QB concerns part 1: Why Packers backups are better now
Graham Harrell. Photo: Image by Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
I must admit, from the last pre-season game on Thursday right through Monday the NFL is one of the strangest places on this earth!
The roster machinations that go on around the league are mind-boggling.
The consternation over backup quarterbacks is equally as perplexing.
Al Michaels on NBC’s telecast of the Minnesota-San Francisco preseason game pointed out, of the 32 starting quarterbacks in the league, 20 started every game last year! The 12 who did not started an average of 14 to 15 games.
Recent rules changes protecting the quarterback have had an impact in this area, and we are seeing a much healthier quarterback position in recent years as a result.
Quarterbacks still get hit, but not the way they used to. So why are we worrying about backups?
Fact is, most teams are uncomfortable at the prospects of losing their starter for an extended period of time.
Let’s be honest, there are not 32 starting-caliber quarterbacks in this league, period!
I count 19 legitimate starters at that position in the entire NFL.
So don’t talk to me about having a starting caliber quarterback behind your number one. There aren’t enough number ones to go around.
Furthermore, in this day and age, there are not enough salary cap dollars to pay two starting- caliber signal callers on a given roster.
Some teams are in better shape than others, but essentially the best you hope for is an experienced backup quarterback who can run your system.
As far as the Packers are concerned, I like their situation with Seneca Wallace now than I did four weeks ago with Graham Harrell and B.J. Coleman.
Wallace has started 21 games, played in 62 in his career. He has fashioned an 81.3 passer rating with 31 TDs and 18 INT's.
Graham and B.J. have never started a real NFL game.
No team is more concerned about its backup quarterback situation than San Francisco.
Behind Colin Kaepernick they have Colt McCoy, a former 3rd round draft pick who failed in Cleveland and didn’t look good at all this summer in the preseason.
The Niners ran former Badger Scott Tolzein and Wallace out of town and would have done the same to McCoy had he not agreed to a pay cut.
God forbid, anything would happen to Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay, but there are 31 other teams who feel the same way about losing their starting quarterback.
If you are secure that your backup can step in and effectively replace your starter, then you probably don’t have a starting caliber quarterback as your number one!