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NFL: Tim Tebow, Mark Sanchez and Other First-Round QB Couples That Didn't Work

Robert TheodorsonSenior Analyst INovember 27, 2016

NFL: Tim Tebow, Mark Sanchez and Other First-Round QB Couples That Didn't Work

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    Tim Tebow and Mark Sanchez find themselves together in an extremely uncomfortable and awkward situation, which they both swear they're totally OK with.

    The pressure is on the Jets to builder a winner now. Their neighbors, the New York Giants, are still celebrating their recent Super Bowl victory at the expense of the Jets' arch rivals, the New England Patriots.

    Mark Sanchez was able to be the game manager Rex Ryan needed for his defensive minded Jets. Sanchez took the team to two straight AFC Championships before succumbing to the Pittsburgh Steelers and Indianapolis Colts.

    Unfortunately for the Jets, Sanchez and his team took a few steps backwards.

    It was an incident-marred offseason where reports surfaced about former teammates calling out Mark Sanchez on his leadership ability and locker room presence. Santonio Holmes was accused of quitting on the team during the season's final game. 

    Tim Tebow had a much different experience. Tebow, the media darling and joy of Denver; as evidenced by his number of jersey sales, became the starter for the Denver Broncos

    It was a move that was inevitable from a football point of view on two factors: Winning games and marketing.

    Tebow would go on to lead the Broncos to a number of come-from-behind victories. His fourth quarter heroics reminded Broncos' fans of their old No. 7 John Elway. There was hope in Denver.

    Despite leading an underachieving team to a postseason victory on the arms of an eighty yard overtime touchdown pass, Elway and company decided to let their golden boy graze at greener pastures and brought in Peyton Manning to lead a team with a "win it all now" mentality. 

    The two former first round picks have found themselves in quite the conundrum. Rex Ryan and management swear that Sanchez is their starting quarterback after a recently signed contract extension. Tim Tebow will supposedly only be used in the wildcat formation, and as a running option. 

    Those who know better will see through the smoke screen New York has tried to put themselves behind and see this is a true quarterback battle. The victor will be whoever can win, simple as that.

    The following is a look at this past generation's first round quarterbacks who played on the same team together.

Ben Roethlistberger and Tommy Maddox: Pittsburgh Steelers

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    Years Active Together

    2004 and 2005


    How They Fared

    Maddox was injured the second game of the season in 2004 against the Baltimore Ravens. Ben Roethlisberger took the helm, it would be the only game he would lose that entire season. Roethlisberger went on to win fourteen straight games which earned him the offensive Rookie of the Year Award. 

     

    Where They Are Now

    Ben has taken the Steelers to three Superbowl appearances before the age of thirty, earning him two rings. Maddox was the backup on the 2005 championship and ended his career with a ring. 

Joey Harrington and Byron Leftwich: Atlanta Falcons

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    Years Active Together

    2007

    How They Fared

    Michael Vick, Atlanta's 2000 first overall draft selection and face of the franchise was serving time in federal prison for felony dog fighting charges

    Joey Harrington played most of the season with Byron Leftwich as his backup. Harrington's pedestrian numbers and horrible play were rewarded with the Atlanta Falcons being able to draft new franchise quarterback Matt Ryan third overall in the 2008 Entry Draft. 

    Where They Are Now

    Joey Harrington is retired, and Byron Leftwich is currently a stable backup for Ben Roethlisberger's Pittsburgh Steelers.

Tim Tebow and Brady Quinn: Denver Broncos

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    Years Active Together

    2011


    How They Fared

    Quinn had some not-so-nice things to say in an interview about his teammate. Quinn was an after-thought of the Broncos organization and Tim Tebow went on to lead the Broncos to the playoffs, beating the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Wild Card round. 

     

    Where They Are Now

    Brady Quinn is currently a backup to Matt Cassel in Kansas City. It is highly unlikely Quinn will ever be considered for a starting position for the rest of his career.

    Tim Tebow is now a part of the New York Jets' circus.

    Let the hilarity ensue. 

Rex Grossman and Donovan McNabb: Washington Redskins

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    Years Active Together

    2010


    How They Fared

    The Donovan McNabb saga, or debacle, in Washington is well documented. McNabb was benched in favor of Grossman at the end of the season. The mismanagement in Washington continued into the following season when Grossman was benched for backup John Beck.

