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NFL Training Camp: The 10 Worst Training Camp QB Battles Ever

Michael MillSenior Analyst IIIMay 30, 2011

NFL Training Camp: The 10 Worst Training Camp QB Battles Ever

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    4 Oct 1998:  Quarterback Bobby Hoying #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles in action during a game against the Denver Broncos at the Mile High Stadium in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos defeated the Eagles 41-16.
    Brian Bahr/Getty Images

    For every star like Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, there is a quarterback on the opposite side of the spectrum.

    However, these quarterbacks with lesser talents can still make for some intriguing stories.

    What happens when two terrible quarterbacks square off in a battle for the starting position during the season?

    It often results in a painful, yet amusing experience.

    Here are 10 of the worst training camp quarterback battles.

10. Kyle Boller vs. Anthony Wright (2005)

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    BALTIMORE - NOVEMBER 11:  Quarterback Kyle Boller #7 of the Baltimore Ravens delivers a pass against the Cincinnati Bengals at M&T Bank Staduim November 11, 2007 in Baltimore, Maryland. Cincinnati defeated Baltimore 21-7.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty I
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    By the 2005 season, it had become clear that Kyle Boller just wasn't starting material in the NFL.

    He had struggled in both the previous seasons, and despite the Ravens having a talented roster they fell short both years.

    Instead of the Ravens bringing in a quarterback to challenge Boller, they continued into training camp with Anthony Wright as the guy who would battle for the position.

    Boller won, but stunk it up during the season.

    Wright and Boller actually played about an equal amount of time in 2005. Both threw more interceptions than touchdowns.

    The Ravens ended the season 6-10 and brought in Steve McNair to take over in 2006.

9. Brian Griese vs. Rex Grossman (2007)

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    CLEVELAND - AUGUST 28:  Rex Grossman #8 of the Chicago Bears looks to pass against the Cleveland Browns during a preseason NFL game at Cleveland Browns Stadium on August 28, 2008 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
    Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

    Rex Grossman is one of the most inconsistent players the NFL may have ever seen.

    He could look like a star, or fall apart in the most important moment. This led to much criticism from Bears fans following the loss in Super Bowl XLI.

    Grossman was forced to battle for his starting position against Brian Griese in the 2007 season.

    Despite an awful showing in the preseason, Grossman retained the spot.

    After committing ten turnovers in the first three games of the year, he was demoted. Griese entered and didn't do much better.

    Back and forth it went, until finally some guy named Kyle Orton took over to finish the season.

8. Rick Mirer vs. John Friesz

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    10 Dec 1995:  Quarterback Rick Mirer #3 of the Seattle Seahawks drops back to throw downfield during their game against the Denver Broncos at Mile High Stadium in Denver, Colorado. The Seahawks defeated the Broncos 31-27. Mandatory Credit:  Al Bello/Allsp
    Al Bello/Getty Images

    Rick Mirer was the second overall pick in the 1993 NFL Draft. He drew comparisons to Joe Montana.

    He ended up being one of the worst quarterbacks in the history of the league.

    This led to one of the worst quarterback battles of all-time.

    After failing miserably in his first three years at Seattle, the team opened training camp with competition between Mirer and John Friesz.

    Mirer retained the position, although Friesz played just as much time in the 1996 season.

    Mirer ended the year with five touchdowns to 12 interceptions. He had a 56.6 quarterback rating.

7. Chris Weinke vs. Rodney Pete (2002)

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    IRVING, TEXAS - OCTOBER 13:  Quarterback Chris Weinke #16 of the Carolina Panthers throws a pass during the NFL game against the Dallas Cowboys at Texas Stadium on October 13, 2002 in Irving, Texas.   The Cowboys defeated the Panthers 14-13.  (Photo by Ro
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Chris Weinke was a Heisman Trophy winner at Florida State. That never translated to success in the NFL.

    The Carolina Panthers selected him in the fourth round of the 2001 NFL Draft, and Weinke was immediately named starter.

    The Panthers went on to finish the 2001 season with a 1-15 record.

    In 2002, with John Fox now head coach, a quarterback competition began in training camp. Rodney Peete ultimately won the position and led the Panthers to a 7-9 season.

    However, Peete wasn't much better than Weinke.

    Fox replaced him the following season with Jake Delhomme. The Panthers went to the Super Bowl that year.

6. Ray Lucas vs. Glenn Foley (1997-1998)

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    24 Sep 2000:  Ray Lucas #6 of the New York Jets drops back with the ball during the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. The Jets defeated the Buccaneers 21-17.Mandatory Credit: Craig Jones  /Allsport
    Craig Jones/Getty Images

    In 1997, Ray Lucas came in as the guy who was going to be the future leader of the New York Jets.

