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2013 NFL Season: 10 Quarterbacks Who Don’t Deserve Excuses Made For Them This Year

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2013 NFL Season: 10 Quarterbacks Who Don’t Deserve Excuses Made For Them This Year

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Football is right around the corner, folks! I'm sure you are just as excited as I am as training camp is about to get into full swing and the players are prepping for the preseason.

As much as I am looking forward to the upcoming NFL season, I have also been hearing quite a bit of 'what ifs' and 'well, but...' type of conversations between fans all over the place in regards to their favorite team's quarterback. Quite frankly, I'm sick of it.

Let me announce right off the bat that I am as big of a Chicago Bears fan there is. But, I know when it's time to stop making excuses for a mediocre quarterback.

Remember back in 2003 when the New England Patriots and Tom Brady boasted their top three receivers with totals of 57, 48 and 40 catches on the season. Brady didn't have a single All-Pro at any of the skill positions -- actually, quite the contrary. Most of his weapons were satisfactory at best.

Yet, did he make any excuses? Absolutely not. He just won the Super Bowl and made his teammates look much better than they were while he was at it.

With that said, allow me to also put this out there: I am far from a Patriots fan. I am simply a football fan with the ability to cheer and analyze beyond any emotional attachment.

As we approach the 2013 season, there are plenty of quarterbacks who have had excuses made for them in regards to why they should be allowed a 'pass' for not doing what has been expected of them.

Besides obvious guys like Jay Cutler and Tony Romo there are also a few quarterbacks who have lacked the ability go play above their continual excuses made by experts, analysts, critics and fans.

I have compiled a list of 10 quarterbacks who have not performed up to their respective franchise's expectations up to this point, and if they don't do so in 2013, their time for excuses is up. Without further build up, here they are.

Ryan Heckman is a Senior Writer for Follow him on Twitter @ryanmheckman, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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10. Matt Schaub

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Many people have Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub in their top-10 rankings heading into 2013, and I cannot figure out why. He's had an elite defense, arguably a top-3 running back and one of the best wide receivers in the game for the last decade to work with. Still, he can't make the necessary plays when it counts and get his team to the next level. Schaub is a good quarterback, but not great. In 2013 the excuses need to stop and he's got to perform.

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9. Jake Locker

Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Tennessee Titans quarterback Jake Locker hasn't been able to stay healthy over two seasons and when he is in the lineup is a mediocre quarterback at best. The Titans invested a first round pick into the kid and so far he doesn't look like he's panning out. In 2013 he will have a much-improved offensive line and needs to show he's worth all the draft hype back in 2010. roved offensive line and needs to show he's worth all the draft hype back in 2010.

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8. Josh Freeman

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Entering into the final year of his contract, Josh Freeman has been as inconsistent as they come so far in his four year career. Going back and forth between efficiency and inefficiency each and every season, Freeman has to take his so-called multi-dimensional game and put it all together or else he may wind up as a backup somewhere else next year. Freeman has the arm and the mobility, but at times has lacked the decision making in critical situations.

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7. Blaine Gabbert

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

The fact that the Jacksonville Jaguars are going with Blaine Gabbert for a third season in a row baffles me. He has not showed anything worth being a starting quarterback so far and the Jaguars have made it pretty clear he has one last chance. He had quite an arm coming out of college but in the NFL he hasn't put it to productive use, finishing his first two seasons with a rating of 70.2.

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6. Mark Sanchez

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

This one doesn't need much explaining. Not even the fans are making excuses at this point. I haven't heard one expert, analyst or journalist give Mark Sanchez the benefit of the doubt recently, so why is he on this list? I'm looking at you Rex Ryan.

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5. Philip Rivers

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

A gun of an arm and a sourpuss attitude won't mix well for very long, and that's exactly where Philip Rivers is at the moment. He has not been able to make the guys around him better and on the field is seen complaining more than playing football. The San Diego Chargers have to realize that Rivers can't be under center for much longer if they're going to succeed.

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4. Michael Vick

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

As much as I have enjoyed the story of Michael Vick and not only his career but his reputation being restored, it is time for the Philadelphia Eagles to move on. In 2013, if Vick doesn't cut the turnovers in half, he has to go. The Eagles have too much young talent on offense to waste with a quarterback who can't protect the football. With a couple of young guys behind him on the depth chart, there can't be anymore excuses given out this season.

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3. Matt Ryan

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

This is the toughest guy to place on the list, for me. I have loved Matt Ryan since he came out of Boston College. Ryan has been nothing but a pure passer and a winner -- in the regular season. The biggest thing I hear about him is that he is one of the winningest quarterbacks at home to begin a career that the NFL has ever seen. There's no doubt that he is a top-10 and maybe even top-5 quarterback, but with an unbelievable amount of weapons to work with, he cannot afford to disappoint this season. It's either the Super Bowl in 2013 or it's time to stop making excuses. He could go down as one of the best quarterbacks of the last 20-30 years but might never win it all.

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2. Jay Cutler

Bradley Leeb-USA TODAY Sports

I'm one of the few guys who like Jay Cutler, I know. He occasionally gets criticized for his demeanor on the field, but knowing his teammates have the utmost respect for him gives me reassurance in that regard. The problem I have with Cutler is that every single year we hear things like, 'Cutler has a ton of potential. He can make all the throws in the NFL.' When is it time for us to see all of this potential we keep hearing about? A seven year veteran should not be deemed as 'having potential.' He should be considered having an established career, good or bad. There have been plenty of warranted excuses for quite some time now, but if Cutler truly possesses the talent to make all the throws there are, it's time for him to show us just that.

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1. Tony Romo

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Tony Romo has the highest regular season rating in NFL history at 95.6. For a guy with that type of accomplishment, you'd think he would have won a Super Bowl by now, let alone more than just a single playoff game. Signing him to a ridiculously expensive contract extension this offseason, owner Jerry Jones yet again showed his lack of knowledge when it comes to building a winning team. Romo continues to make the dumbest mistakes you can make when it counts and gives games away that matter more than most. If Romo doesn't perform up to snuff in 2013, he gets zero excuses beyond this year.