Seneca Wallace Wants a Shot

Seneca Wallace hears the conversations surrounding the starting quarterback for the 2012 Cleveland Browns and wishes to add his name into the hat.

Under contract for two more seasons and entering his 10th as a professional, Wallace, in his postgame press conference, stated that he feels he deserves at least the chance to compete for the starting spot next season.

While the career-long back-up quarterback went winless in his three starts with the Browns, provided to him merely due to the now-infamous Colt McCoy concussion, Wallace was certainly quick to point out the fact that the Browns were at least in the discussion come late in the fourth quarter – “For us to come out here and go toe-to-toe with a team that could end up in the Super Bowl [is good].”

Wallace was also quick to use the ongoing bout of ineptness to his advantage. You know, the one which the franchise has traded in since its return in 1999? Bringing in a rookie quarterback – given Robert Griffin III being all the rage – per Wallace, would only serve to lengthen the Waiting.  And, to further the debate about drafting a quarterback or improving the surrounding pieces, Wallace wants to make certain that, despite his ties to Mike Holmgren and understanding of the West Coast offense, he isn’t going to sit idly and settle for a teaching role without an opportunity to be the man.

“When I came here, [Mike Holmgren] made some things clear that he was going to bring in a Jake Delhomme and we were going to compete,” said Wallace. “He lets the guy run the show and call the shots on who’s playing.”

Referring to Pat Shurmur as “the guy” may not exactly be the best way to earn said opportunity, especially when coming off of the heals of a 16-of-41 day with 177 yards with one interception. That said, the fleet-of-foot back-up feels that he has put his time in and deserves a decision-based opportunity rather than one rooted in injury.  Had he had a few extra games this year, Wallace feels the wins would have eventually rolled in.

“There was a time [in 2008] when I got eight games under my belt in a row and each game there was a big improvement and we won some games and it was during difficult times,” Wallace said. “We had a lot of injuries, things like that, guys in and out of the rotation. But we still moved the ball and scored points on teams.

“So I could imagine if I got the right opportunity and a good off-season and tried to push the guys in the right direction, what could happen.” 

Wallace just has to hope that those pulling the strings share a similar imagination.

  • humboldt

    I find Wallace’s active refusal to mentor McCoy to be reprehensible. Would be in favor of purging him from the roster.

    When you have marginal talent, you have to at least be a good team guy.

  • C-Bus Kevin

    Ugh…no. Just…no.

    If going “toe to toe” was enough to…no.

    Has it come to this? Name one team, other than Cleveland, that would give this more than 3 seconds of thought.

  • gren

    Aka… Seneca Wallace wants a trade.

    Like humboldt said, his refusal to mentor McCoy makes me disgusted with him as a player. We aren’t going to get anywhere with me first guys. Best back-up in the league ? Maybe. Another distraction we don’t need ? Definitely.

  • Deuce

    I say trade for Matt Flynn, a guy that not only knows the system, but has shown massive capability. Right now it seems that all we have is backups, this will not cut it in the AFC North. And in a Flynn trade, you also look for a few free agents to fill holes and DRAFT a real nice O-lineman. Build from this type of format and win games.

  • Shamrock

    Wallace has had his chances particularly elsewhere cant see it happening. Personally I have no clue on Flynn one way or the other. The one thing I do know is I’d rather waste $$$ or a late draft pick as opposed to another high draft pick.

  • ben

    Seneca should probably get better at football before he starts talking like this.

  • 5KMD

    “For us to come out here and go toe-to-toe with a team that could end up in the Super Bowl [is good].”

    He forgot to add that the “toe-to-toeing” had nothing to do with the offensive that he was in charge of.

    Unless he intends on trying out for safety next year. Or maybe hybrid safety/OLB.

  • C-Bus Kevin

    I hope this doesn’t sound harsh…

    But where does Wallace, a wideout turned QB with about a decade of experience (and NFL money) mostly holding a clipboard, get off refusing to mentor a teammate?!?!

    The guy’s made piles of cash and hasn’t had to take the physical abuse of being a starter. I would take this the same way if Jim Sorgi spoke out after sitting on the bench behind Peyton Manning for several years. There are plenty of jobs available at the department of sanitation (or maybe not…stupid recession) if Seneca doesn’t want to mentor his teammates.

    Just…wow! If he was really that great, he would have shown it by now. What happened with that 8 game audition in ’08? That’s more than most get. Backup QB’s getting moody…unbelievable!

    Why doesn’t he just turn in a letter of resignation? Sheesh!

  • humboldt


    “where does Wallace, a wideout turned QB with about a decade of experience (and NFL money) mostly holding a clipboard, get off refusing to mentor a teammate?!?!”

    Exactly. Unfortunately, this provides yet another reason for us to question Holmgren’s (and Heckert’s) judgment on putting this roster together.

  • C-Bus Kevin

    This is just preposterous. I’m sorry…I cannot get over this just yet. What the heck is he crapping on about?

