These QB situations are ripe for controversy
It is simply human nature to choose sides, pick a favorite, so to speak, whenever a quarterback controversy flares up. However, every head coach prefers a leader, one quarterback to stand out, to break from the pack. Such perfect scenarios rarely exist unless you work in New England or Indianapolis or Pittsburgh, where there is no doubt who the quarterback will be even in the worst of times.
Coaches are currently enjoying their final week of vacation prior to the opening of training camps later this month, but there is danger right around the corner in several NFL hot spots. Some franchises through the years have been able to succeed while coping with quarterback controversies — the Rams, especially in Los Angeles, and the Redskins come to mind. Heck, the late Tom Landry actually rotated Roger Staubach and Craig Morton in the same Cowboy games for much of a season. However, such approaches generally backfire, leaving those in the locker room wondering what hit them.
There are five teams with major quarterback situations that sure have that combustible look this summer: Minnesota, Oakland, Tampa Bay, Cleveland and Buffalo. I wanted to add the Lions, but they start so far off the NFL radar after being 0-16 last season that choosing between a rookie, Matthew Stafford, or Daunte Culpepper, a former Pro Bowler who has lost 30 pounds and talks about reclaiming past glories, isn't that compelling. Let's see the Lions win some games first!
The best place to start is Minnesota where coach Brad Childress has unhitched his wagon from Tarvaris Jackson, who was supposed to be the next Donovan McNabb, in favor of Brett Favre, who turns 40 in October. This entire episode was supposed to happen last summer, but the Packers got wise and traded Favre to the Jets instead, fearing the Vikings would win the NFC North. Well, they did, but with Gus "No Longer with Us" Frerotte and Jackson and leading man Adrian Peterson. There is no question that Favre knows this offense, especially one run by good buddy Darrell Bevell, maybe the only offensive assistant he liked on Mike Sherman's staff.
If Favre's right arm is fine once again (remember, he was 8-3 with the Jets and every New Yorker was talking Super Bowl), the Vikings might have something cooking. But if Favre fails to show up in Mankato for camp, or if his body once again betrays him, this whole scenario could blow up this team and Childress with it. Yes, Favre is dying to hand off to Peterson, knowing how much a stud running back will make his play-action passes such sure completions. A great runner is every quarterback's dream. But what if No. 4 fails to deliver? It could be a bloody mess, considering the millions spent on backup Sage Rosenfels and the time spent on developing Jackson, who played his best football last December. Prediction: Favre fails but T-Jack bails out Childress.