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Article 5

by Steve Stegeman (June 9, 2000)




     It looks like the San Diego Chargers are finally realizing that they have got their quarterback of the future and the present and that he was, in fact, drafted in 1998.  He’s not that guy they sold their souls to draft second overall, though.  No, no, no, he was selected 230 picks later in the 7th round, that’s 232nd overall to be exact, and not even by the southern Californian Chargers, but way up north by the Chicago Bears.  With the afore-alluded to Mr. Grief, Ryan Leaf, doing his M.I.A./P.O.W. thing, the Chargers first brought in good ole’ Mr. Comeback, Jim Harbaugh, originally with the Bears, to tide them over, and continued to go on and pick up Erik Kramer, another former Bear, for even more short-term insurance.  They had yet to realize that the other former Bear quarterback they had on their roster was not only their short-term solution, but also their long-term one, potentially.  Even after having a tremendous mini-camp and after the positive statements head coach Mike Riley made about him, most are still not paying attention, and the rest are doubters.  Yet, Moses Moreno silently perseveres, and in doing so is setting a great example and becoming a team leader in stark contrast to that guy who was supposed to be the Chargers savior.  This guy is even getting involved in the local community where he just spoke at a high school rally against underage drinking and driving.  Real leadership - Ryan’s hope, as if!


     Even though the Chargers are just now uncovering Moses’s potential, the fantasy football community still remains largely in the dark no one making any bold predictions.  While the question “How many touchdowns will Chargers’ quarterback Jim Harbaugh throw this year?” remains up at the Chargers’ page of one of sports mainstream web sites, I have actually found Moreno ranked at ONE fantasy football web site.  He was somewhere in the mid-30’s --- one above Kordell Stewart.  Now that’s bold.  I, on the other hand, have seen him coming for some time as is illustrated by my acquiring him twice last season, the more recent time being Week 12.  He has been on my roster ever since.  Just a couple weeks ago I even went ahead and made a trade with it in mind to structure it so as I would be able to “protect” Moses for next year in our keeper league.  Now, I must admit…I may have somewhat of a soft spot when it comes to him as I went to college at the University of Denver, which has not had a football team for a long time, and since I, like many Americans, root for the underdog, I threw my support toward the WAC’s Colorado State Rams (rather than the Big 12’s more popular and successful University of Colorado Buffaloes).  Moses is a graduate of Colorado State University.  Actually, I have C.U.’s Kordell Stewart on my roster too.  Guess who I plan on protecting?  All that fuzzy stuff said, let’s take a look at some nuts and bolts, CNN/SI’s scout report on him for the 1998 draft:


Highly productive player and was WAC offensive player in 1997, finished 1997 season with 2,257 yards and 20 TDs, and 9 INTs. Not a big physical guy, but extremely tough and competitive and has good leadership skills. Takes a lot of hits, but keeps getting back up, a little better arm strength than many people think. Good mobility, can throw on the run, will improvise outside the pocket, can make all the throws and has a pro-style passing background, but needs to improve field vision and ability to find secondary receivers...this is one of those guys that lacks all the measurables, but he's a football player and he may wind up "sticking with" some NFL team.


     Call me crazy, but that sounds like a “poor man’s” Jake Plummer with a “pro-style passing background” on top on it or, at least, a younger Jim Harbaugh.  It is also very worth noting that his 1997 personal achievements translated into team success.  According to the Colorado State University web site, “That year Colorado State enjoyed its finest season in school history.”  It went on to say that “Most long-time observers of the program proclaimed the ’97 squad to be the finest to have ever taken the field in Fort Collins.”  This speaks volumes with regards to the quarterback of that team, Moses Moreno.  They ended up finishing 15th in the nation with an 11-2 record including nine consecutive victories to end the season and went on to defeat Missouri in the Holiday Bowl, 35-24.


     At this point, you might actually be thinking, “Okay, so, this guy, Moses, may be the answer for the Chargers.  But, what kind of fantasy impact will he have?  Is he going to pick defenses apart enough to lead my team to the ‘Promised Land’?”  The answer to that question hinges on two inseparables to a quarterback’s success, the performances of 1) the offensive line and 2) the backfield, and one humungous “X-factor”, the conversion to a full-time, no-huddle offense.  As for the first two prereq’s, the offensive line seems to be continually improving, most recently via free-agency.  The backfield, led by Jermaine Fazande, worries me more, sticking to the contention of my last article.  However, an overachieving line can make up for that.  But, Moses Moreno’s big fantasy upside lies in this “X-factor”.  Running a no-huddle offense full-time, along with that strong San Diego defense, means, if nothing else, a whole lotta’ offense!  Hypothetically, let’s say the backfield does perform “lacklusterly”, as I anticipate, but the line is able to hold their own, he’ll be throwing a ton to newly acquired Curtis Conway, a former great from Chicago, and Jeff Graham, another 1,000+-yard-receiving, former Bear.  Sounds fairly plausible, huh?  The bottom line is whenever you’re predicting one of these guys to come out of nowhere and succeed, you gotta’ make a “Leap of Faith” ala my last article and my rating of New England’s Patrick Pass.  I said it then, and I will say it again.  All of this logistical mumbo-jumbo is notwithstanding his really cool name, Moses Moreno.    



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