    If I was Wallace, I would be more concerned about life after football if he doesn’t get the 3rd QB roster spot next year after McCoy and whomever the Browns draft/acquire.

    The suggestion that he get a shot would only kinda make sense of he had won any of the last 3 games! Just when you thought you’d seen it all…

  • stin4u

    @8 – Technically he was a QB turned wideout turned QB.

    I’m sorry but did I miss something? Weren’t the past x amount of camps he’s been active in also opportunities to win a starting job? Or all those times Hasselbeck got hurt, wouldn’t those count as auditions for other suitors? Not sure what makes this any different. I would love my shot to start for the Cleveland Indians but I suck at hitting curve balls, life is tough.

  • Return of the (Alex) Mack

    He really earned that starting QB spot floating out routes that were easily picked week after week as well as fumbling at his own 5 yard line. He is a career backup for a reason.

  • C-Bus Kevin

    @ Humboldt

    I’m as confused as you are. When you consider his path to close to 10 YEARS in the NFL, Seneca has already. Beaten the odds is a BIG way. Why would anyone draw attention to themselves like that if they are in such a precarious employment situation.

    Even Jake Delhomme understood that it was better to roll with the punches in the mentor roll. He could have been cut mid season last year, but he wasn’t, probably because he made himself useful as a teacher. You could see him chatting up McCoy on the sidelines between drives last year.

  • Nicko


    Flynn is going to be a free agent after this year. No need to trade if interested.

  • Tron

    Apparently Senaca feels like he’s on the Holcolm, Quinn, Anderson, Frei train and figures why not him? It’s actually kind of funny that even the crappy players we have here think to themselves “Hey, i may be crappy but i’m not quite as crappy as what they’ve been used to”.

    I guess this is what a losing culture brings, backups thinking they should be starters. Thanks but no thanks Senaca

  • NJ

    Honest questions: Did Wallace actually say he refused to mentor Colt? Or was it reported that he was actively being a jerk? Or is just assumed or something?

    He’s a career backup. And heck, he’s been with this team a while now and has received multiple chances as a starter here. What did he do with those opportunities? Nothing.

    Considering his track record and moaning, I actually hope the guy hasn’t taught Colt or any of our young players anything.

  • Wheel

    Not a fan of Seneca Wallace, especially after reading he made no real attempt to mentor McCoy with the West Coast Offense. Thank god Gary Danielson didn’t have this attitude with Bernie Kosar. Wallace is not a team player and mediocre QB who in three games, showed he is not an option to be starting QB.

  • Harv 21

    Seneca Wallace: where ineptness meets delusion.

    I don’t know, after he audibled into a running play a few weeks ago with no timeouts left at the end of the half, maybe it’s best that he not be mentoring anyone. Wait, to be fair he said he would answer Colt’s specific questions if asked. As in “Why would you ask that, read your playbook. Ask me a better question.”

  • mgbode

    I am glad that he wants to be a starter and has that drive. However, if he truly deserved that shot then he would have done more with his opportunities. Sorry Seneca, those are the breaks. You are a great backup and there is alot to be said for that as a profession (make very nice money without nearly the physical risk).

  • JM

    He’s been a career backup for a reason.

  • Harv 21

    @15: this is the Browns, where any player says anything without consequences under the guise of it being good for the team. Why shouldn’t Seneca pipe up. He watches as Cribbs unilaterally announce to the media that he’s going back on special teams, before his post-game shower, before he consults with the head coach, for the good of the team. And he’s a “team leader,” such as we manufacture here now.

    Hard to believe, kiddies, but was a time when the locker room was filled with winning, respected players who would stop their teammates from this team-corrosive stuff: Ozzie, Clay, Bernie, Hanford, Golic …

  • gren

    This makes me feel worse for McCoy now.

    Last year was the whole Brian Daboll debacle and now this ? Poor kid never stood a chance.

  • Max

    I want bacon to be good for me. I have about as much of a shot as you, Mr. Wallace

  • humboldt

    @NJ – Wallace explicitly stated that he wasn’t here to mentor McCoy. I first read about it in a Mary Kay Cabot article over the weekend when I was back home in Cleveland:

    “Asked during Thursday’s interview how much mentoring he’s done with McCoy this season, Wallace said: “Not much. Not much. That was Jake [Delhomme’s] deal. He did a lot of some stuff with him last year. But that’s not my thing. It’s just one thing I don’t do. I came in with the mind-set I wanted to compete, whatever case that was.”

    Wallace said he’d answer any questions McCoy might have about the West Coast offense, but he wouldn’t offer unsolicited help.”

  • Brendon

    @16 – He stated in his interview with The Bull & The Fox that he does not help mentor Colt because he is fighting for a starting spot. I was floored when he said that.

