Starter: Some asshole
Backups: Mike Glennon (primary) and Seth Lobato
Poor Mike Glennon. Through no fault of his own, he’s now been replaced twice as the starter for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The first time was so the Bucs could just double-check to make sure that Josh McCown is still a McCown, for bad or for worse, and the now Glennon has to take a backseat to a guy who threw 19 interceptions in the ACC and whose smile is whiter than a bag of roofies. If there’s an upside to this, it certainly shows the Bucs still have faith in Glennon and want him around, especially given how much trade buzz surrounded him in the offseason. He doesn’t have the wins to his name, going 5-13 as a starter, but of course, the rest of the Bucs haven’t really done their part, either. If I’m Glennon, I’d just wait for Jameis’ windowless van full of supporters to break down after he blows the first few games, then take back what’s rightfully mine. Who’s gonna stop me? Seth Lobato? Hell no he ain’t.
Starter: Blake Bortles
Backups: Chad Henne (primary), Stephen Morris, and Jeff Tuel
Chad Henne is so very, very Chad Henne. He has a sort of quiet mediocrity about him that allows him to slip under the radar and keep getting chances at starting. He got to start three games last season, threw for less than 500 cumulative yards, but finished the season with a positive TD-INT ratio, the first time he’s done that in his career (he has, however, finished a season with an equal number of touchdowns to interceptions). Lord only knows how much more Henne Jacksonville fans can stomach. The good news is there’s two other fun backups whose development they can encourage! Morris is a skinny pocket QB out of Miami who rode the pine for J’Ville last year, but looked good in the preseason. Jeff Tuel (yes, they call him “Tuel Time”) is perhaps best remembered for actually getting to start as a third-stringer with the Buffalo Bills in 2013. He wasn’t that good, but the Bills let him throw a lot, much like he did at Washington State, and he did throw a touchdown (and three interceptions). So, y’know, he’s not a lost cause yet. Maybe it the clock shall finally strike for Tuel Time.
Starter: Sam Bradford
Backups: Mark Sanchez (primary), Matt Barkley, and Tim Tebow
Go home Eagles, you’re drunk… on mediocre quarterbacks. Hey, I’ll be the first in line to admit Mark Sanchez wasn’t that bad last year, but I’ll also be the first to remind you that he’s still not technically that good, and certainly isn’t the most consistent quarterback in the world. But you can sincerely say he improved after his disastrous 2012 campaign and 2013 non-season. I think Sanchez has been the starter in the two toughest sports cities to please fans in: New York and Philadelphia. For a West Coast kid, that’s gotta be a rough transition, especially when you give those fans success, then underperform the following year or so. I’m very optimistic about Sanchez’ development as a potentially high-quality backup. I’m also optimistic about THA LAWD STA-RIIIIIKING DOWWWWWWN THESE HEATHEN QUARTERBACKS and allowing his CHOSEN SON, TIMOTHY H. CHRIST I mean TEBOW to lead the Eagles to THA PAH-ROMISED LAAAAAND. So, y’know, that could play a factor. Matt Barkley needs to go back out to Califor-nee-way and just take some time to explore himself. We all know he’s a SoCal quarterback, on account of the fact that he can’t throw the ball more than eight yards, but who is he really? Does he even know? Good luck on your journey, Matt Barkley. Hope it’s warmer wherever you end up.
Starter: Ryan Tannehill
Backups: Matt Moore (primary), Josh Freeman, and McLeod Bethel-Thompson
Look, I know Moore is the veteran here, and has played in Miami for years, but all the questions have been answered about him. We know what he is, and what he is happens to be “meh”. Moore had a fine season… in 2011, going 4-6 as a starter, throwing for 2500 yards, and finishing with 16 touchdowns to just nine interceptions. Not bad, but Ryan Tannehill simply progressed at a faster rate than the Dolphins expected, and looks to be their quarterback of the future, or at least is good enough to earn a chance to be the future. Josh Freeman is the real reason I rated the Dolphins so high. After getting cut by the Giants a month into a one-year contract signed in April 2014, Freeman vanished for the 14-15 campaign, and has since spent months and months training both his body and mind, looking to prove the his doubters wrong. It’s a tall task made taller by the Bucs front office reportedly creating a campaign of lies that intended to paint Freeman as a “troubled player”, who partied and used hard drugs. By all accounts, and from my own reading, Freeman is as clean as a whistle, if he ever was tarnished to begin with. Freeman did get cut by the Dolphins last week, but was resigned two days ago, likely over contract language and fine points. I predict by the start of the season, Freeman will be competing with Tannehill for the starting spot as opposed to McLeod Bethel-Thompson, who will likely end up on someone’s practice squad. No, they can’t fit the whole last name on the back of the jersey, McLeod. Don’t blame me, blame the tailor!
Starter: Tony Romo
Backups: Brandon Weeden (primary), Jameill Showers, Dustin Vaughan
Wow, who would’ve thought Brandon Weeden would succeed in Dallas as a backup. Granted, he already has the age of a veteran backup (31!!!), but nobody could’ve forseen his solid performances last season in limited appearances toward the last half of the season. No, he didn’t put up Earth-shattering numbers, but it is interesting to see his marked improvement as a guy who entered the league in his late twenties. We forget, he had the advantage of growing up as a person before having to grow as a player, so he came in with a very different, but very focused mindset. Certainly ‘Boys fans are hoping they don’t have to see Weeden this season, given Romo’s injury history, but they can still hope Weeden has a positive effect on Jameill Showers. I’ve actually been aware of Jameill for some time, thanks to watching GC’s own Jeff Tyner build a UTEP dynasty on NCAA Football 2014. Showers was less impressive stats-wise in real life, accruing just 3,100 yards over the past one-and-a-half seasons as UTEP’s starter (he only played in 7 games in 2013). He did, however, complete 56% of his passes and finished his college career with a 23-10 TD-INT ratio. Boy, those two seasons would’ve made for one really good season, am I right? Showers is also a dual-threat, rushing for 500 yards and eight touchdowns in college, which gives the Cowboys a very, very different look on offense. The preseason will be fun to watch with Showers around, that’s for sure.
