Packers Annual Checkup: Seneca Wallace
FOX Sports Wisconsin’s Paul Imig gives an in-depth statistical analysis and film study of every Packers player in his annual offseason checkup. Check every weekday through mid-April for his latest report.
Seneca Wallace, quarterback
Season stats: Two games (one start); 16-for-24 passing (66.7 percent), 139 yards, zero touchdowns, one interception, 64.4 passer rating; sacked four times, zero fumbles; zero rushing attempts
ProFootballFocus.com season rating: minus-1.6 (ranked No. 14 out of 23 Packers offensive players; ranked No. 3 among Green Bay’s four quarterbacks)
Best game: Week 10 loss vs. Philadelphia; 5-for-5 passing, 25 yards, zero touchdowns, zero interceptions, 87.5 passer rating; sacked zero times; minus-0.2 PFF rating)
Worst game: Week 9 loss vs. Chicago; 11-for-19 passing (57.9 percent), 114 yards, zero touchdowns, one interception, 53.4 passer rating; sacked four times; minus-1.4 PFF rating)
Expectations at the start of the season: Medium
Expectations were … Not met
Looking live: Graham Harrell wasn’t the answer at backup quarterback. Neither was Vince Young or B.J. Coleman. That was the Packers’ takeaway after seeing all three go through training camp, leaving coach Mike McCarthy and general manager Ted Thompson unsatisfied with the team’s options behind Aaron Rodgers. So, six days before the regular-season opener, Green Bay signed Seneca Wallace to be No. 2 on the depth chart. Wallace had been released by the New Orleans Saints three weeks earlier and then, after briefly joining San Francisco, asked for his release from the 49ers. The Packers’ reasoning behind choosing Wallace over Harrell, Coleman and Young wasn’t exactly clear, but it seemed that it was mostly about having a veteran around who could help Rodgers from the sideline in a way that the other three couldn’t. "Seneca Wallace has been in the league 11 years," McCarthy said at the time. "He’s been a backup quarterback primarily his whole career. He clearly understands the role, has a lot of experience." While it seemed unlikely that Wallace would’ve been anywhere close to understanding the offense enough had he been needed in Week 1 at San Francisco, he explained that there was "a lot of carryover from the West-Coast terminology" that he was used to.
Upon further review: Well, though Wallace wasn’t needed in Week 1, Green Bay’s worst nightmare came true two months later when Rodgers broke his left collarbone. This was before the Packers signed Matt Flynn and before Scott Tolzien had been promoted to the active roster. When Wallace entered the game at Lambeau Field against the Chicago Bears, it was the drastic step down from Rodgers that most would have expected. Green Bay’s offense was forced to adjust and change, and Wallace was serviceable at best. In that game, Wallace led the Packers to 17 points in 11 drives, but most of the offensive success came from Eddie Lacy and James Starks combining to rush for 190 yards. It ultimately resulted in a rare loss to the Bears in Green Bay, and McCarthy wasn’t very pleased with Wallace’s performance. "Seneca, he needs to perform better and he’ll definitely do that with a week of practice," McCarthy said after the loss. Not that football viewers need proof about how different Rodgers and Wallace are as quarterbacks, but Wallace’s passer rating in that game (53.4) was worse than any single complete game in Rodgers’ career. With Wallace preparing as the starter for the following week’s game at home against Philadelphia, wide receiver James Jones had one simple request: "Please, Seneca Wallace, don’t go out there and try to be the MVP quarterback." In Wallace’s first series in Week 10, he injured his groin and was replaced by Tolzien. McCarthy named Tolzien as the starter after that game, and, two days later, the Packers signed Flynn and put Wallace on injured reserve.
Overall 2013 grade: D
Status for 2014: Less than one percent chance of being on Green Bay’s active roster to begin the 2014 regular season. Wallace is an unrestricted free agent and is not in the Packers’ plans this offseason whatsoever. Tolzien will be coming back to Green Bay for a second season, Flynn could be re-signed and McCarthy stated his desire to draft a quarterback this year. When Wallace got his shot to make a difference in 2013, he failed to do so. The most likely result for Wallace is that, at age 33, his NFL career is over and that he’ll retire soon.
Next: Wide receiver Myles White
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