    He battled with Glenn Foley, not for the starting position, but for the backup spot and a future with the team.

    What made this battle so awful, was just how ugly it got.

    It was pretty obvious that none of the guys really liked each other. Lucas was loud and obnoxious, making the entire battle pretty comical.

    Problem was, neither was really any good. Lucas only ever started for the Jets due to an injury to Vinny Testaverde.

    In fact, many think he was only on the roster because Bill Parcels liked him.

5. Alex Smith vs. Anybody (2005-Current)

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    SAN DIEGO, CA - DECEMBER 16:  Quarterback Alex Smith #11 of the San Francisco 49ers drops back to pass against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium on December 16, 2010 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
    Harry How/Getty Images

    Don't take this the wrong way. I'm actually a big Alex Smith supporter.

    However, he is yet to head into a season where he hasn't had to compete for the starting job in training camp.

    This year will be no different.

    Trent Dilfer, Troy Smith, Shaun Hill, Ken Dorsey and now Colin Kaepernick.

    Pretty ugly considering he is a former No.1 overall pick.

4. Tom Sherman vs. Mike Taliaferro (1968)

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    Training camp battles date back a long time. The 1968 Boston Patriots in the AFL had a quarterback dilemma heading into the season.

    Tom Sherman and Mike Taliaferro battled for the starting position on the roster.

    I don't think either can be called the winner, because both played and both were horrid.

    Taliaferro completed 38.1 percent of his passes with a 26.9 quarterback rating. He threw four touchdowns to 16 interceptions.

    Sherman wasn't much better, completing 39.8 percent of his passes with a 45.6 quarterback rating. his 12 touchdowns to 16 interceptions was just as poor.

3. Joey Harrington vs. Mike McMahon (2002)

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    MINNEAPOLIS - NOVEMBER 6: Joey Harrington #3 of the Detroit Lions walks off the field on November 6, 2005 at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Minnesota Vikings defeated the Detroit Lions 27-14. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images).
    Elsa/Getty Images

    I'm sorry for bringing back bad memories Lions fans.

    Joey Harrington was brought to the club in 2002 to compete immediately for the starting quarterback spot.

    Problem was, Harrington wasn't very good. Too be fair, he was a rookie. On the other hand, he never really got any better.

    McMahon actually won the spot in training camp and started week one.

    He didn't make it through the game without Harrington coming in to replace him.

    The two played a game of musical chairs sharing time throughout the season. The Lions finished the year with a 3-13 record.

2. Frank Tripucka vs. George Herring (1961)

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    The Denver Broncos brought in Frank Tripucka at 33 years old to take over at quarterback in 1960.

    He had already played for seven different organizations in his career.

    The move didn't go as planned. Tripucka threw 24 touchdowns and 34 interceptions in his first season with the Broncos.

    The next season, the Broncos had a quarterback controversy. They were stuck deciding between Tripucka and George Herring.

    Tripucka was ultimately named the starter, but like most of the awful quarterbacks on this list, both played during the season.

    Tripucka threw 10 touchdowns and 21 interceptions that 1961 season. Herring was even worse, compiling just five touchdowns and 22 interceptions.

1. Bobby Hoying vs. Rodney Peete vs. the Detmers (1997-1998)

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    18 Aug 1996:  Quarterback Bobby Hoying of the Philadelphia Eagles looks to pass the ball during a preseason game against the New England Patriots at Foxboro Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  The Patriots won the game, 37-10. Mandatory Credit: Al Bello
    Al Bello/Getty Images

    What's the only thing better than a quarterback competition with two awful quarterbacks?

    It's a quarterback competition with three awful quarterbacks!

    Well, Hoying was supposed to be good, but he wasn't.

    That's what the Philadelphia Eagles had in 1997 with Bobby Hoying, Ty Detmer and Rodney Peete.

    Detmer started the season, Peete played sparingly and Hoying took over as the season ended.The Eagles finished the year 6-9-1.

    More controversy followed in 1998. Hoying started the season looking absolutely horrible. After throwing zero touchdowns and nine interceptions he was benched.

    Both Koy Detmer and Rodney Peete played the rest of the season out as starters. The Eagles finished 3-13.

    Hoying only threw seven more pass attempts in his career, all for the Oakland Raiders.

    Next year, the Eagles had a new quarterback. The fans may have booed him when he was drafted, but Donovan McNabb didn't turn out too bad.

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