Starter: Josh McCown
Backups: Johnny Manziel (primary), Connor Shaw, Thad Lewis
Johnny and Connie, back again! Known Johnny Football-hater and head coach Mike Pettine made it clear in May that Josh McCown would be the starter for Cleveland, and indicated that it would be for the “forseeable future.” How is a player, who has won the Heisman Trophy and was drafted in the first round, going to be told that they’re not expected to start over a guy who was under center for the friggin’ Buccaneers? Over a friggin’ McCown brother?! I’ll admit, Johnny did not have his head on straight last season, but the Browns organization has been messing with his head and his role on the team from day one. It helps that Josh McCown is far more accepting than Brian Hoyer when it comes to acknowledging his place as a, uh, place-holder, but if Pettine isn’t even willing to acknowledge the possibility of Manziel being the starter sometime this season, or even by the start of the season, then what the hell are the Browns doing? Hey, I think there’s an echo in Cleveland, because I’m sure the Dawg Pound has been saying that since 1999. In the meantime, there’s a chance all this disarray means more Shaw Ball! Connor Shaw is an innocent baby angel who must be protected at all costs, and seeing him survive his first NFL game really warmed my heart. He looked like a real pro out there, and I really, really hope he doesn’t get booted to the practice squad. The man deserves to at least be on the sideline!
Starter: Joe Flacco
Backups: Matt Schaub (primary), Jerry Lovelocke, Bryn Renner
Much like another QB named Matt (Cassel, in this case), Schaub has had a really rough couple of years. He suffered a full-on meltdown in Houston, getting the boot despite saving the Texans from the agonizing future of David Carr, yet when he tried to keep his career as a starter in Oakland, he was benched in favor of Derek Carr. He only threw ten passes during his time in Oakland (and two of them were interceptions), so he basically got to take the season to reflect on himself and improve himself as a passer. Or maybe he just went to the skankiest, sleeziest strip clubs in Oakland and got the hell out of Raider Nation as soon as he could. Now he’s on the Ravens, an organization also looking to revamp its image after the Ray Rice debacle hung over their 2014 campaign like a dark cloud. A cloud even darker than Matt Schaub’s neckbeard. The point is, I think Schaub is a good fit as a very proven quarterback to back up Joe Flacco, and ensures that, if nothing else, the offense will remain in veteran hands, as opposed to those of Lovelocke and Renner. What does “Lovelocke and Renner” sound more like: a bankruptcy law firm or a pair of crooked cops sent to kill an important witness against a mob boss in his trial?
Starter: Cam Newton
Backups: Derek Anderson (primary), and Joe Webb
BAH GAWD, THAT’S DEREK ANDERSON’S MUSIC!
Seriously though, Derek Anderson played very well last season, completing 67% of his passes for 700 yards and five touchdowns to no interceptions. That’s really efficient! If you need a guy who can just plug in and play, Anderson is a pretty good choice. Also, I’m legally obligated to remind everyone that Anderson once went to the Pro Bowl. As a member of the Browns, no less! In 20 years, he’ll make for a great answer in Trivial Pursuit, in whatever weird, futuristic format it comes in. Anderson isn’t much of a scrambler, though, but that’s what Joe Webb is for! I was very high on Webb back during his Vikings days, but now the Panthers are more interested in him as a potential wide receiver than quarterback. I hope Webb gets some snaps during the preseason so he can make a case for sticking around as the number three guy.
Starter: Tom Brady
Backups: Jimmy Garoppolo (primary), and Matt Flynn
I’m incredibly thrilled about the potential for Jimmy Garoppolo to start some games this season. He absolutely blew me away during the preseason last year, and he was absolutely gorgeous when he got to play last year. Yes, I intended to use the word “gorgeous”, because he looks like a perfect quarterback when he’s in the pocket. He’s so cool, so calm, and his throws couldn’t look any better. If the Pats are smart, they’ll pay whatever it takes to keep him around, regardless of how many more years Brady plays for them. I mean, how often do you get a chance to have two hot hunks as quarterbacks? Billy knows how to draft his hot young men, and thank the lord for it. To quote Henry Hill: JIMMAAAAAAAAAAAY!
Starter: Geno Smith
Backups: Ryan Fitzpatrick (primary), Bryce Petty, and Jake Heaps
In a typical inane Jets fashion, the “Brooklyn Bombers” have the worst starting quarterback in the league, and the best backup quarterback, yet they continue to stand by their starter. Geno Smith’s development has been strongly hindered by the fact that he’s Geno Smith, and was a pretty iffy quarterback to begin with. After getting hit a bunch and generally playing like crap for two years straight, the Jets would be justified in trying to move on from him, especially with a bonafide good quarterback in their stable like Ryan Fitzpatrick. Fitzy was a big help for the Texans last year, and provided a much-needed stable hand. Seriously, if Denzel Washington is The Equalizer, then Ryan Fitzpatrick is The Stabilizer. What gives him that extra “oomph” is his ability to actually win games with his own talent, not just put out fires. He had a six-touchdown game last year! Granted it was against the Titans, but still! Name another backup who can do that for his team. Go ahead, go down the entire list of player that I’ve named the past two weeks. There isn’t a single one. Ryan Fitzpatrick is a starter being forced onto the bench. I think that will change by the end of the preseason, but in the end, the Jets gotta Jets. They wouldn’t be the Jets if they weren’t dumb as hell.