If you are a fan of any non-Patriots NFL team you have most likely heard, at one time or another, fans calling for your starting Quarterback to be benched in favor of your backup quarterback. Whether that quarterback is an established journeyman clipboard holder or a green 5th round rookie from a spread offense, fans always get hung up on potential. As a backup quarterback, all you have is potential. All you have is upside. With a starting quarterback, especially an established starter, you experience the ups and downs that NFL QB's endure. A Madden-playing generation sees a statline of 250 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT as a horrible game for a starter. We think "Man, I could have thrown for 300 yards and 3 TDs with Chad Henne as my QB". Here is the truth: No, you couldn't and no, he couldn't.
The biggest reason that valid, starting QB's struggle at times is the same reason that a player like Tim Tebow or Colin Kaepernick will never be a starting quarterback. The more playing time that a quarterback gets, the more film opponents have on them. After teams have time to study the film, they find more and more ways to exploit shortcomings. Starting caliber quarterbacks will bounce back and adjust to schematic changes by defenses, and 1 dimensional backups with no starting experience will not be able to make those adjustments.
Especially for unconventional players like Kaepernick or as far back as Pat White, you can make a splash in the League being unconventional, but once teams figure out a full response your talents will be nixed. Many teams employ unconventional backups in the sense that many backups are young players who made a living with their feet and athletic ability in college. Teams see the impact that a Troy Smith/Tyrod Taylor type player have and want to see a guy like that under center more than they want to see a player like Joe Flacco. In the short term, athletic college QBs who can run RPO's and zone reads usually have an immediate positive impact, but in the long term the team suffers once opponents have diagnosed the new quarterback.
Jimmy Garrapolo is currently the most sought after backup QB in the NFL. He remains an interesting case study to this point. Jimmy G didn't attend a high profile college with a great football tradition, and he didn't display tremendous athleticism in college. We can chalk up the interest in Jimmy G to the same hype that surrounds Ryan Mallett and Matt Cassell. The Patriots have a history of greatness, particularly on offense. Teams are envious of their offensive system and try to replicate that as much as possible. Belichick is considered a genius evaluator so if he believes in a quarterback, who are other GM's to doubt him? The interest in Patriots backups will last as long as Brady and Belichick are at the helm.
But what of other high profile backups? News broke recently about the Bengals being offered a 2nd round pick for backup quarterback A.J. McCarron. For one second, let's put aside the egregiousness of a team to offer that sort of compensation for a middling quarterback and the audacity of the Bengals to reject that offer. What makes A.J. McCarron such a sought after player? What makes Redskins fans think that Colt McCoy will be able to produce at the same level as Kurt [sic] Cousins? Both players played at big time college programs (Alabama and Texas, respectively). Both players displayed athleticism and arm talent in college, and both players have performed well against 2nd and 3rd string units in preseason. But neither quarterback comes from a high profile professional system. In fact, both franchises have had high turnover rates at the quarterback position. Andy Dalton is actually good. Kirk Cousins is even better. Both players have led their respective teams to the playoffs. Yet, neither quarterback has succeeded in winning a football game? Could this play into the constant questioning of the quarterbacking hierarchy?
Let's take a look at other quarterbacks who are established as a starter but have not had playoff success:
Phillip Rivers - 1 playoff win since 2008
Matt Stafford - 2 playoff games in 4 years - No wins
Tyrod Taylor - No playoff berths
Blake Bortles - No playoff berths
Of those quarterbacks, Bortles and Tyrod have had their respective heads called for constantly. Bortles has been deemed actually bad on NFL Twitter, and Tyrod has been deemed actually bad by 2 different ownership groups and 3 different regimes. So we can eliminate them from comparison. Stafford has yet to win a playoff game, and there have been times where Lions fans have called for him to be replaced. However, in Staffords tenure, the Lions backup QB situation has been one of the worst in the league. On top of that, Stafford has improved each year, and has led his team to the playoffs twice in recent years. He will be an interesting case study for future years now that the franchise has drafted a high profile backup in Brad Kaaya. Phillip Rivers is another player who has not had his job in jeopardy contrary to his playoff history. Phillip Rivers has had one lonely playoff win in 10 years. While he has performed at a high level, he has yet to match the success of similar quarterbacks such as Eli Manning and Big Ben. During his career, Rivers main backups have been Kellen Clemons, Billy Volek, Charlie Whitehurst, and now Cardale Jones. None are exactly worldbeaters, with only Cardale Jones matching the profile of highly sought after backups such as Colt McCoy and A.J. McCarron coming out of Ohio State with a tremendous athletic profile and arm talent. After proving nothing in the NFL thus far, Jones was acquired via trade - an unlikely feat for a backup QB with no career starts. Now, Rivers is too close to the end of his career for their to be a quarterback controversy.
So what did we learn? We found some similarities in the strange infatuations that the league and media has with certain backup QBs. Firstly, the starting quarterback must have limited to no playoff success. The quarterback must also be at an earlier stage of his career. Secondly, the backup quarterback must come from a big time collegiate program. You're unlikely to hear fans and media calling for an established starter to get benched in favor of a 6th round pick from Florida Atlantic University. Finally, the backup must have both a very strong arm and display some kind of athletic prowess. These traits have been consistent in finding the sought after backup quarterbacks of our generation. So if your team's starter is in the middle of his career without playoff success, and the management drafts an athletic QB with a big arm from a high profile school, prepare for a quarterback controversy within 5 years.
|FrogBoy54||hehe stop it silly. ur funny :)|