Wednesday, October 3, 2007
NFL QB shakeups and controversies
Today we have the news that San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith may be out for the season with a shoulder injury and Gus Frerotte will start this Sunday for the St. Louis Rams in place of ailing Marc Bulger.
This obviously does not bode well for two teams that had legitimate playoff chances before the season. Now the 49ers (2-2) will look to journeyman Trent Dilfer to salvage their season. The Rams (0-4) are probably already out of the postseason given the impactful injuries of left tackle Orlando Pace and budding superstar running back Steven Jackson.
Tack on these two quarterback changes to the long list of quarterback moves already made in just four weeks of the 2007-08 NFL season. Whether it be because of injury, a change of pace, or criminal mischief, the quarterback situation in the NFL is crazy this season.
(Asterisk indicates different starter now than opening day)
Arizona Cardinals: Matt Leinart; Kurt Warner - Since Week 3 coach Ken Whisenhunt has done a 50/50 with these QBs, hoping for a change of pace and using each in situations. Leinart remains the starter for now.
Atlanta Falcons: Mike Vick out; Joey Harrington - The franchise and face of the team Vick is a guilty criminal, gets suspended by the league, and Harrington is forced in for the preseason.
Baltimore Ravens: Steve McNair; Kyle Boller - Boller has made spot appearances this season because McNair has been dinged. The elder McNair is not playing well and the Ravens are struggling right now.
*Buffalo Bills: J.P. Losman; rookie Trent Edwards - Losman goes down early in Week 3 and Edwards has had the reigns since.
*Carolina Panthers: Jake Delhomme; David Carr - Delhomme tweaks his throwing elbow and Carr starts in Week 4. Carr also stinks, mightily, in Week 4.
*Chicago Bears: Rex Grossman; Brian Griese - Grossman continues to be horrible and harms the team so coach Lovie Smith makes the move to the veteran Griese for Week 4. Griese responds with 3 INTs.
*Cleveland Browns: Charlie Frye; Derek Anderson - Frye struggles in the first half of Week 1 and is replaced by Anderson. Frye is traded to Seattle three days later.
Detroit Lions: Jon Kitna; JP O'Sullivan - Kitna takes a couple hard hits early in a Week 2 game against Minnesota, leaves the game, returns in the fourth quarter by a 'miracle' and leads the Lions to victory.
*Minnesota Vikings: Tavaris Jackson; Brooks Bollinger; Kelly Holcomb - Jackson is ineffective in the first two weeks, gets injured in Week 2 and is replaced by Bollinger for the remainder of that game. Holcombs starts Week 3 and 4.
NY Jets: Chad Pennington; Kellen Clemens - Pennington gets hurt in Week 1, Clemens finishes the game and starts in Week 2, only to lose the job to Pennington in Week 3 and 4.
*Oakland Raiders: Josh McCown; Daunte Culpepper - McCown gets banged around the first couple weeks and Culpepper gets the start in Week 4 and leads the team to a road victory. The Raiders have a bye in Week 5 and that's plenty of time for the words "quarterback controversy" to be thrown around.
That makes eight NFL teams who've changed starters since opening day and three more who've made in-game moves.
Injury aside, what other teams might be on the brink of changing quarterbacks?
Miami Dolphins: Trent Green has been abysmal. He barely beat out Cleo Lemon for the job, plus rookie John Beck could get the nod if the Dolphins fall out of contention.
Kansas City Chiefs: Damon Huard is bad. But so is backup Brodie Croyle. The Chiefs might let Croyle play out the season to see how good he is; they did invest a third-round pick on him a few years ago.