With much improved fundamentals, Martinez is leading the Big Ten in passing efficiency this year. Is it time to bury the concept that Martinez is a "safety playing quarterback" as woefully obsolete?
The Big Ten Conference has again named Taylor Martinez as the conference's offensive player of the week. It's the third time in seven games that Martinez has won this honor; his previous awards came against Southern Miss and Wisconsin. He's also been nominated for the Manning Award's "Star of the Week" for the best quarterback of the week. Fans can vote in the weekly award competition on Facebook.
It's time to speculate a bit on the very real possibility that Martinez could end up being the first team all-Big Ten quarterback at the end of the season. Let's look at the numbers:
Martinez ranks 47th nationally in yards passing per game at 230. In the Big Ten, he trails only Matt McGloin of Penn State, who is 29th with 255 yards per game.
In pass efficiency, Martinez ranks 15th at 162.79. That leads all Big Ten quarterbacks; Wisconsin's Joel Stave is 38th nationally at 143.52, Ohio State's Braxton Miller is 50th at 138.30, McGloin is 53rd at 136.83, and Michigan's Denard Robinson is 64th at 129.60.
In total offense, Martinez ranks 22nd nationally with 2,018 yards. Robinson is 14th nationally at 2,164, and Miller is 20th with 2,343 yards. (Ohio State has not had a bye week yet, so Miller has played in one extra game.)
Depending on how the season finishes up, it's entirely possible that Taylor Martinez could be the first team all-Big Ten quarterback. True, Braxton Miller and Denard Robinson may be better runners than Martinez, but at this point, Martinez is the better passer of the three. Credit Martinez's work in the offseason with improving his passing dramatically. Seven games in, his completion average is still a very nice 67%. OK, it's not the 70% he was shooting for, but most fans would have been happy with a number topping 60%.
Considering the awards that Martinez has received for his performances thus far, is it time to squelch the "Martinez shouldn't be a quarterback" discussion? We can point out his bad games, and his flaws. He still makes mistakes that he needs to correct. But he's definitely a quarterback.
And comparing him to the competition...he's a pretty good one at that.