8 Most Heated Quarterback Training-Camp Battles of the Past Five Years
There's no secret to it: the quarterback position is the most important position on the football field.
If a team's starting quarterback is struggling, then chances are that the team will like struggle as well—the quarterback simply affects the team greater than any position on the field.
With that being said, we have seen some pretty heated quarterback competitions—especially in the past five years.
In that spirit, let's take a look at the eight most heated quarterback training-camp battles of the past five years.
Kyle Orton vs. Tim Tebow vs. Brady Quinn in 2011
There's one reason why this training-camp competition stands out more than any of the other ones, and that's Tim Tebow.
Tebow is arguably the most polarizing player in the NFL today and has quite the following of fans, known as Tebow-mania.
During the the 2011 training camp, the Denver Broncos were flirting with three possible quarterback options: Tim Tebow, Kyle Orton or Brady Quinn.
In fact, there were even rumors of the Broncos possibly trading Orton to the Miami Dolphins as if they were going to roll with Tebow as the team's starter—but that ultimately did not prove to be true.
Orton was named the team's starter, but he didn't last for long as Tebow took over the team midseason and led Denver to an AFC West divisional title in 2011.
Donovan McNabb vs. Christian Ponder in 2011
Back in 2011, the Minnesota Vikings traded for Donovan McNabb for a reason—to be simply a bridge between now until the future, which is the Christian Ponder-era.
The Vikings definitely wanted the veteran McNabb to be the team's starter by the start of the regular season, as he ultimately would be, but Ponder definitely gave him a run for the money.
In fact, Ponder impressed the coaching staff so much that McNabb was benched after six games in favor of the rookie.
Colt McCoy vs. Brandon Weeden in 2012
I realize this has yet to actually happen as training camp has yet to happen this season, but I can guarantee to you that Colt McCoy vs. Brandon Weeden is going to be one of the most heated training-camp battles in NFL history.
The Cleveland Browns will have to decide between McCoy, the incumbent that has been inconsistent throughout his first two seasons in the NFL, and the challenger, Weeden, a 28-year-old rookie, who has been reported as the favorite to win the starting job.
As of right now, there have been no concrete reports out of the Cleveland organization, just speculation out of the media, so we'll just have to wait and see how this quarterback competition develops.
Matt Leinart vs. Derek Anderson in 2010
Kurt Warner had just retired and it was assumed that Matt Leinart would be able to step in and take over the reins of the quarterback position for the Arizona Cardinals—but that wasn't the case.
Leinart struggled throughout the preseason as the offense simply didn't flow well when he was under center. However, it seemed that the offense was working much better while the challenger, Derek Anderson, was under center for the Cardinals.
Leinart was ultimately released with Anderson being named Arizona's starting quarterback.
Joey Harrington vs. Chris Redman in 2007
2007 will be a year that the Atlanta Falcons would love to forget as Michael Vick completely left the franchise in a mess as he was sentenced to jail due to the dog-fighting charges that were brought up against him.
With Vick being sentenced to jail, that left Atlanta with quarterbacks Joey Harrington and Chris Redman—nothing more than backups.
Granted, this was an ugly competition but it still was heated with Harrington coming out on top, as he played fairly well throughout the preseason.
Chad Henne vs. Chad Pennington in 2009 and 2010
This might not have been the most exciting training-camp battle between quarterbacks, but Chad Pennington and Chad Henne were certainly involved in a competition for the Miami Dolphins in 2009 as well as in 2010.
Pennington was named the starter in 2009 while Henne was able to edge out Pennington in 2010—as Pennington was unable to stay healthy.
Ultimately, we could label this as one of the most meaningless quarterback battles—as both quarterbacks are no longer with Miami—or we could simply call it "the battle of the Chads."
Kevin Kolb vs. John Skelton in 2012
Much like Colt McCoy vs. Brandon Weeden, this quarterback competition has yet to take place but it's sure going to be a heated one.
Kevin Kolb vs. John Skelton.
There's no question that Kolb is the more talented quarterback, as the Arizona Cardinals traded an arm and a leg to acquire him a year ago from the Philadelphia Eagles, but Kolb's first season with the Cards was injury plagued and he was extremely inconsistent.
With Kolb struggling, Skelton was able to rise to the occasion and actually posted a solid 5-2 record while Kolb faltered and posted a 3-6 record.
It's certainly going to be interesting how this quarterback competition turns out.
Michael Vick vs. Kevin Kolb in 2010
There is probably one of the most memorable quarterback battles that we have ever seen as Michael Vick was a fan favorite in this situation, and most fans wanted to see earn the starting job as he's such an exciting player—however, that wasn't the case at first.
Kevin Kolb was able to win the training camp battle against the electric Vick, but due to Kolb suffering a concussion in the first game of the season, Vick was able to get his chance to shine—and he shined.
Vick took the opportunity placed in front of him and made sure that he would never give up the Philadelphia Eagles starting quarterback position—and he's been the team's starter since then.
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