The more things change, the more they remain the same. And that goes for fighting for a quarterback job in the NFL. For the most part, teams are pretty much set at QB, but there are some interesting battles going on for the few jobs in question. It’s important to know the ramifications of who goes where since a new quarterback can and usually will have an effect on his entire offense. Some guys are brand new while others are promoted from within. With that in mind, here are some matchups to keep your eyes on:
Cleveland Browns (Charlie Frye/Derek Anderson/Brady Quinn)
An intriguing battle between this trio. Quinn is obviously the most NFL-ready QB out there from the 2007 NFL Draft and the future QB of this team, yet at the same time isn’t quite ready to start WEEK 1. His possible holdout doesn’t exactly help, though. Frye has been a bit inconsistent and Anderson has had his moments.
Starting QB, WEEK 1: Frye
Wow, this is probably the most difficult one to gauge. Frye, Anderson – Anderson, Frye. But since Crennel’s (and maybe Savage’s) job is on the line here – and knowing the Browns’ track record in QB usage, the nod here by the slimmest of margins goes to Frye. By default, if you will. Quinn will be the starting QB for good around WEEK 9 of this season, though.
Kansas City Chiefs (Brodie Croyle/Damon Huard)
Scenario: Croyle, the highly touted pick from Alabama, from what has been rumored and in my opinion secretly verified, probably has the edge over Huard here. With Huard, you pretty much know what to expect from him. And he is a decent insurance policy to have if you’re the Chiefs. But in this crazy world of the NFL, strange things can and do happen.
Starting QB, WEEK 1: Croyle
Croyle has had an impressive showing thus far in Chiefs camp, which is not good news for Huard. Huard has to be the unluckiest – albeit highly paid – backup in the NFL. This matchup reminds me of last season when Jay Cutler sat behind Plummer (except that Plummer retired/quit/bailed out – take your pick).
Oakland Raiders (Jamarcus Russell/Josh McCown/Andrew Walter)
Scenario: It is common knowledgeable that the Raiders needed a “Offense For Dummies” book last year as scoring was rare up in Oakland. And as usual, the quarterback is the fall guy. Their defense (or any NFL defense for that matter) can not keep you in a game for 60 minutes. Let’s face it – technically, there might be a “battle” for the starting QB job, but it is short-lived, really.
Starting QB, WEEK 1: Russell
McCown has some experience as a starting QB, but there’s a slight problem. The problem is Russell. You don’t draft a QB with the #1 overall pick and expect him to just sit. Besides, there’s millions of reasons (literally) why you start Russell. And Andrew Tuiasosopo – I mean – Walter? Just another Raider QB experiment gone bad.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Jeff Garcia/Bruce Gradkowski/Chris Simms)
Scenario: Before we get into this one, understand this simple truth: Jake Plummer will not be a Buc this year (or any year). But one must wonder why he hasn’t yet filed retirement papers with the league. Odd. Meanwhile, we have Garcia, a proven commodity. Then we have Gradkowski. He, like Derek Anderson in Cleveland, had his moments. And Chris Simms? He’s a combination of bad luck (injury-wise) and proof that just because your last name is Simms, that’s not necessarily a blueprint for long-term success in the NFL. And to be honest, it appears that the Bucs are in desperation mode right now, hence the move to sign Garcia. Coach Gruden and Bruce Allen’s jobs ride on this season’s outcome.
Starting QB, WEEK 1: Garcia
Gradkowski’s obviously not gonna start WEEK 1 – especially when you have Garcia on the books for at least this season. And Simms? I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s waived anytime now between now and WEEK 1. So obviously, this battle isn’t as heated as some people make it out to be.
Other teams to watch out for:
Jacksonville Jaguars (Byron Leftwich/David Garrard/Quinn Gray)
The Jags somehow got under the radar, although there were earlier grumblings about Leftwich’s situation. I truly feel sorry for Garrard; he is a proven talent who could start for a number of teams.
Atlanta Falcons (Michael Vick/Joey Harrington/Chris Redman)
It appears more likely by the day that Vick will get suspended by the league. Therefore, it gets real interesting. Harrington vs. Redman. This is a battle where I’m glad that I’m not Arthur Blank (owner of the Falcons). Redman is the ultimate journeyman QB. Harrington is, well, Harrington. Stay tuned – it could get real ugly in Hotlanta.
Carolina Panthers (Jake Delhomme/David Carr)
Coach Fox’s job is on the line here. If Delhomme is the one of old, then he remains the QB. If not, then it’s Carr. This one’s probably the most interesting, so far. Bill Cowher may already have the Panthers’ phone number on speed-dial.
Minnesota Vikings (Tarvaris Jackson/Brooks Bollinger/Drew Henson)
This three-headed monster doesn’t scare me at all. However, I’m not sure that’s the case up in Minneapolis. You don’t hear much about QB competition on this team, but a hunch tells me that there will be the “QB du jour” on the menu almost on a weekly basis with this team.