     

    Where They Are Now

    McNabb tried his hand at one more comeback with the Minnesota Vikings. It was actually quite a good move on McNabb's part. Minnesota and Arizona seemed like great fits for the aging QB, but it was not to be. Donovan was inevitably benched in favor of Christian Ponder.

    Rex Grossman is still in Washington, but he figures to be the backup to Robert Griffin III. 

Alex Smith and Trent Dilfer: San Francisco 49ers

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    Years Active Together

    2006-2007


    How They Fared

    Dilfer didn't do much for a young 49ers squad that was struggling to find its identity. Alex Smith had major issues with consistency all the way up until 2011. Neither Dilfer or Smith did much to help the 49ers win games last decade which resulted in a number of high draft picks.

    Despite Smith constantly struggling, management allowed Smith to restructure his contract in order to stay on the squad.

     

    Where They Are Now

    Trent Dilfer is an analyst with ESPN and Alex Smith recently took his team within a field goal of representing the NFC in the 2011 season's Super Bowl. 

Christian Ponder and Donovan McNabb: Minnesota Vikings

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    Years Active Together

    2011


    How They Fared

    McNabb's tenure in Minnesota couldn't have been worse. The Vikings had regressed to a rather pathetic point in the post-Brett Favre era. McNabb went 1-5 as the starter for the Vikings before management decided to see what the young Ponder could do. Ponder wouldn't fare much better, winning just two games and ending the season as the third worst team in the NFL.

     

    Where They Are Now

    McNabb couldn't land a job with the Chicago Bears and is now out of football. A very good quarterback, McNabb's legacy with the Eagles will be forever tarnished for not being able to deliver a championship. McNabb was considered an utter failure on both the Redskins and Vikings.

    Christian Ponder is the starting quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings

    Ponder will be thrilled if the Vikings decide to use their third overall pick to select offensive lineman Matt Kalil to protect the young franchise QB. 

Vinny Testaverde and Chad Pennington: New York Jets

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    Years Active Together

    2000-2003, 2005

    How They Fared

    Testaverde continued his success for a bit in the Big Apple before eventually being replaced by Pennington who was a first round draft choice of the Jets.

    Pennington jumped into full time action during the 2002 season where he took the 1-4 Jets team to the AFC East Division champs.

    Pennington endured a multitude of injuries not only with the Jets but during his entire professional career, occasionally being replaced by Testaverde. 

     

    Where They Are Now

    Testaverde, long drafted ago in 1987 went on to have a number of fill-in roles for the Patriots, a second stint with the Jets, and the Carolina Panthers. Testaverde was the Dallas Cowboys' starting quarterback in 2004. Testaverde holds the record for most losses by a quarterback ever.

    Chad Pennington retired from football. 

Jay Cutler and Jason Campbell: Chicago Bears

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    Years Active Together

    2012 The Present


    How They Fared

    Time will tell. Cutler has been cited as a tough guy to play with, just ask Brian Urlacher.

    Jason Campbell is a rather quiet character who was recently pushed out of Oakland by former first overall draft pick Carson Palmer.

    The one thing that Jay Cutler has on his side is skill. He will almost always be better than whatever backup the Bears can bring in.

     

    Where They Are Now

    Cutler endured a lot of criticism for being a soft player who milked an injury in the 2010 NFC Championship game but remains the Bears' number one option.

    Jason Campbell will likely only see action if Cutler is hurt or the Bears decide to bench their starters in the last week of the season.

Vince Young and Michael Vick: Philadelphia Eagles

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    Years Active Together

    2011


    How They Fared

    Young was brought in to back up Michael Vick's Philadelphia Eagles. Young's words will forever remain in infamy when he called the Eagles "The Dream Team" a comment he would later regret after the Eagles didn't even qualify for the playoffs.

    Vick, still entrenched as the starter didn't miss too many games in 2011 and when he did Vince Young wasn't overly impressive. Young went 1-2 as Philly's starter and had a career 400 yard effort in his first loss. 

     

    Where They Are Now

    Michael Vick is the unquestioned starter in Philadelphia and Vince Young is currently a free agent. His own personal website cites him as wanting to play for his hometown Houston Texans.

