Backup quarterbacks are seldom looked at until called upon to relieve an injured starter or fill in during a complete blowout. Throughout the past few decades, there have been many success stories of backup quarterbacks coming off the bench to lead his team to victory. Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young is probably the most notable backup quarterback story in NFL history. Controversy surrounded Young when San Francisco 49er's head coach George Seifert decided to retain Young as the starter after he lead the 49ers to the playoffs in 1992. After the conclusion of the 1992 season, Seifert released legendary 49er quarterback Joe Montana. The result worked out for Seifert as Young lead S.F. to a fifth Super Bowl Championship in 1995, broke several team and NFL passing records, and was enshrined into the NFL Hall of Fame in 2005. Young is only one example of a backup gem, but who is the modern day gem? Which backup quarterback will get his chance to prove his mettle in 2012? Which backup has the most potential to become a consistent starter in the NFL?
To continue, here is the list of NFC East backup quarterbacks.
Dallas Cowboys – Steven McGee - 82/46/480/3/0/82.4
Steve McGee was a round 4 draft pick for the Dallas Cowboys in 2009, but didn't see the field until 2010 against the Miami Dolphins. McGee has seen really limited playing time as the third string quarterback behind John Kitna, but has done the most with his opportunities. McGee, who played his college career at Texas A&M, has shown flashes that he can be an effective NFL quarterback. His accurate arm and good decision making should land him the second string spot behind Tony Romo in 2012. If Romo were to get injured, the Cowboys should feel confident that McGee, who has a 63.2% completion rating (Romo was at 66.3% in 2011), could step in and run the offense efficiently. McGee will be an unrestricted free agent in 2013, but unless he gets some regular playing time to showcase his skills, he may be regulated to a backup role for his career.
Washington Redskins – John Beck 239/140/1,417/3/7/67.6
John Beck is currently listed as the Redskins' backup quarterback. Beck, who played in 4 games for the Redskins in 2011, was ineffective losing the four games he started. Beck started his career with the Miami Dolphins in 2007. After being drafted 40th overall, Beck struggled during his rookie season. Beck lost the remaining 5 games of the 2007 season after being named the starter in week 13. After the conclusion of the 2007 season, Beck didn't see the field again until 2011. Beck signed with the Baltimore Ravens in 2009 and resigned with them again 2010, but failed to get on the field. In 2011 Washington Redskins head Coach Mike Shanahan decided to give Beck a shot and traded cornerback Doug Dutch for to the Ravens in exchange for Beck. Shanahan's decision to bring Beck to Washington was not the best decision he's ever made. In 4 games, Beck failed to record a victory. Beck is under contract with Washington through the 2013 season, but I can't see Washington hanging on to him that long. Washington has made it known they are willing to trade several high draft picks to the St. Louis Rams for the second pick in the 2012 draft. If the Redskins are successful in completing that trade, I would assume they would select Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III. With RGIII and Rex Grossman on the roster, Beck may find himself the odd man out in Washington. And without an NFL win, Beck may have seen his last chance as an NFL quarterback.
New York Giants – David Carr 2246/1,351/14,433/65/71/74.9
Chosen by the Houston Texans as the number one overall in 2002, David Carr was supposed to lead the Texans for several seasons. Carr, who was the most sacked quarterback in the NFL during his time in Houston, didn't get much of a chance to develop his skills. Carr could have been a great player in a different situation, but we'll never know. What we do know is that Carr has had his chances since being released by the Texans in 2006. In 2007 Carr signed on in Carolina with the Panthers and played in 6 games following a Jake Delhomme injury and flopped. Carr threw for only 3 touchdowns, but tallied 5 interceptions. After 2007, Carr left the Panthers and joined the New York Giants. Carr backed up Eli Manning for seasons, but saw limited action. In 2010, Carr signed a one year deal with the San Francisco 49ers, but after an ineffective showing in a week 7 loss to the Panthers Carr was regulated to the bench until his eventual release. In 2011 Carr went back to the New York Giants but failed to play in a single game. Carr has probably seen his last days as a regular starter.
Philadelphia Eagles – Vince Young 1,304/755/8,964/46/51/74.4
Vince Young was once one of the most promising quarterbacks in the NFL. After being drafted third overall in 2006 by the Tennessee Titans, Young started off looking like the franchise quarterback the Titans thought he was. Young led the Titans to the playoffs in his second season only to lose to the San Diego Chargers in the first round. Young would spend the next 3 seasons on and off the injury report, and after a poor 2010 season Young was released by Titans. In 2011 Young singed on with the Philadelphia Eagles to backup Michael Vick . Young filled in for injured starting quarterback Michael Vick in 6 games, but threw 9 interceptions and only 3 touchdowns. It appears that Vince Young's window for being a viable starting quarterback is closing.
*attempts/completions/yards/touchdowns/interceptions/rating stats are career stats