NFL Buzz: The Latest Rumors About Every Quarterback Battle
With the first week of the NFL preseason in the books, clarity is starting to emerge for several of the most important quarterback battles of 2012 training camps.
The staffs in Seattle, Tennessee, Arizona and Miami have now had a couple of days to digest what they've seen in their respective quarterbacks, and word has slowly started to leak out about the status of the four quarterback competitions.
In the following four slides, we give you the latest in each of the biggest four quarterback battles still ongoing this preseason.
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What was once a three-player competition between Matt Flynn, Tarvaris Jackson and Russell Wilson has quickly turned into a two-way race between just Flynn and Wilson. Jackson, the incumbent starter, looks like a strong candidate to be released at some point before the season.
While Flynn started the Seahawks' preseason opener against the Tennessee Titans, Wilson's performance in the second half certainly helped close any gap between the two quarterbacks.
After Flynn completed 11-of-13 passes for just 71 yards and an interception, Wilson blew up the second half, completing 12-of-16 passes for 124 yards and both a touchdown and interception. Wilson also ran for 59 yards and another score.
Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times said it would make sense if Wilson started the Seahawks' second preseason game Saturday.
If Wilson remains a viable candidate to be the regular-season starter, it would make sense to give him that same opportunity this week heading into Saturday's game against Denver.
Considering the kind of man-crush it appears head coach Pete Carroll has on Wilson, it wouldn't be surprising to see him be the starter Saturday.
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After just one preseason game, Jake Locker may be emerging as the front-runner to start for the Tennessee Titans.
Locker thoroughly outplayed veteran Matt Hasselbeck on Saturday in Seattle, throwing for 80 yards and finding rookie Kendall Wright three separate times on one scoring drive. Hasselbeck went 5-of-9 for 45 yards and two picks during his debut.
According to coach Mike Munchak, Locker is starting to close the gap fast.
From Jim Wyatt of the Nashville Tennessean:
I don’t know if there was a big gap. Obviously Jake doesn’t have the experience Matt has, so I think that gap you can never really close if you are a young quarterback. But I think overall, as the season progressed last year, we thought that Jake was coming on real strong. … So yeah, he has closed the gap and they are obviously both doing well. We are happy with both of them and at some point we’ll make a decision.
The Titans' plan was always to alternate starts during this preseason, and that will hold true this week. Locker is scheduled to start Friday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. With another good showing, Locker could take hold of this battle.
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Through two preseason games, neither Kevin Kolb nor John Skelton has done much to pull away in the Cardinals' quarterback competition.
Kolb has been miserable, with just two completions in two games plus one interception and a rib injury early in the Hall of Fame game. Skelton hasn't been considerably better, completing 7-of-12 passes for 67 yards and an interception.
However, ESPN's NFL insider Adam Schefter said Tuesday that Skelton may be the favorite right now.
"Arizona plans to start quarterback Kevin Kolb against Oakland on Friday," Schefter tweeted, "however, John Skelton is now considered the favorite to win starting quarterback job."
If Schefter is right, the Cardinals are facing a harsh reality with Kolb—a player they spent valuable assets and millions of dollars on last summer.
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David Garrard's knee scope (out 2-4 weeks) has made the competition in Miami an interesting one again. When Garrard went out last week, he was considered the front-runner to start.
Now, rookie Ryan Tannehill is making his move.
The first-rounder out of Texas A&M completed 14-of-21 passes for 167 yards and one touchdown in his impressive NFL debut, and the gap between Tannehill and Matt Moore is now "close," according to head coach Joe Philbin.
"I don't think it's huge," Philbin said, when asked about the gap by Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald. "I think it's relatively close, probably."
Early this week in practice, Philbin has kept his word. According to Salguero, Tannehill has been receiving more first-team reps, while Salguero went as far as to predict Tannehill will start the Dolphins' second preseason game.