Why Seneca Wallace is right choice for Packers backup
Jayme Snowden, Packers contributor
Vince Young.Photo: Image by Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
The way that the Packers have handled the backup quarterback situation has been extremely uncharacteristic and unpredictable.
Letting go of previous backups, signing free agents, I’m hard pressed to believe that Ted Thompson even recognizes himself anymore.
While it appears to be a mess, and I’m not fully convinced the carousel has stopped spinning, Seneca Wallace was the right choice.
I’ve heard some wonder why we care at all?
We all know the argument, if Rodgers goes down, so does the season. That’s true, to a point.
If Rodgers should suffer a season-ending injury early in the season (frantically knocking on wood), any Super Bowl dreams will surely fade away.
But what if there’s a minor injury? A one to three week knock, at any point in the season.
Should that completely derail any post season hopes?
Doesn’t the team have enough weapons that for a couple-week span, with someone who could manage the game at quarterback, that they could get a win or two?
And if the team doesn’t, that’s more than just a backup quarterback problem.
Think back to 2010 when the Packers went to New England.
Rodgers was out with a concussion, and Matt Flynn was handed the keys to the team. The team seemed to rally around Flynn.
McCarthy proclaimed that the Packers were nobody’s underdog and we were all "Flynn to Win."
Flynn, considered by some to be the darling of the recent Packers backups, didn’t win though.
It was partially the team's fault, when the special teams allowed record-breaking kickoff return by Patriots offensive lineman Dan Connolly.
But the team was in the game up until the last minute, when Flynn, looking reminiscent of a deer in headlights, seemed confused by the two minute offense he was supposed to run, fumbled a snap and was sacked.
The Patriots recovered and won the game.
When we think of Flynn, most like to think back to the 2011 season finale game against the Lions when Flynn and the offense seemed completely unstoppable.
I don’t. I hear Flynn and my brain flashes to the Patriots game.
Flynn’s face, searching the sideline for an answer, his eyes seemingly saying "What do I do now?"
That look changed my entire thinking about backup quarterbacks.
I don’t care if a backup can throw six touchdowns in a game, and I don’t care if they look a video game player who’s come to life.
I want someone who won’t fumble a snap. I want someone who won’t get flustered.
I want a game manager.
Last year after the end of training camp, I thought Graham Harrell was that guy.
He knew the team, the plays and could come in and just hold it together. His arm would never make him a hero, but I felt confident his brain and basic quarterback abilities would suffice.
I was wrong.
While a sworn enemy of Vince Young, I’d like to think I gave him an honest chance when watching him play.
There were flashes, mostly with his legs.
I felt confident that should Rodgers leave a game, Young could run to a win.
But for a second game, he’d need to throw, to run the Packers offense at least a little, and after the preseason finale, it was clear he couldn’t do that.
B.J. Coleman has a rocket arm and little control over it. Definitely does not fit my criteria at all.
The Packers needed a veteran player. Someone who’s shown he’s not a hero, but he’s not the villain.
That person is Seneca Wallace.
He has some baggage, retirement and communication issues with San Francisco and was out of football for a year. But he also has the experience as a back up to Matt Hasselbeck in Seattle for six years.
In 2006, Wallace became the starter after an injury to Hasselbeck and the team won two out of the four games he started.
Wallace and the team had less success in 2008 when he started eight games in place of Hasselbeck and only won three.
Are there other experienced quarterbacks out there looking for backup work? Yes.
Is Wallace the best in the group? Probably not.
But even though the Packers haven’t handled the backup situation in the best way, I’m still trusting Ted Thompson and McCarthy.
They were looking for a Band-Aid, and Seneca Wallace is it. Until they change their mind again.
Read more from Jayme Snowden (@jaymelee1 on Twitter) at cheeseheadtv.com. She also co-hosts Cheesehead Radio at Packerstalk.com.