NFL Position Battles: Five Teams with a Quarterback Controversy
With just two weeks under our belts in the NFL regular season, it seems as if there are enough story lines to fill a Stephen King novel.
Most of them are concerning the league's most important position: quarterback.
Some position battles have started because the team is under-performing, while others happen because of injuries.
Here are the five teams that, for whatever reason, have a quarterback position battle on their hands.
Carolina Panthers: Matt Moore Vs. Jimmy Clausen
For a few years now, Matt Moore has waited in the wings behind Jake Delhomme for his time to shine. And now, in his first season as a starter, Jimmy Clausen is now waiting in the wings.
The Panthers shocked the NFL by selecting Clausen in the second round of the 2010 NFL Draft. Once thought of as a top ten pick, Clausen fell and fell until the Panthers took a gamble.
Last week, Moore was benched in the fourth quarter of the team's loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Clausen entered the game.
While Clausen may be the starter in a couple of years, this is Moore's job to lose at the moment.
Philadelphia Eagles: Kevin Kolb Vs. Michael Vick
After Kevin Kolb got roughed up in the first week against the Green Bay Packers, Michael Vick was ready to get his first start since 2006.
He got that start last week against the Detroit Lions, and was spectacular. He made acrobatic throws as he was falling to the ground and spun out of countless defenders' grasps to evade a sack. There is no doubt this guy still has it.
But after trading Donovan McNabb to a division rival, the Eagles organization was prepared to have Kolb become the starter. And he certainly did not lose his starting spot by his play on the field; it was an injury that sidelined him.
If the Eagles can please both quarterbacks by splitting time, then good for them. Vick has personally said that Kolb should remain the starter, but you can be sure that head coach Andy Reid is drawing up a few plays to highlight Vick's speed and athleticism.
Cleveland Browns: Jake Delhomme Vs. Seneca Wallace Vs. Colt McCoy
Jake Delhomme is not leading the Cleveland Browns to the playoffs. It is as simple as that.
It is fairly understood that Delhomme was brought to Cleveland to tutor and mentor rookie quarterback Colt McCoy, and season him into becoming a starter. But why can't McCoy get any playing time?
There are two common ideologies for handling rookie quarterbacks. You could either throw them into the mix, like Sam Bradford and Matthew Stafford, and hope they learn from their mistakes, or you can sit them down for a few seasons, like Carson Palmer.
The Browns are opting for the latter.
Delhomme was good the first week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but had to sit out last week against the Kansas City Chiefs with an ankle injury.
Seneca Wallace filled in, but the question is, are the Browns making the right decision by sitting McCoy?
Oakland Raiders: Jason Campbell Vs. Bruce Gradkowski
Jason Campbell was a part of one of the biggest offseason moves last spring. He left the Washington Redskins for the Raiders after new head coach Mike Shanahan decided he was moving in a different direction.
Well, things haven't been that easy on Campbell in Oakland. He was benched at halftime of the Week 2 matchup against the St. Louis Rams in favor of Bruce Gradkowski.
Gradkowski has made a living as a backup quarterback in Tampa Bay, Cleveland, and Oakland. In his limited time under center, he has performed fairly well. Last season, he threw for over 800 yards in four games as a full-time starter, including a 300 yard performance against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Gradkowski and Campbell are both capable of keeping a starting spot, but the question is whether there is enough talent around them for the team to succeed.
Seattle Seahawks: Matt Hasselbeck Vs. Charlie Whitehurst
Let's just get this out there: Matt Hasselbeck is not going to lead the Seahawks to another Super Bowl appearance.
In his 12th season as a quarterback, Hasselbeck will win some games. He has had years where he has thrown for over 3,500 yards and 20 touchdowns. Sadly, though, those days are behind him.
The Seahawks organization paid an enormous price for the untested Charlie Whitehurst in the NFL offseason. After trading for him, they also signed him to a two-year, $8 million deal. They do have plans to make him the starting quarterback at some point in this season, it is just a matter of when.