NFL

Eagles and Packers Smart to Stick with Their Backup Quarterbacks

PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 08:  Colt McCoy #12 of the Cleveland Browns rolls out of the pocket in the first half against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on December 8, 2011 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images
Aaron NaglerNFL National Lead WriterJune 19, 2012

According to NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah, the Cleveland Browns are reportedly shopping quarterback Colt McCoy for "minimal compensation." This has led to all manner of speculation from fans and the media regarding McCoy's possible destination.

Two teams that I've seen brought up on a pretty consistent basis are the Philadelphia Eagles and the Green Bay Packers. It all makes "too much sense" is the common refrain. While it may "make sense" on paper, there is a lot more to the situation than simply moving a mediocre quarterback from one team to another because they supposedly run a "West Coast offense."

First of all, I say "supposedly" because, for the Packers at least, nothing could be further from the truth. Mike McCarthy's offense is about as far from a traditional West Coast-type of attack as you can get these days, with four and five wide receiver sets working route combinations 15 to 20 yards downfield on many plays, there's little resemblance to the traditional Bill Walsh way of working on display. 

As for the Eagles, while they certainly employ many of the offensive traits Andy Reid learned from Mike Holmgren, the promotion of Michael Vick to starting quarterback changed a lot of what they do on offense. Yes, there are a great many West Coast principals at work, but again, much of the passing game focuses itself downfield, especially when trying to get the ball to the likes of DeSean Jackson.

Secondly, both teams have backup quarterbacks that they have been developing in Graham Harrell and Mike Kafka. Both of these names tend to earn scoffing dismissal from fans and even some media members, but "growing your own" backup quarterback is far more preferable than bringing in some other team's castoff, even for a late round draft pick. 

The Packers and the Eagles have invested a lot of time and valuable reps bringing along Harrell and Kafka. Both are ready to move up the depth chart and to take over the top backup spot (Kafka was actually already there, but you'd never know it from all the speculation trying to have him replaced).

NFL quarterbacking has been plagued by years of the kind of mentality that wants McCoy dealt to a team that "makes too much sense not to!"—the Packers and Eagles are doing the right thing by staying away and sticking to the idea that developing your own quarterback is better than grasping at other people's castoffs. 

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