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2009 NFL QB Camp Battles

Welcome to a new edition of the

Brew Crew Corner
. It’s June, and that means training camp is just around the corner and fantasy football season will be off and running. I’ve been watching the NBA and NHL playoffs trying to occupy my time until football gets here and it hasn’t helped much. I’ve been reduced to watching football follies on the NFL network; that’s how much I need football to be back in action. As always there are a lot of changes in the league during the offseason and this year has a number of camp battles to watch – mainly at the QB position – which will be key for the success of the other skill positions. It will be important for a team to name a starter early because nothing is worse than to have an undecided QB battle in the middle of preseason. For a number of reasons, this is never a good situation for the team. You have two guys splitting first-team reps and not enough time to develop good rhythm with the receivers. Another is when you’re headed into those early drafts where you don’t know who the started will be which may force you to take both QBs. For instance, last year during draft time, you had

Arizona
‘s QB situation. At the time you had no indication whether
Kurt Warner
or
Matt Leinart
would be the starter. This caused both QBs to drop in drafts and the owner who selected Warner late got tremendous value while those who took Leinart was left with a wasted draft pick. You need to look at the camp battles and monitor the reports coming out of camp to ensure that you are selecting the better QB or you can choose to avoid those teams who are undecided. Let’s look at each division and take a first glance at the QB battle that will take place in camp.


NFC EAST





Dallas


Cowboys


Tony Romo – Starter
Jon Kitna
Stephen McGee
Rudy Carpenter



Dallas

is set with
Romo
as their starter. No camp battle here.




Philadelphia


Eagles


Donovan McNabb – Starter
Kevin Kolb
A.J. Feeley
Adam DiMichele



Philadelphia

is set with
McNabb
as their starter. No camp battle here.




New York


Giants


Eli Manning – Starter
David Carr
Rhett Bomar
Andre Woodson



New York

is set with
Manning
as their starter. No camp battle here.




Washington


Redskins


Jason Campbell – Starter
Colt Brennan
Todd Collins
Chase Daniel

At the moment it would appear that
Campbell
is that starter. However, the offseason
Jay Cutler
and
Mark Sanchez
rumors as well as the poor finish last season has Campbell holding on to starting spot by a thread. Depending on how much
Brennan
has improved, this is a situation that could develop into a camp battle if

Campbell
struggles early. Keep an eye on this one through mini-camp.


NFC NORTH





Detroit


Lions


Daunte Culpepper – First Team
Matthew Stafford – First Team
Drew Stanton

Here we have our first real camp battle situation. After the Lions went 0-16 they will look for the best option to start the season of right and try and forget last season. Culpepper is the seasoned veteran but did not light it up last season. Perhaps the full offseason and training camp will help him get back on track. The Lions selected Stafford No. 1 overall in hopes he will be the future franchise QB of the team. The question they will be faced with is if they should start
Stafford right away or sit him so he can learn and develop. After the success of
Joe Flacco
and
Matt Ryan
, it would be hard for the Lions to keep him on the sideline for long. This will be one of the most reported situations during training camp.




Chicago


Bears


Jay Cutler – Starter
Caleb Hanie
Brett Basanez

The Bears made one of the biggest offseason trades by getting
Cutler
. For years the Bears have struggled to find a star at the QB position and now Cutler will have a chance to improve a position that has struggled for so long. No camp battle here.




Green Bay


Packers


Aaron Rodgers – Starter
Matt Flynn
Brian Brohm

Rodgers stepped out from the
Brett Favre
shadow and played well and also showed toughness. He has some durability issues but will be the starter. No camp battle here.




Minnesota


Vikings


Sage Rosenfels – First Team
Tarvaris Jackson – First Team
John David Booty
Sean Glennon

The Vikings situation has been the most bizarre of all the teams this offseason. They go out and trade for
Rosenfels
who they could have traded for last season only to be in the rumor mix of the Jay Cutler situation as well as draft day
Mark Sanchez
talks. We are weeks away from training camp and the
Brett Favre
saga has now shifted to

Minnesota
. So who will be the starter? It will all depend on the team’s pursuit of Favre. Even if Brett doesn’t join the team, they still have to see who wins the job between Rosenfels and Jackson.


NFC SOUTH





Atlanta


Falcons


Matt Ryan – Starter
D.J. Shockley
John Parker Wilson
Chris Redman

After winning rookie of the year last season, there is no doubt that Ryan will be the starter. No camp battle here.




Carolina


Panthers


Jake Delhomme – Starter
Josh McCown
Matt Moore
Hunter Cantwell

Delhomme returns as the starter after signing an extension to free up some cap space. The Panthers really need to look for a new starter but for now are content on Delhomme behind center. No camp battle here.




New Orleans


Saints


Drew Brees – Starter
Joey Harrington
Mark Brunell

Brees led the league with 5,069 yards and had 38 TDs. No doubt he will be the starter. No camp battle here.




Tampa



Bay


Buccaneers


Josh Freeman – First Team
Byron Leftwich – First Team
Brian Griese – First Team
Luke McCown – First Team
Josh Johnson



Tampa

has a logjam at the QB position, and as of right now, no clear indication of who will be starting. They drafted Freeman in the first round of this year’s draft and added Byron Leftwich which may indicate that they will look to sit Freeman and go with a veteran to start the season. But Leftwich has three other QBs to contend with. If a starter isn’t named early, this could drag out until the end of the preseason.


NFC SOUTH





Arizona


Cardinals


Kurt Warner –

Starter
Matt Leinart
Brian St.

Pierre

Tyler Palko

Warner led

Arizona
to the Super Bowl and re-signed to remain the starter. No camp battle here.




