Sports department for the student run radio station 90.3 WRST at UW-Oshkosh
There was once a day, a very long time ago in which backup NFL quarterbacks were once groomed to become the eventual starter of the team whether it be for the starting quarterbacks health or age. Steve Young sat behind the great Joe Montana from 1987-1990 before leading the San Francisco 49ers to a Super Bowl himself in 1994. He would sit behind the legend despite throwing four touchdowns and no interceptions in a regular season game against the Chicago Bears in 1987. He would also come off the bench in 1988 against the Minnesota Vikings and have a memorable 49-yard scamper to the end zone to win the game. The play is still shown on many NFL highlight reels today.
Today, the nature of the backup quarterback has done a complete 180 of what it used to. While some teams draft young quarterbacks to be groomed into an eventual start like Ryan Mallett in New England under Tom Brady and Brock Osweiler under Peyton Manning, the backup quarterback has become a throw away position on an NFL roster. Many teams have dropped the amount of quarterbacks they suit up every game from three down to two. Many backups also are not set in with an intent to win the game, but rather to just not lose the game. Many teams have gone to just about anyone that’s affordable at the backup quarterback with a list of backups in the NFL including Dominique Daniels, Luke McCown, Derek Anderson, Zac Robinson, G.J Kinney, Matt Sims, and more. Dan Orlovsky is still in NFL as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers backup after famously running 5 yards out of the end of the end zone for a safety,
The Packers are currently biting the bullet for sticking more stock into their backup quarterback situation. Aaron Rogers suffered a fractured collarbone in the Packers 27-20 Monday night loss to the archrival Chicago Bears with his status being week to week moving forward. While this still would have been cause for alarm two years ago, the Packers would have be in a better situation today if they had a proven backup like they did with Matt Flynn two years ago. Flynn made two starts for the Packers in between both the 2010-2011 seasons. His first was a nail-biting loss at Foxboro against the vaunted New England Patriots in 2010. The other was one for the record books when Flynn fired for two team records against the playoff-bound Detroit Lions with 480 yards and six touchdowns in the teams 45-41 win.
Instead of having a proven commodity at quarterback like in 2011, the Packers have no idea what they have backing up Rodgers in 2013. The new starting quarterback of the Packers is Seneca Wallace, a player who had never played a down for the Packers even in the preseason before having to come into relieve Rodger in primetime on Monday night. The Packers signed the journeymen backup that has been with a plethora of teams since being drafted in the fourth-round of the 2003 draft by the Seattle Seahawks. Wallace entered Monday with a career 6-15 career record as a starter. His 28.5% winning mark is the third worst in the NFL for any quarterback with a minimum of ten starts besting only the Rams Brady Quinn and Jacksonville Jaguars Blaine Gabbert. Before his action in Monday’s game, Wallace had last thrown a pass in the NFL in 2011 for the Cleveland Browns. He made 3 starts and saw action in five games that season, each game ending in a loss. He finished that year with 567 passing yards, a 51.2 percent completion percentages, two touchdowns, and two interceptions.
Wallace also started four games in the 2010 campaign reeling off a 23-20 win on October 3 against the Cincinnati Bengals; however had a record of 1-3 as a starter that season averaging a pitiful 173.25 yards passing per game in those four starts.
The only other quarterback the Packers have is former Wisconsin Badger Scott Tolzien who was an undrafted free agent in 2011 and is currently on the Packers practice squad. The Packers released former Texas Tech legend Graham Harrell midway through the preseason and former Rose Bowl legend Vince Young at the end of the preseason along with 2012 seventh-round pick BJ Coleman.
The Packers are a currently a victim of the situation that they put themselves in by not preparing for an emergency. While Aaron Rodgers is a very reliable quarterback and a tough man in his own right, football is a physical game and injuries occur. If the Packers would have taken the old 49ers approach to backing up their star quarterback, some of the pain of losing such a great player.
Wide World of Sports
It has been revealed that Miami Dolphins line Jonathan Martin checked into a South Florida hospital for emotional reasons due to the harassment that he received from Richie Incoginto and other Miami Dolphins. This situation keeps getting nastier as the days go by. Incognito was suspended indefinitely by the Miami Dolphins organization Sunday night for what they called conduct detrimental to the team. Martin allegedly had to help fund a trip some of the Dolphins took, giving $15,000 to Incognito for a trip to Las Vegas he didn’t go on. He forked over the money out of fear of what would happen if he didn’t. He also was the victim of many nasty text messages and voice messages from Incognito in which were laced with racial slurs and massive amounts of swearing.
– Greg Peterson