NFL: Predicting All Quarterback Competitions
As we draw nearer to NFL training camps opening, one of the main topics of discussion will be the very competitions at the quarterback position within several NFL franchises.
Whether a top draft pick has been brought in to see if he can immediately take the job, or if it was a free agent signing to add depth at a weak position, there are some interesting battles that will take place over the course of this summer as we head into the 2012 NFL season.
Here is a look at the teams that will have two or more players competing for the starting quarterback position and I how I feel they will shake out.
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The Dolphins used the eighth overall selection in the NFL draft to bring in Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill, despite him only starting 19 games at the position in college.
With the Dolphins' history of QB play since the retirement of Dan Marino, they'll likely want to get Tannehill onto the field as soon as possible. But they need to be smart with how they handle him, allowing him to properly develop, even if the fans are clamoring for him to get into action.
Matt Moore is a very underrated player. After Chad Henne went down with a season-ending injury last year, Moore came in and filled in admirably. He completed 60.5 percent of his passes for almost 2,500 yards and threw 16 touchdowns.
In March, the Dolphins signed veteran QB David Garrard, who sat out the entire 2011 season after being cut by the Jaguars, whom he played with for nine seasons. Garrard will be the wild card in this quarterback race.
He even had some comments after Dolphins owner Stephen Ross said Moore would likely be the starter to begin the year. "That's just more fuel for me. It's somebody else I have to try and prove wrong," quipped Garrard via ESPN.
I feel the Dolphins would be wise to let Tannehill soak up as much as he can this season and then maybe throw him in if the season is lost in order to get some experience. I would use Garrard as a safety valve, but I'll agree with Stephen Ross.
Quarterback to start the season: Matt Moore
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This will be one of the most interesting quarterback battles this season.
After signing with the Titans as a free agent going into the season, Matt Hasselbeck played pretty well and nearly led the Titans to the playoffs. Completing 61.6 percent of his throws, Hasselbeck compiled 3,571 yards passing and 18 TDs.
But when he was given a chance, Jake Locker showed flashes of being a very good player. In limited action, he threw for 542 yards and four TDs. Head coach Mike Munchak has stated that a quarterback competition would decide this year's starter and that will give Locker his chance to take the job.
This may be a tough choice for the Titans coaching staff, but unless Hasselbeck completely outplays Locker in preseason, I think the Titans have to see what their former first-round pick is capable of.
Quarterback to start the season: Jake Locker
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This may not even be much of a competition at this point as it seems the Browns have all but handed the position to Brandon Weeden, who was somewhat surprisingly selected in the first round of April's draft.
Weeden was a mystery heading into the draft, as some rated him in the first round while others said he was no better than a third. Most of the questions were related to him already being 28 years old.
Colt McCoy probably felt like he had the rug pulled out from under him, but he is a competitor and will still have the chance to prove people wrong. Many have argued that the Browns never surrounded McCoy with any weapons to help make him successful and those arguments may be accurate.
Along with drafting Weeden, the Browns also brought in Trent Richardson and former Miami Hurricane wide receiver Travis Benjamin. These are two players who should immediately help the success of Weeden, who in my opinion has already been anointed the starter.
Quarterback to start the season: Brandon Weeden
Kansas City Chiefs
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By and large, Matt Cassel has been a disappointment in Kansas City after signing a huge contract following a trade from the Patriots. He had his 2011 season cut short due to injury and this season could be make or break for him.
In the offseason, the Chiefs brought in free-agent quarterback Brady Quinn, who had spent the last two seasons in Denver where he never compiled an official stat in a regular season game. A former first-round pick, Quinn has never been able to live up to the billing he once had at Notre Dame. However, this may be his chance. Quinn played under head coach Romeo Crennel in Cleveland and Crennel won't be afraid to pull the trigger here.
I feel Cassel will start the season but will be kept on a short leash as he is continually pushed for playing time by Quinn.
Quarterback to start the season: Matt Cassel
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After being traded to the Cardinals last offseason, Kevin Kolb came in with a lot of hype and a lot of hope. But it was an injury-plagued season for the former Philadelphia Eagle, and he never really got the chance to hit his stride. Playing in just nine games, Kolb threw for 1,955 yards with five TDs.
In his absence, John Skelton was able to step in and lead the Cardinals to a 5-2 record, throwing for 1,913 yards and 11 TDs. Many Cardinals fans seemed to feel Skelton gave the team the best chance to win.
Will that still be the case this year? That remains to be seen, but we can expect a fierce training camp battle. Still, when the season begins, I expect the Cardinals to stick with Kolb, having only seen about a half of a season of play from him.
Quarterback to start the season: Kevin Kolb
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This could easily be the most intriguing of the quarterback competitions this offseason and it involves three players.
Tarvaris Jackson was the starter for the Seahawks last season after coming over as a free agent from Minnesota. Jackson had his best season in the NFL, throwing for 3,091 yards with 14 TDs while helping the Seahawks to an 8-8 record and a late playoff push.
Still, the Seahawks felt it necessary to pursue one of the biggest names on the free agent market in former Green Bay backup quarterback Matt Flynn.
Flynn has played sparingly in the NFL as he's been behind Aaron Rodgers, but when he's gotten into games, he's made the most of the opportunity. That was most evident in the 2011 regular season finale against Detroit, where he threw for 480 yards and an astounding six TDs, both of which are now Packers records.
The Seahawks didn't stop there, drafting Russell Wilson in the third round of the NFL draft, despite some experts saying he is too short to play the position.
Wilson will likely have a chip on his shoulder to prove those experts wrong and I feel he is an interesting prospect for the Seahawks' future. Despite Jackson's success under center a year ago, the Seahawks paid $26 million dollars to obtain Flynn and they didn't do that for him to be on the bench.
Quarterback to start the season: Matt Flynn