As our beloved Colts franchise undergoes a massive overhaul this year, from GM, to head coach, to staff, & finally roster additions & subtractions, I wonder if our team & the corresponding front office in INDY have finally grasped the importance of maintaining a quality back up quarterback yet. Starting QB's these days are prone to a number of injuries these days from concussions, to rib damage, to knee damage, to ankle damage, & ,as we all know, neck damage too just to name a few ailments.
Curtis Painter as we all know was not the the answer. Even Bill Polian had to acknowledge that misplaced athletic trust in him over time as the losses continued to mount up over the course of the season. Is Dan Orlovsky capable to fill this crucial role permanently? Too soon to conclusively state that he has earned that right yet. What really are the necessary guidelines for a quality backup QB anyway? You seldom get reps with the 1st string squad yet you are expected to execute the plays flawlessly even though you have had no time to develop team or individual player chemistry & timing with routes & receivers & tight ends. You must memorize the entire playbook & go to unit meetings with the specific coaches, but unless the QB coach puts you in there during practice to stay sharp or the receivers agree to work with you after practice individually you won't be precise, crisp, & fluid in your throwing motion, delivery of the ball, & route combinations.
I liken this lack of QB fluidity to Drivers ED training. Remember in high school when your instructor loaded up the car with 4 students & took everyone out for a spin behind the wheel? One student is told to paralell [sic] park & then the instructor asks eyeryone else "Did they do that correctly observing all the rules of the road with safety in mind at all times?" Nobody knows & nobody cares either because you are in the backseat day dreaming wondering if you get to step in the driver's seat next. Here's my point: Until a coach gives you the green light to take the reins for real & lead this team of horses down field for real, does a backup QB honestly believe that he's getting real reps with an iron man veteran QB at the helm? Yes, back up QB's get paid handsomely to be prepared for the injury bug reality, but until LIVE rounds are in the game day gun & you are baptized by the line of scrimmage defensive fire...You are just like that high school driver's ed kid twiteling [sic] your thumbs patiently waiting to grab the wheel & hit the accelerator full throttle baby!!! What are the definitive job description rules for backup QB's around the league anyway? Which ever one is cheapest & the most experienced?
How do back QB's stay sharp, motivated, on fire, & accurate when most veteran players view you & your position just like a field goal kicker? You barely break a sweat, still get a nice check, & nobody cares about you unless they need your foot to win a hard fought game or get them into overtime...If you miss the uprights, join the FBI's Witness Protection Program man because the fans & city will despise you.
Not an easy spot to be in...The life of an NFL backup is hard & short-lived...Can I get behind the wheel now?!!