  • Natedawg

    I read an article after the Raven game stating that Wallace was begining to pack out his locker with a cardboard box that Monday or Tuesday, when they still had the game left against the steelers. If this is the case, good ridance. Get rid of him. We do not need our “leader” quitting before the last game (one in which he was given the opportunity to start). You have a flight to catch or something after the Pittsburgh game? Unacceptable.

  • Dave

    I’m with everyone else who’s stated he’s been a career back-up for a reason. On top of that, he’s shown what type of character he has in refusing to help McCoy out. That was one of the amazing things with Delhomme last year; after McCoy took over, Jake had no problem talking to McCoy and try to help him get better. I think that is a big reason why we’ve seen little growth from McCoy this year; he didn’t have that veteran voice in his year helping him learn. McCoy still may not amount to much more than a back-up with or without a mentor, but it didn’t help his case.

    I never liked Wallace to begin with though. He’s more interested in himself than helping the team and the Browns don’t need that.

  • Deuce

    Let me ask this question to you all. If the claim is that it takes a QB 3 years to learn the WCO, than why is everyone so gung-ho to dismiss McCoy? Drafting a QB is starting over, and bringing in a FA is still a transition. I said before that a Flynn trade could work, but I retract. The only plus to that is his knowledge of the WCO, but it’s still a transition and the guy really hasn’t played much. I think the WR’s and Oline are more suspect to need repaired if you expect anything from anyone, even McCoy. I’m no NFL scout, but I say McCoy could be good if surrounded with tools to win.

  • Dave

    Seneca Wallace is one of the better backup quarterbacks in the league, but no more. Over his entire career he has shown an ability to come in for several weeks and not lose games for his team. Conversely, he has demonstrated that he lacks the skills to start for a full 19-20 game (counting playoffs) schedule. He does not throw a good ball (too much air under the ball, not a tight enough spiral…neither are good in a cold weather climate) and has proven to be overconfident in his passing and running abilities.

    I get the feeling the Browns will have to trade/release his this offseason. He has no chance of being a successful starter and will likely become a malcontent if he isn’t given the chance to prove me right.

  • Big Z

    After the Browns trade him, bring in either Flynn or RG3, and drop Colt to 2nd string, he’ll get a shot.

  • NJ

    @24, 25 – thanks. Since so many people were saying it I guessed it was true, but thought I better ask before bagging on him too hard. Internet and all…. A pox on Wallace. Let the bum go be a back-up in Tampa.

    Like Harv said, the complete lack of leadership from our locker room is just sad. As much as I like Cribbs and Hillis, both have shown a profound ability to make it all about themselves. Like everything here, it’s kind of a chicken-and-egg thing: do our players lack loyalty because we stink so bad or do we stink so bad because our players lack loyalty?

  • Matt

    I do not understand how one could simultaneously want to get Flynn (a backup QB) so we don’t have to start Wallace (a backup QB) or McCoy (accused of backup QB skill set).

    I tend to agree with the people who think Flynn may be more of a Holcomb-style backup than a Brady-style backup. Let’s let McCoy hold down the fort while we get more pieces.

    Obviously Wallace’s time should be done here in Cleveland.

  • muttklingon

    need to keep mccoy. An wallace at qb? an build around the qb . used both qb . AS one. QB? ??

  • JM

    I don’t understand the Flynn hype. He had a good game in the last game of the season against a team that gives up a lot of points. I would say draft a QB if he is there. They need WR help badly too, so weapons would help in the draft or free agency.

  • Subadai

    Hey… I totally agree w/ Wallace.

    I have a full beard. I can wear a Browns baseball cap backwards.

    I want a “shot” too. After all, I have as much right as him to ask for a “shot.”

  • james

    So everyone here wants him to say ‘I’m a backup, I don’t deserve to start.”? This offense looked horrible all season long, I don’t know if Colt is the guy but I don’t think we should write off Wallace because he wants to compete. I don’t know how much mentoring I would do for someone who’s job I was trying to take. We always want honesty from these guys, and when we get it we complain about it. The NFL is a cut throat business, despite all of the ‘mentoring’ done by Delhomme he was shown the door in July.

    I for one don’t blame the guy for wanting a chance to compete, in the end that’s all he’s asking for.

  • Mike From Akron Ohio

    Seneca Wallace is getting paid too much to ride the pine anyways.We just signed him to some ridiculous contract before the season had started.I say cut the guy if he doesnt want to be a backup or mentor. But at same time Im not buying into the hype concerning Matt Flynn and the game he had due to the Packers treating the last game like a preseason game. I truly Like McCoy and hope we add more help to the Offense and Offensive Line.As for a backup or Draft Pick…I Love Luck but he’ll be gone by time we draft and If Both Richardson(RB) and RG3(QB) are available I’d be hurting on who to pick.Guess that depends on our plans with Hillis. For a backup if we dont draft a QB.I say maybe talk to FLynn,but def talk to Jason Campbell and Kyle Orton.