Five NFL Teams With Budding Quarterback Issues for 2010

Bryan DietzlerSenior Analyst IJuly 7, 2010

KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 20:  Quarterback Matt Cassell #7 of the Kansas City Chiefs hands off to running back Larry Johnson #27 during the game against the Oakland Raiders at Arrowhead Stadium on September 20, 2009 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Throughout the NFL’s long history, each and every team has had a quarterback problem at one point or another.  Whether it’s been the whole Tom Brady/Drew Bledsoe debate, the Rex Grossman/Kyle Orton debate or others, every team has had some issue with their quarterbacks.

The 2010 season may see several teams have quarterback issues before it’s all said and done.  Some of them are teams that we know very well (having quarterback issues heading into the 2010 season) and a couple may be a bit of surprise to some.  These issues could end up hurting these teams in the long run but especially during the 2010 season.

The following is a look at five teams that are poised to have quarterback issues in the 2010 season and a look at how the issue will affect the team’s standing in 2010.

1.  Arizona Cardinals -Each and every football fan knows that the Cardinals no longer have future Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner and there will be some obvious quarterback problems for the Cardinals this season.  Right now, as we head towards training camp, the Cardinals could have either Matt Leinart or former Cleveland Brown starter Derek Anderson at the helm in 2010.  Right now, all signs point to Leinart being the starter but that could easily change in training camp this summer.

The Cardinals have lived and died by their passing game for the past few seasons and are now at a bit of a crossroads.  Hopefully, their running game will be much better so that they aren’t forced to rely so much on what might be a less than stellar passing game.  Another issue that we have seen with the Cardinals and their new quarterbacks, in particular Leinart, is that he hasn’t played that well on a consistent basis.  Will the Cardinals be able to get anything out of him or will they have to turn to Anderson? We shall soon find out.

2.  Pittsburgh Steelers -The Steelers have been put in their akward quarterback situation thanks to the off the field activities of their starting superstar Ben Roethlisberger.  Roethlisberger will miss the first four games of the 2010 NFL season thanks to a suspension that he received from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for bad counduct off the field.  While this doesn’t look like it’s going to be that harmful to the Steelers chances this season four games could make or break this team.

The Steelers have two quarterbacks that will compete for the starting job while Big Ben is out.  They are Dennis Dixon and Byron Leftwich. While Leftwich has the experience, Dixon may have the upper hand because he has played in this offense recently and knows it better than Leftwich (Leftwich did play with the Steelers for a time and does know the team and the system but perhaps not as good as Dixon does).  The thing is, Dixon isn’t quite talented and Leftwich is aging, and not playing his best football (he couldn’t even make it in lowly Tampa Bay).  Will this spell trouble for the Steelers?

Simply put, yes.  Getting a good start to the season will be important for the Steelers and they may not have what it takes to get that good start.  It’s going to be a shaky begininning to the season for Pittsburgh with these two quarterbacks but if they can at least walk away 2-2 before Roethlisberger gets back then things may be ok in Pittsburgh.

3.  Buffalo Bills -The Bills are going into the 2010 season with no real starting quarterback and this spells doom for the franchise before the season even begins.  Buffalo will take Trent Edwards, Brian Brohm, Levi Brown, and Ryan Fitzpatrick.  None of these guys really intstills fear in anyone, so the Bills will suffer greatly at the quarterback position this coming season.

Unless the Bills sign a proven veteran, it doesn’t look like they are going to have a lot of success at the quarterback position this season, and the Bills will, once again, suffer another losing season.  Buffalo needs to spend some time looking into getting one of the talented signal callers that will be coming out college (guys like Jake Locker) next season before thinking that they will be able to contend in their division or even reach the playoffs anytime soon.

4.  Kansas City Chiefs -Is the great Matt Cassell experiment about to be officially deemed a failure?  Not yet.  The Chiefs are going to give him one more shot at proving that he was worth all the trouble that they went through to get him.  If Cassell fails however, who do the Chiefs have to step in and try to right their ship?

Much like the Buffalo Bills, the Chiefs don’t have any standouts at the quarterback position.  Looking at their roster (and the group that they will be taking into training camp with them at the end of this month) we see that they have Brodie Croyle, Ingle Martin, and Tyler Palko.  None of these guys are really what anyone would like to see in a starting quarterback although Croyle does have some talent and could step in and start if needed.

If Cassell doesn’t do well this season it’s likely that the Chiefs are going to spend some time (and a high draft pick) trying  to nail down the quarterback position.  The Chiefs are finally starting to put all the pieces together on both sides of the ball but if they are held back by the quarterback this season then changes will come in 2011 and hopefully they will finally be on the road to making the playoffs.

5.  Seattle Seahawks -Age problems came up fast at the quarterback position in Seattle as Matt Hasslebeck isn’t getting any younger and is clearly showing the signs of his age.  Hasslebeck has missed a lot of time and the Seahawks have suffered for it.  Now, they have gone out and got a quarterback that hasn’t started in or played a single NFL game (in Charlie Whitehurst).  Who will they hand the reigns over to in 2010?

It’s most likely that Seattle will start the season with the most experienced player at the position (Hasslebeck) and eventually allow Whitehurst to come into the lineup and take over.  Or, the Seahawks could see how well Hasslebeck does in terms of staying healthy and then put Whitehurst in if indeed Hasslebeck falls to an injury. 

It’s a rebuilding year for the Seahawks as many positions are seeing some new faces.  The quarterback position could be one that sees some changes as well depending on which way the Seahawks want to go.  Do they want to stick with the wily veteran who has a ton of game experience but could come up injured at some point or do they want to start fresh with the young guy who could be their quarterback of the future?  We will soon find out. 


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