It’s a difficult decision for any head coach to make: when is it the right time to make a quarterback change? They must be certain that the future is now. The backup has to be ready to step in and make plays.
In the past, NFL teams would shy away from making a switch, but now they’re making knee-jerk reactions after a few bad offensive series.
Let’s take a look at five QBs that are on the hot seat:
For the Minnesota Vikings, it has been a tale of two halves. In the first half, they have outscored opponents 54-7, only to be outscored 67-6 by their opponents in the second half.
It doesn’t make sense for a 0-3 team to play a 34-year old quarterback with diminishing skills. Donovan McNabb cannot consistency hit Percy Harvin deep downfield, the tight end over the middle or the back coming out of the backfield.
But, head coach Leslie Frazier doesn’t think McNabb is in jeopardy of losing his job. Even though, their quarterback of the future is standing on the sidelines.
In preseason, Christian Ponder showed that he can make all of these throws, and the Vikings desperately need a playmaker at that position. Maybe a quarterback change will bring some energy to a floundering offense.
Since starting 6-0 in 2009, Kyle Orton has gone 6-19 as the Denver Broncos starting quarterback. The whispers have become a loud and clear that it might be time to see what Tim Tebow can do at the quarterback position. But, Orton has one large group of supporters in his corner, his teammates.
Every comment that has come out of the Bronco locker room has been in full support of him, as prominent team members still feel that Orton is the best option at the position. But, if the Broncos fall out of contention, it makes sense to put in Tebow for an extended look.
But, that time doesn’t appear to be now. Though a few more tough losses could justify a quarterback change. The fans want someone to solve their offensive problems, and Tebow has a knack of scoring touchdowns.
Last Sunday’s 20-17 loss to the San Diego Chargers gave the Kansas City Chiefs some solace in that they can compete once again in the AFC West. But, the fans aren’t pleased with another defeat ending with a costly turnover from Matt Cassel.
It’s time to pull Cassel and let Ricky Stanzi get some reps in a game. You cannot continually turn the football over (Cassel has five interceptions this season) in your own zone and expect your defense to shut down opponents on a short field.
Last season was magical, but the Chiefs took full advantage of an easy schedule. Cassel had full complement of offensive weapons to choose from, but now due to injuries (TE Tony Moeaki and RB Jamaal Charles, both out for the season); the passing game has become too one-dimensional.
It might be the perfect time to make a quarterback change and get themselves back into the divisional chase. The Chiefs have an outstanding nucleus of young talent, but Cassel isn’t your long-term answer. He cannot make the big play at the crucial moment.
At times, Seattle Seahawks QB Tarvaris Jackson has found some rhythm throwing the football, as poor offensive line play has often flushed him out of the pocket to gain a clear passing lane.
Some fans want Jackson to become more aggressive in running the ball, especially when the pass-blocking breaks down.
Head coach Pete Carroll must decide if the NFC West is winnable or if is this a rebuilding year with the end goal being drafting a quarterback for the future next April.
Let’s not forget that the Seahawks traded for Charlie Whitehurst last season, and he never was given a fair shot to play the quarterback position full-time.
Carroll has too much invested in Jackson, as he played for his offensive coordinator Darren Bevell during their time together in Minnesota. But, a change at quarterback might help revive a non-existent passing game.
Indianapolis Colts QB Kerry Collins might have lost his starting position regardless of the injury (concussion) sustained in their best game of the young season, a three-point loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday night. Curtis Painter will become the starter, as this offense has plenty of weapons to help out the young quarterback.
One of the Colts biggest disappointments has been the offensive line’s problems in protecting the quarterback. Every time the offense started to gain some momentum by moving the football, the line would kill a drive either by missing a block or committing a stupid penalty.
This season has been a disaster since Payton Manning went down with a neck injury. Team president Bill Polian signed Collins out of retirement, so that tells us all we need to know about his confidence in Painter as a quarterback.
Game management will be expected from the quarterback position, as the Colts will run a basic offense for the remainder of the season.