little man Tate

    Reminds me of Eric He's a Man Crouch. He did not like playing wide receiver for Rams, not a defensive back for the Packers, but only a qb for Montreal. He played well in one complete game (other than third downs) before being injured last year. Now he is a Torronto Arganaut trying to win the starting qb job. Expect Tate to also play CFL soon.


    CFH HMagic bball season next year.
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    Re: Keeler: Ex-Hawkeye QB fights tag of little man Tate

    The difference between Drew Brees or Seneca Wallace and Drew Tate is that Drew Brees and Seneca Wallace both have TALENT!!!

    Oh, yeah. Neither Brees nor Wallace melt down every time they throw a pick or have a call go against them, and it's not likely you'll see their helmets/heads rolling along the turf in their respective stadiums...


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    Re: Keeler: Ex-Hawkeye QB fights tag of little man Tate

    Like a lot of good senior college quarterbacks last weekend, Tate wasn't drafted. He knows why. Heck, we all know why. It wasn't the nagging injuries that ruined his senior season (although that didn't help). It wasn't his fiery on-field demeanor (although that may not have helped, either).
    Yeah, it wasn't bad on field performance or the attitude problems that didn't get him drafted, it was because he was short and slow. Please. If you can play, you'll get drafted if you're short. When you go 4-7 as a starter in your senior year and constantly rip your teammates, and post your worst stats as a starter, you don't get drafted. Weak article.




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    Re: Keeler: Ex-Hawkeye QB fights tag of little man Tate

    He can always hope to get the the "fill the gatorade table" job that every team needs after they see his talent at QB and know if he's a safety that he will be prone to concussions when making open field tackles.



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    Re: Keeler: Ex-Hawkeye QB fights tag of little man Tate

    How tall he is doesn't have anything to do with it. The fact he is a head case and sucks is why he was not drafted.




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    Re: Keeler: Ex-Hawkeye QB fights tag of little man Tate

    No doubt about it, Tate will be the next Drew Brees...excuse me while I go throw up.



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    Re: Keeler: Ex-Hawkeye QB fights tag of little man Tate

    He could go up to Torronto and compete with Eric Crouch. Yet he is slow for CFL.


    CFH HMagic bball season next year.
    Let my Fred's Four Horsemen ride: Georges, Hogue, Nader, and McKay.

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    Re: Keeler: Ex-Hawkeye QB fights tag of little man Tate

    I just can't wait until the little guy is signing autographs for a dollar at the Dubuque Jiffy Lube.



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    Re: Keeler: Ex-Hawkeye QB fights tag of little man Tate

    Eric Crouch initally started a kids playground equipment company after the Rams debacle. Might work for Tate in Iowa City also.


    CFH HMagic bball season next year.
    Let my Fred's Four Horsemen ride: Georges, Hogue, Nader, and McKay.

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    Re: Keeler: Ex-Hawkeye QB fights tag of little man Tate

    Rumor has it that Tate made one of his offensive linemen hand his jock between lockers so he could use it as a hammock...



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    Re: Keeler: Ex-Hawkeye QB fights tag of little man Tate

    That's a stretch.


    CFH HMagic bball season next year.
    Let my Fred's Four Horsemen ride: Georges, Hogue, Nader, and McKay.

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    Re: Keeler: Ex-Hawkeye QB fights tag of little man Tate

    between the lockers? yes. because iowa o-linemans jocks are tiny!!!!! from all those ster... err b-12 injections but i still think tiny tate could fit


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