San Francisco


49ers


Shaun Hill – First Team
Damon Huard – First Team
Alex Smith – First Team
Nate Davis

Just like last year, the 49ers are not set at the QB position. They were part of the
Mark Sanchez
draft rumors but it didn’t work out as the Jets moved up to grab him. The signed
Huard
who has not stayed healthy. One year later they are in the same situation as they were a year ago. Let the QB carousel begin.




Seattle


Seahawks


Matt Hasselbeck – Starter
Seneca Wallace
Mike Teel
Jeff Rowe

Hasselbeck had a number of injuries last season but should be healthy enough to start the season. No camp battle here.




St. Louis


Rams

Marc Bulger – Starter
Kyle Boller
Keith Null

Bulger is the clear starter with no competition behind him but is close to being on his way out as the team wants to move into another direction. They have been rumored to be interested in Michael Vick. This is not a camp battle, but the situation could change if the team was to add Vick.


AFC EAST




Buffalo


Bills


Trent Edwards – Starter
Ryan Fitzpatrick
Matt Baker

The Bills are set with Edwards as their starter. No camp battle here.




Miami


Dolphins



Chad

Pennington – Starter


Chad
Henne
Pat White

Pennington played well last season, coming over from the Jets, and he will be the starter again this season. No camp battle here.



New England


Patriots


Tom Brady – Starter
Matt Gutierrez
Kevin O’Connell
Brian Hoyer

Brady is ahead of schedule from returning from his knee surgery and should be the starter. No camp battle here.




New York


Jets


Mark Sanchez – First Team
Kellen Clemens – First Team
Erik Ainge
Chris Pizzotti

The only QB camp battle in the AFC East. Many feel that Sanchez will win the Job but Clemens has a chance to keep the rookie on the sidelines for awhile.


AFC NORTH




Baltimore

Ravens

Joe Flacco – Starter
John Beck


Troy
Smith
Drew Willy

Flacco did what was asked of him last year and now he can open up the playbook a little more. No camp battle here.




Cincinnati


Bengals




Carson

Palmer – Starter
J.T. O’Sullivan
Billy Farris
Jordan Palmer



Carson

looks healthy and will be the starter this year. No camp battle here.




Cleveland


Browns


Brady Quinn – First Team
Derek Anderson – First Team
Brett Ratliff – First Team
Richard Bartel

This will be an interesting situation to watch as Eric Mangini will be rebuilding this team. The Browns were part of the
Jay Cutler
rumors as well. Draft day was another speculation of what the team would do at QB. It’s clear Mangini wants someone else at the QB position and don’t be surprised to see
Anderson
win the job. I think Quinn is the more-talented QB but there will be a lot of controversy this summer. Ratliff could also be in the mix.




Pittsburgh


Steelers


Ben Roethlisberger – Starter
Kevin McCabe
Dennis

Dixon

Charlie Batch
Mike Reilly

Super Bowl ring in hand, Big Ben will be the starter. No camp battle here.


AFC SOUTH





Houston


Texans


Matt Schaub – Starter
Dan Orlovsky
Alex Brink

The Texans traded
Sage Rosenfels
and are happy with
Schaub
as their starter. No camp battle here.




Indianapolis


Colts


Peyton Manning – Starter
Jim Sorgi
Chris Crane
Curtis Painter

Manning resumes his role as one of the top QBs. No camp battle here.




Jacksonville


Jaguars


David Garrard – Starter
Cleo Lemon
Todd Bouman
Paul Smith

The team is happy with
Garrard
as their starter. No camp battle here.




Tennessee


Titans


Kerry Collins – Starter
Vince Young
Patrick Ramsey
Alex Mortensen

Collins is the starter and will start for this team but the controversy is starting with
Young
, as rumors are stating he wants to play or be traded. This could be a distraction and we have to see how much does Collins have left in the tank. No camp battle yet.


AFC WEST





Denver


Broncos


Kyle Orton – First Team
Chris Simms – First Team
Tom Brandstater

The Broncos’ QB situation was in the full spotlight this offseason when the team was forced to trade
Jay Cutler
to the Bears after a fallout over new coach Josh McDaniels’ effort to trade for
Matt Cassel
. The Broncos last season finished third in passing yards and now have questions at the QB position.
Orton
came over in the Cutler trade but will have to battle
Simms
for the starting position. This is a situation to watch during camp.




Kansas City


Chiefs


Matt Cassel – First Team
Tyler Thigpen – First Team
Brodie Croyle – First Team
Ingle Martin

You would assume that when the Chiefs went out and traded for
Cassel that the starting job would be his, but the team was part of the initial Cutler situation. They have not yet offered
Cassel a long-term contract, and although he is making starter money, he still will have to fight off Thigpen and Croyle. I believe
Cassel will be the starter but this isn’t settled yet.




Oakland


Raiders


JaMarcus Russell – First Team
Jeff Garcia – First Team
Bruce Gradkowski
Danny Southwick
Andrew Walter

I believe Russell will have every opportunity to remain the starter but I can see
Garcia
taking the job from him. Russell showed some improvements last season but he still has a long way to go. This could turn into a controversy that will force the team to chose. This situation should pick up steam closer to the preseason.




San Diego


Chargers


Philip Rivers – Starter
Billy Volek
Charlie Whitehurs

The team is happy to have
Rivers
as their starter. No camp battle here.

So as mini-camps get on the way, there are a number of situations that will be in the spotlight. Also keep an eye on injuries as there were a number of QBs hurt last season and those coming back from surgery like
Tom Brady
and maybe even
Brett Favre
.

Enjoy your summer and get ready for the return of football!

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