Jim McMahon and Jim Harbaugh: Chicago Bears

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    Years Active Together

    1987-1988


    How They Fared

    Jim Harbaugh was drafted 26th overall in the 1987 draft as McMahon's eventual replacement. Harbaugh played seven seasons in Chicago, sparingly while McMahon was still around before eventually moving to the Indianapolis Colts

    McMahon won a Superbowl with the 85' Bears who are renown for having the best defense of all time. 

    McMahon is also famous for the The Superbowl Shuffle. 

     

    Where They Are Now

    McMahon has been and is now, very active in the USO for veterans. McMahon is a part owner of the Indoor Football League's Chicago Slaughter.

    Jim Harbaugh is currently the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers. Harbaugh took his team all the way to the NFC Championship game in his rookie year. 

Steve McNair and Kyle Boller: Baltimore Ravens

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    Years Active Together

    2006-2007


    How They Fared

    Steve McNair was exactly what the doctor ordered for the Ravens when he was traded to the club in the summer of 2006. McNair started every game in 2006 where he eventually led the Ravens to the AFC Championship game. 

    McNair was named the starter for the 2007 season without even having to compete with Kyle Boller. Whatever lightning in a bottle the Ravens caught with McNair in 2006 disappeared in 2007 as "Air" McNair was absolutely horrid during an injury riddled season.

    Kyle Boller didn't fare much better, losing his job to Troy Smith. The Ravens' low point that season came when they lost to the Miami Dolphins in overtime. The Dolphins would go on to be a 1-15 team that season, the sole win was against the Ravens.

     

    Where They Are Now

    Steve McNair was killed on July 4, 2009. McNair was the victim of a murder-suicide involving his mistress.

    Kyle Boller tried his luck with the Oakland Raiders, but is now a free agent.

Eli Manning and David Carr: New York Giants

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    Years Active Together

    2008-2009, 2011


    How They Fared

    Not much of a story to tell behind this duo that actually worked out quite well unlike many of the pairs on this list. Carr was brought in a backup that would only play in injury situations.

    Carr, considered one of the biggest busts in NFL history got a Super Bowl ring in 2011, courtesy of two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning.

     

    Where They Are Now

    Exactly where they were last year. Carr will backup Manning for the 2012 season.

Carson Palmer and Kyle Boller: Oakland Raiders

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    Years Active Together

    2011


    How They Fared

    Carson Palmer was brought in following the death of longtime Raiders owner Al Davis. Palmer would replace fellow first round pick Jason Campbell after Campbell went down with an injury.

    The former Heisman winner and 2003 first overall draft choice didn't exactly have a hard time beating out Kyle Boller for the starting job which the Raiders traded a good chunk of their future for. 

    The Raiders finished the season 8-8 with a rare opportunity to capture a postseason bid even with their .500 record but their AFC West rivals the Denver Broncos held the tiebreaker.

     

    Where They Are Now

    Carson Palmer will be the starting quarterback for the Oakland Raiders for years to come. 

    Kyle Boller is currently a free agent.

Ben Roethlisberger and Byron Leftwich: Pittsburgh Steelers

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    Years Active Together

    2008, 2010-Present


    How They Fared

    Leftwich has generally performed admirably when Roethlisberger has been unable to play for various reasons.

    With the departure of former Oregon standout Dennis Dixon, Leftwich figures to play third chair behind longtime Steeler Charlie Batch. 

    Leftwich earned a Super Bowl ring in 2008 when he helped the Steelers during the regular season, earning them the second seed in the AFC.

     

    Where They Are Now

    Leftwich will again be a backup to Big Ben. He has a chance to win the primary backup position as Charlie Batch will most likely be used more so for a mentoring role. 

Chad Pennington and Patrick Ramsey: New York Jets

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    Years Active Together

    2006


    How They Fared

    Patrick Ramsey threw one pass for the Jets in the 2006 season. Enough said.

    Chad Pennington led the Jets to the playoffs before succumbing to a thrashing by the New England Patriots

     

    Where They Are Now

    After a freak accident while playing basketball, Pennington was forced to retire after multiple injuries. The two-time Comeback Player of the Year is currently an analyst for FOX Sports. 

    Patrick Ramsey is currently a free agent.

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