The first week of the NFL preseason is over and there are still at least five teams who don't know who their starting quarterback will be for the 2010 season. Here is a look at the top QB battles in the NFL and who the early favorites are and why.
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Bradford, the first pick in the 2010 draft, is the presumptive franchise quarterback for the St. Louis Rams. But even if he plays up to all the hype, the Rams still aren't going anywhere soon.
That's where Feeley comes in. Feeley is an NFL veteran of 10 years and is familiar with the West Coast system of Rams offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur. He last played in 2007 with the Philadelphia Eagles and appeared in three games.
In the Rams first preseason game, Feeley started and completed three of six passes for 19 yards in a forgettable display against the Minnesota Vikings. Bradford replaced him early in the second quarter and completed six of 13 passes for 57 yards. He was also sacked four times.
There are some concerns in Rams camp over how well Bradford's surgically repaired shoulder will hold up against an NFL beating. So far so good. But the coaches will likely play it safe and allow Feeley to start the season while the #1 pick gets acclimated. Bradford should take over the starting job by the middle of the season, if not earlier.
For years the Carolina Panthers relied on Jake Delhomme to be their quarterback, a questionable decision considering Delhomme's 82.1 career QB rating. Then fifth-year QB Matt Moore emerged on the scene, throwing for over 1,000 yards and eight touchdowns in seven games en route to a 98.5 rating.
The picture got cloudier when the Panthers drafted Jimmy Claussen out of Notre Dame in the second round of the 2010 NFL Draft. Claussen, once in the discussion with Sam Bradford and Colt McCoy for best quarterback in the draft, fell to the Panthers at #46.
In the Panthers first preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens, Moore got the starting nod and completed four of seven passes for 32 yards. Claussen entered the game in the second quarter and was eight for 15 passing for 80 yards and an interception.
Moore is the early favorite after posting a 4-1 record as the Panthers starter in 2009. But the ultra-talented Claussen will be nipping at his heels if he should falter.
Leinart burst onto the scene in 2006 after being drafted 10th overall by the Arizona Cardinals, but inconsistency and poor performance prevented the former Trojan from reaching his full potential. In 2008, Leinart lost his starting job in training camp to Kurt Warner and had to endure two years on the bench.
Now with Warner retired, Leinart is poised to return to the field as the starting quarterback. He will have to improve on his accuracy (career 57.1 percent completions) and decision-making (14 TD's vs. 20 INT's) if he hopes to keep the Cardinals competitive.
Joining Leinart is former Cleveland Browns QB Derek Anderson. Anderson enjoyed a career year and a Pro Bowl selection in 2007, but he has struggled mightily since. Over eight games in 2009 Anderson completed only 44.5 percent of his passes, a career low, and lost his starting job.
Matt Leinart was the starter in the Cardinals first preseason game, going an efficient six for seven and a 95.8 QB rating. Anderson, on the other hand, went 13/22 and threw two interceptions in a poor showing. Look for Leinart to be given every opportunity to prove he was worth the high draft selection going into the 2010 season.
Buffalo Bills fans face a harsh reality when looking at the top two quarterbacks on the roster, and that reality is that neither option is all that enticing.
The once promising Edwards had an awful 2009 campaign, only throwing for 1,169 yards and six TD's over eight games. In 2008 he had his best season ever, throwing for 2,699 yards and completing 65.5 percent of his passes, one of the best percentages in the NFL that year.
Fitzpatrick is a career back-up who was thrust into the starting job last year after an injury to Edwards. In 10 games Fitzpatrick put up a measly 69.7 QB rating and threw more interceptions (10) than touchdowns (9).
Now, new head coach Chan Gailey must choose one of them to try and keep the Bills out of the NFL cellar. Fitzpatrick played well in the Bills first preseason game, completing nine of 14 passes for 61 yards and a touchdown. Edwards struggled again, only completing half of his 12 passes and throwing an interception.
It is only the preseason, however. Edwards will likely be named the Bills starter in the hopes that he can return to his 2008 form. But the leash on him will be painfully short, with Fitzpatrick and third-year QB Brian Brohm waiting in the wings.
The most popular quarterback in Broncos camp may be Tim Tebow, but the QB battle is going to come down to Kyle Orton and Brady Quinn.
Orton, acquired from the Chicago Bears for Jay Cutler, had a strong 2009 campaign for Denver. He threw for 3,802 yards and completed 62.1 percent of his passes. He also threw for 21 touchdowns.
Quinn fell out of favor in Cleveland and opted for a fresh start with the Broncos, signing with Denver in the offseason. He went 2-7 as a starter for the Browns in 2009 and never seemed to mesh well with head coach Romeo Crennel. But Quinn was highly regarded coming out of college and might just need to find the right system to succeed.
Denver may just be the place for him. Why? The Broncos coach is Josh McDaniels, the former offensive coordinator for the New England Patriots. Before McDaniels, the Patriots offensive coordinator was Charlie Weiss, who coached Quinn at Notre Dame. (Ironically enough, Crennel was a defensive coordinator in New England. No wonder he and Quinn didn't get along).
Assuming McDaniels uses a similar offensive system to Weiss, Quinn has a chance to be a good quarterback. He was, after all, one of the top QB's in the nation during his time at Notre Dame, winning the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award in 2006.
Orton played extremely well in the Broncos first preseason game, completing eight of 13 passes for 84 yards and two touchdowns. Quinn, meanwhile, was a pedestrian six of 16 with an interception.
Orton should be the opening day starter. But don't be too surprised to see Brady Quinn pull a Tom Brady if Orton should get injured.