Big job for backup quarterback

Posted by Bernie Kosar on June 16, 2012 – 4:08 am

By Bernie Kosar, Special Contributor to

Here are my takes on the Browns made while appearing on “Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven by Liberty Ford”:

There’s been a lot of discussion this week about how the Browns’ backup quarterback situation will shake out, on the presumption that rookie Brandon Weeden is eventually going to be named the starter.

You have a guy like Seneca Wallace, who is going on double-digit years in the league. And then you have a young guy like Colt McCoy, who has played some games and has shown an ability to lead a team and be able to make some plays and not make a lot of bad plays. That’s typically what you want out of your backup quarterback. And being very salary-cap friendly in his contract, that’s something you just have to look at.

Every team has its quarterback position basically solidified for this year, so the opportunity for any quarterback to have an opening to start right now isn’t really there. You really have to be on a team, be in the league, and do the best you can, whether you like it or not. So whether it’s Seneca or Colt, it might not be optimal for them, but still being able to be on a team and show that you can be a team guy and show you can contribute and show you’re ready and show you have an understanding of the offense is imperative. And because you don’t take the physical beating being an NFL backup, you can have extra years on the back end of your career.

If you have to play as a backup, it’s imperative that you’re capable of playing, executing plays, being productive, getting the ball in the end zone, and finishing out games with a W. But there are some situations you don’t end up playing a lot because the quarterback does not get hurt.

We used to have a phrase on some of the good teams I was on that went like this: “Let’s check our ego at the door.” That means when you come to work every day, let’s not make it about me or you. Let’s make it about us and the team. We all want to start. We all want to be on the field, especially at the quarterback position.

But if you can check your ego at the door and admirably and genuinely help the team and the other quarterback by giving him analysis, by giving him observations, by seeing things that, bluntly, a lot of times coaches and other players don’t see and a starting quarterback can’t see because he’s under siege with the rush and the pressure and things going on is so valuable. Gary Danielson did this for me. Don Strock did this for Dan Marino. I helped out Troy Aikman with this. I helped out Marino with this.

That’s a huge, huge help in terms of game day and, even sometimes more important, during the week when you’re breaking down your situations: Wednesday, first-and-10, second-and-long; Thursday, when you’re doing your third-and-three-to-six, third-and-seven-to-10, third-and-10-plus stuff, and your scoring-zone plays; Friday, when you’re trying to get your goal-line packages down, your two-minute drills.

The little things that veteran quarterbacks can see in film study and helping the less experienced starting quarterback understand film study and understand tendencies is incredibly valuable. And that’s the sort of help Brandon Weeden is going to need, especially as a rookie.

Be sure to catch Bernie Kosar’s regular appearances with Vic Carucci on “Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven by Liberty Ford,” Monday through Friday, 6-7 p.m. ET, live on ESPN 850 WKNR and

Posted in Kosar's Huddle | 1 Comment »

One Response to “Big job for backup quarterback”

  1. By brwns_fan on Jun 17, 2012 | Reply

    Turn back the clock one year and bring what Kosar said to mind about what Seneca should have been doing.


    Did you see any of that from Seneca last year? Do you expect that leopard’s spots to change? Get rid of Seneca now before he becomes a problem later. Why does TEAM FIRST mean nothing to Seneca, but everything to Colt?

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