This morning in Scott’s WWW post, he linked to the news that Seneca Wallace might just have a shot at becoming the Browns’ quarterback this season. Of course there is also the story where Mangini attempts coyness in saying Wallace will have a role in the offense, maybe alongside Josh Cribbs. I know that as Browns fans we are really gun shy about quarterback controversies, especially after the “battle” between Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn, neither of whom as of this writing are a bona fide NFL starter. I am sure a lot of you will automatically say that the same should be said for the career backup, Seneca Wallace and the new Mr. “Diminished Skills,” Jake Delhomme. I can make the argument that maybe the Browns will need a bit of QB controversy this season.
First off, I would prefer that this controversy not include Colt McCoy unless we are 10 weeks into the season and everyone else is hurt. Under those circumstances, I guess I would be OK with letting McCoy play. Even at that point though, I would be interested to see what kinds of veterans are sitting on the top of the scrap heap not named Bruce Gradkowski.
Back to the Seneca Wallace story, wouldn’t you be disappointed if Wallace was brought in here and he wasn’t given a chance to compete with 35 year-old Jake Delhomme? This is the same Delhomme who has acknowledged that he needs to find a way to resurrect himself after a simply horrendous year in Carolina that saw the team dump him in the midst of an extension that was supposed to keep him there until 2014 with $20 million in guarantees and a max possible of $42 million. It isn’t a big surprise to me that there would be some competition for the quarterback position this year with Delhomme being first on the depth chart at the beginning.
It isn’t a bad thing. The Browns don’t have a bona fide top of the line starter right now. Consider Delhomme this way. He could easily become the next Kerry Collins from the Tennessee Titans. Kerry Collins gave the Titans a solid season in 2008 before faltering and yielding to a more prepared Vince Young. I don’t think the Browns have a good enough team that Jake Delhomme can put up 13 wins like Collins did. The Browns probably don’t have the receivers to catch 242 balls for over 2600 yards either, but still. Delhomme could potentially solidify the QB position for a year or two.
If Delhomme falters again, tell me you aren’t happy to have a 29 year-old, seven year veteran named Seneca Wallace sitting behind him. Sometimes career backups step up and become one or two year wonders. It isn’t out of the realm of possibility that Seneca Wallace could be just good enough for two years so the Browns can figure out who will become their starter in the long run. I don’t think Seneca Wallace will become Kurt Warner, although Warner didn’t become good in the NFL until he was 27. Think more along the lines of the two year stint that Tommy Maddox had with the Steelers.
Those are the two scenarios that Browns fans should be hopeful for with Delhomme and Wallace. I don’t think I have set the bar too high either. All I ask for is competency at the position for a year and the two guys should compete for the job without the trouble we ran into with DA and BQ.
Ultimately, the story will be how the coaching staff deals with it. A year after dealing with Quinn and D.A. you have to think Eric Mangini and company want a clearer picture heading into the beginning of the season. For their sake, I hope either Delhomme or Wallace steps up and takes the job as opposed to having two guys fail on top of each other the way Quinn and Anderson did a year ago. In the end, it is apparently all the coach’s fault if players fail to take advantage of opportunities they are given in Cleveland.