Battle for Snaps
Every year during the training camp period, a few teams in the NFL have quarterback dilemmas. Like the old football saying goes, "If you have two quarterbacks, you have none". Quarterback battles are the media's dream. They get to make up stories, depict the two teammates as rivals, and make the public, and sometimes coaches, pick sides. It is nice to see competition within the team because it makes everyone better but never should it deteriorate the team . But if your team goes into the season still with a question mark at the QB spot, then prepare for a long dreadful season.
Browns: Johnny Manziel v. Brian Hoyer
For some reason, everyone may think this is the most intriguing QB battle and I can't figure out why. Out of all the veteran QBs that are fighting for a starting spot right now, Hoyer is by far the worst. He did play 2 good games for the Browns last season, threw for 590 yards and 5 TDs, but an ACL injury cut his season short. Hoyer wasn't named the outright starter after those 2 games, replacing injured Brandon Weeden, but he was performing well and the Browns won both games. Coming into camp though, Hoyer has been named the starter - for now at least - while Johnny Cr'nack has to fight his way to the top of the depth chart. As of today, all reports have been made that Hoyer has been more impressive than the rookie and that's not surprising. With camp just starting and Hoyer with 5 seasons under his belt, it's no question that he has the upper-hand on Manziel. But Hoyer has a very short leash with his inexperience, not only with the coaching staff but with the fans. The Dawg Pound want to see Johnny on the field, and the second that Hoyer throws a pick or fumble the snap, the coaches might not have a choice but to put Johnny in the game. Don't be surprised if Hoyer is the week 1 starter but after their week 4 bye, I think Johnny will be the new starter.
Winner: Brian Hoyer
Jets: Geno Smith v. Mike Vick
To me this is the most intriguing battle because with Mike Vick in the background, this puts a lot of pressure on Geno to produce. Usually it is the veteran QB who has a short leash while the young gunner is waiting for his time but not in this scenario. Vick once again is the aging veteran looking for redemption, similar to when he played behind Kevin Kolb in Philly. Vick's primary job right now is to help school young Geno and get him better. Bringing in Vick will make Geno either sink or swim because Vick is not content with being a backup. Geno right now is only the starter by default. He started all 16 games last season as a rookie, he already know the offense, and he is young. Talent and production wise, he may lose this battle. Last season Geno led all rookie QBs with 21 interception along with 8 fumbles. If Geno starts off where he left off at in 2013, Vick will surely be the starter but the main question is, can Vick stay healthy?
Winner: Michael Vick
Raiders: Matt Schaub v. Derek Carr
This is a very underrated battle. Derek Carr is coming in with a little bit of hype, mainly from his confidence. Carr feels as though he is the best QB in the 2014 rookie class, and its nothing wrong with that. He put up crazy numbers in college but just didn't go to a big time school that could have showcased his talents on a national scale. Then you have Matt Schaub, who is coming off the worst season of his career, trying to redeem himself. This battle could truly go either way and I think it will last all through the season. What will hurt these two is that they don't have a dominant receiver to throw the ball at. Schaub had Andre Johnson in Houston, and Johnson turned Schaub into an above average QB. As a rookie, Carr definitely will need that to get him out of some sticky situations. Right now the best receiver the Raiders have is Jame Jones, who is 30, and Gregg Little, whose hands I have very little trust in. Even though James Jones was very productive with the Packers, he was never the #1 receiver. Luckily, they will a strong running game to rely with Maurice Jones-Drew and Darren McFadden running the rock, but the aerial attack may struggle.
Winner: Derek Carr
Vikings: Matt Cassel v. Teddy Bridgewater v. Christian Ponder
Probably the only legitimate 3-way dance for the starting spot at QB. Cassel and Ponder have already been down this road once last training camp, which resulted in both of them splitting time throughout the 2013 season. Cassel played 4 more passing plays than Ponder last year, 270 to 266, but neither was very effective. Both had 2:1 TD-INT ratio, was sacked 15+ times, and had a QB rating less than 90. Together they combined for 3,427 yards, 18 TDs, 19 INTs, and completed 60% of their passes. For Teddy, this is the perfect situation because neither has proven they should be the starter. All Teddy has to do is be consistent throughout training camp and the preseason games and the job will be his. To me, I think he was the steal of this year's draft because its no way he should dropped that low. Vikings have enough offensive weapons to help Teddy be productive with Adrian Peterson running the ball and Cordelle Patterson running routes.
Winner: Teddy Bridgewater