Remember when there were suppposed to be a lot of QB battles?

Posted: 08/22/2013 by levcohen in Football

Coming into training camp, it was assumed that there would be a massive amount of competition for some available starting jobs. In prior years, only one or two spots had really been open (all the other competitions had a clear favorite from the beginning), but this year there were as many as five wide open jobs coming into the preseason. Now, though, we haven’t even reached the all-important third preseason game, and four of those competitions have been seemingly, or officially, ended. Let’s take a look at each of them.

Philadelphia Eagles:
Chip Kelly promised that he would not name a starting QB until after the last preseason game. After the second preseason game, he said he was nowhere close to naming a starter. Well, just days later, he named Michael Vick the starting QB. It was pretty surprising, given what the coach said, and because Nick Foles was also playing well, but after the second game it seemed almost inevitable.

Buffalo Bills:
EJ Manuel was a very controversial first round pick, and went at least a round before everyone thought was right. Well, he looked well on his way to proving everyone wrong; he was 26-33, 199 yards, two touchdowns, one sack, and four rushes for 29 yards in two games. Then he hurt his knee, and had a minor knee operation, and now is questionable to start the season. Still, it looks like it’s a battle against time, and not against Kevin Kolb, who, prior to training camp, was seen as a slight favorite to start the season with the job. Kolb has been mediocre in preseason, though, and it looks like he will be in a backup role, where he really belongs.

Oakland Raiders:
Matt Flynn was always a slight favorite, but it looked like Terrelle Pryor was closing the gap early in training camp. Flynn and Pryor have both had decent camps, but Flynn looks like the more ready starter, and it is obvious that the job is his, although there hasn’t been an official announcement. So Flynn will open the season as the starter, but Pryor is the younger guy and this is a rebuilding team, so he might get some looks later on in the season.

Jacksonville Jaguars:
This situation is eerily similar to the Bills one. Coming into the preseason, Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne were co-starters on the depth chart. Gabbert, the younger player, outplayed Henne by a long shot, and was named the starting QB after week two of the preseason. And then he got hurt. Gabbert fractured his thumb, and is questionable for week one. Gabbert has played two years in the NFL, and frankly, he’s been terrible. Hopefully he can come back from his injury and excel, but I don’t know if he’s capable. Regardless, this is Gabbert against time more than Gabbert against Henne.

The only situation that has not been resolved is the Jets one:

New York Jets:
This will be a situation where the less-poor (rather than better) QB wins the job. Both Mark Sanchez and Geno Smith have been terrible, so this is still an open competition.

So what can we learn from the lack of enticing competition? Maybe just that, most years, we should just look at competitions at other positions, because QB ones are rarely as interesting as, say backup RB or WR ones.


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