Finding the Next Tony Romo: Three Backups Who Could Be Like Tony
The year was 2006, and Tony Romo began the year as the backup to Drew Bledsoe as the Cowboys' quarterback.
As we all know, he didn't finish as the backup. Tony was undrafted out of Eastern Illinois, but then signed with the Cowboys in 2003 as PAT holder.
For three seasons, he was a preseason superstar until he got his shot that faithful October night. He then went from nobody to well-known almost overnight.
It's now the 2010 NFL Season, and we are all looking for a guy who can replicate Romo's success.
Charlie Whitehurst in an interesting player to say the least.
Whitehurst went to Clemson and is the son of David Whitehurst, former NFL QB. He, unlike Romo, was drafted in the third round of the 2006 NFL Draft, but never touched the field thanks to Phillip Rivers and Billy Volek. Like Romo, he was a preseason superstar that always displayed potential.
On March 12th, Charlie may have finally gotten his chance. He was traded to the Seahawks for a third round pick in the 2010 Draft with the hope to fight for the starting QB job in Seattle.
Pete Carroll saw something in this kid, and that speaks volumes with his resume, including coaching Carson Palmer and Mark Sanchez into being proven NFL QBs.
Matt Hasselback looked past his prime last year, and was injured most of the season (Drew Bledsoe anyone?). This means Whitehurst will likely get significant playing time during the 2010 regular season, and could potentially lead the Seahawks to win the weak NFC West. He also has a good No.1 option like Romo did to spread the ball to in TJ Houshmandzadeh.
Stay tuned folks, because this Whitehurst kid has shades of Romo written all over him.
Chase Daniel was an undrafted free agent out of Missouri during the 2009 NFL Season.
He has a super quick release like Romo's, and he has the same speed coming out of the pocket. He played well in the preseason with Redskins, but was released. He was then signed by the Saints practice squad for most of their season, and then won a ring being the third QB for the Super Bowl.
Chase is now the favorite at backup QB for the 2010 season according to many New Orleans newspapers who wonder if Pat Ramsey will even make it through training camp.
He, like Romo, also has a good No.1 option to work with in Marques Colston. You may be asking yourself,"Surely Drew Brees isn't going to have a bad season is he?!"
Remember who (Drew Brees) is on the cover of Madden 11, and we all know what that means.
Madden 1999 was the first year they put players on the cover. Garrison Hearst has an outstanding season, but breaks his ankle in a playoff game that costs him two years of his NFL career.
Madden 2000; Barry Sanders is pictured over John Madden's right shoulder, but he decided to retire.
Madden 2001; Eddie George fails to rush for 1000 yards and the Titans miss the playoffs.
Madden 2002; Daunte Culpepper misses four games due to injury and leads Minnesota to their worst record at 5-11 since 1984.
Madden 2003; Marshall Faulk has the worst injury-free year of his career in which he rushes for 430 yards less than the year before.
Madden 2004; Mike Vick breaks his leg in a preseason game against the Ravens and misses 11 games.
Madden 2005; Ray Lewis has the worst injury-free season of his career in which he didn't record an INT for the first time in his career.
Madden 2006; Donovan McNabb suffers a sports hernia in Week Nine and is lost for the season.
Madden 2007; Shaun Alexander breaks his foot and misses six games.
Madden 2008; Vince Young throws eight more INTs than TDs and loses in the playoffs.
Madden 2009; Brett Favre betrays the Packers and the Jets as his arm injury and attitude cost both teams their seasons.
Madden 2010; Troy Polamalu injures his knee in the first game of the season and never returns.
Madden 2011; Drew Brees is featured on the cover (effects not yet known).
To move away from the whole conspiracy idea, I'd like to point out that Daniel is a lot like Brees. He knows the system very well, he is the same height, he won his state's championship, he was an All-American, and he has a quick release all like Brees does.
Daniel has received praise for a great offseason from coach Sean Payton and QB Drew Brees. If Brees gets injured at any point in the season, look for Chase to come in and perform well.
Matt Flynn is different from all three previous candidates for the simple fact that he actually got to touch the field during the regular season when he was a backup. He performed well last year in his short time completed 5 of 9 possible passes, but he threw a pick that dampens his pedigree.
Flynn was a key cog in leading the 2008 LSU Tigers to a National Title and was drafted in the seventh round of the 2008 draft. Recently, he beat out Brian Brohm for the backup spot and with it could come great benefits.
The Packers have arguably the best WR corps in the league with two excellent TEs he could throw to if Aaron Rodgers got hurt. Flynn is the same height as Romo, and has had two great preseasons the last two years. If Rodgers gets hurt, look for Flynn to step in and try to replicate Rodgers' success the best he possibly can.
What if there isn't a Tony this season?
There may not be a next Tony Romo this 2010 NFL Season, but if there is, look for these guys to rival his 2006 Success.