Jump to content
Washington Football Team Logo
Extremeskins

ESPN:Some Teams Lack Need of 3rd QB


scskinsfan

Recommended Posts

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/columns/story?columnist=pasquarelli_len&id=1607584

By Len Pasquarelli

ESPN.com

There isn't yet enough empirical evidence to deem it the NFL's next great trend but, for five of the 32 franchises, three quarterbacks on the depth chart now represents a crowd.

In a move that some observers regard as curious and others see as cutting edge, five teams -- Buffalo, Denver, Indianapolis, San Diego and Washington -- will begin the season with only two quarterbacks on their active rosters.

Two others, Miami and Atlanta, have three quarterbacks but one of whom is injured. In Atlanta, starter Michael Vick will miss at least the first month of the season because of a broken right fibula; in Miami, backup Brian Griese is sidelined indefinitely because of a toe injury.

A.J. Feeley helped keep the Eagles playoff hopes alive last year by going 4-1.

The respective rationales of the five teams carrying only two quarterbacks might differ. In some cases, a third quarterback was jettisoned because of the need to keep an extra player at a position depleted by injuries. In others, like Indianapolis, where Peyton Manning is a virtual iron man, a third quarterback was simply seen as extraneous.

But if there was a common denominator in the thought processes of the five teams, it was this: There aren't many No. 3 quarterbacks who are going to win a game anyway.

Of course, there are exceptions, as was the case last season with the Philadelphia Eagles and A.J. Feeley. The Eagles were 4-1 when Feeley, their third quarterback, was elevated into the lineup because of injuries to starter Donovan McNabb and backup Koy Detmer.

"But look back and find a case similar to (Feeley)," said Redskins vice president of football operations Vinny Cerrato, whose team on Saturday released No. 3 quarterback Danny Wuerffel. "Something like that doesn't happen very often, does it? Around the league, the typical No. 3 quarterback is a younger guy you are developing for down the road, and you hope you don't have to use him. Hey, you can get that younger guy the same number of snaps on the practice squad as you can on the (active) roster."

Left unsaid by the Redskins is that they are confident that Wuerffel, the backup last year who was twice replaced by then-No. 3 Patrick Ramsey, will always be a phone call away if needed. It is doubtful that Wuerffel will sign with another franchise.

History, indeed, indicates that not many quarterbacks who are third on the depth chart actually get onto the field.

Citing research by the Elias Sports Bureau, USA Today reported on Tuesday that, in 1,240 regular-season games since 1998, three different quarterbacks registered a pass attempt for the same team on only 17 occasions.

Last season, only eight teams had three quarterbacks register at least one pass attempt, and only five had No. 3s who posted more than 30 attempts. Heck, while everyone likes to talk about the peril under which starting quarterbacks play, there were only 17 teams for which the primary backup registered more than 50 attempts.

Think about this one: Steelers wide receiver Antwaan Randle El, a solid quarterback in college, had more pass attempts last season than 27 of the No. 3 quarterbacks on rosters.

In some cities, frankly, the third quarterback has become the equivalent of a fifth wheel: You don't need him until you have a flat tire.

"For us," said Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy, "keeping just two [quarterbacks] was more a function of a lot of injuries at other positions. That's not to say, when we get some players healthy, we won't add another [quarterback]. Then again, Peyton lines up every week, takes almost every snap. He never comes out of a game. As long as that's the case, maybe we'll stick with the status quo."

The problem with having only two quarterbacks, suggest some players, is not so much for games, but rather in practices. In Denver, where the Broncos released Danny Kanell over the weekend to add an extra cornerback, Steve Beuerlein now faces the specter of having to operate the "scout" team in addition to his regular No. 2 quarterback duties.

At age 38, and with a history of elbow and shoulder problems, Beuerlein is duly worried about the additional workload. The Broncos could solve the problem by adding a passer to the practice squad, as other teams, like Washington, Miami and San Diego have done.

The proponents of retaining three quarterbacks point to the problems the New York Jets had last week in locating a viable backup after Vinny Testaverde was elevated to starter because of Chad Pennington's injury. There is a dearth of free agent talent available at the position and the so-called "ready lists" around the league -- the roster of unemployed players that every team keeps in case of injuries -- are notably thin.

"But if you've got a third quarterback on your practice squad, someone who was with you in camp, he's probably going to be of more immediate help anyway than some guy you just sign off the street," Cerrato said. "As long as you're backstopped by having a third guy on your practice squad, I don't see the danger of going with only two on the active roster."

Len Pasquarelli is a senior writer for ESPN.com.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The problem with having only two quarterbacks, suggest some players, is not so much for games, but rather in practices. In Denver, where the Broncos released Danny Kanell over the weekend to add an extra cornerback, Steve Beuerlein now faces the specter of having to operate the "scout" team in addition to his regular No. 2 quarterback duties.

Which would be compelling ... except that the practice squad #3 guy gets to practice, just not suit up on Sundays.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Actually 7 teams will be playing with only 2 QB's. That means that roster sports are that much more important now. Which brings up again we can not expand yet to a bunch more teams or we will suffer the same fate as Baseball, Basketball, and Hockey.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's a smart move.

A 3rd QB from our practice squad has almost no value to another team given how long it takes to learn a system.

Plus, it's not likely that Hamden will be plucked given how hard it is to steal a guy off of another team's pratice squad ... I believe you have to keep the guy on your 53 man roster for a minimum number of weeks once you steal them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...