We saw on Sunday against the Rams how experience in an offense can make up for a lack of talent. I’m referring not to Chris Redman, but Gus Frerotte. Unfortunately, we can’t wait another two or so years for one of our current passers to be proficient in Petrino’s offense like Frerotte is in Linehan’s.
I guess my one hope can be that Redman can turn things around in the coming weeks, but I’m not hopeful. Looking good for one quarter does not equate to four quarters. And his success might be due to the Rams not being properly prepared for him. I don’t think we can expect a similar issue to arise in the coming weeks against the Saints, Bucs, etc. Or perhaps I can hope that being benched for what seems like the thirteenth time works a charm on Joey Harrington.
But anyway, my eye is more on what will happen next year as opposed to this year. It seems clear to me that at least one of our quarterbacks currently on our roster will not remain with the team next year. And if I had to guess based on what’s happened thus far, my guess would be Leftwich.
Both Leftwich and Harrington will count more than $3 million each against our 2008 salary cap. So it’s likely one will stay and the other will go. Chris Redman is a free agent after this season. If he plays well enough the rest of the way, he might force both Harrington and Leftwich to go.
A foreseeable scenario in my mind is to have only one of these guys retained by the team after the season (likely Redman or Harrington). And if he’s released by the Redskins, I think this team would make a push for Mark Brunell. He’s familiar with both Petrino and Bill Musgrave from his days in Jacksonville and Washington, respectively. At the very least, he can potentially push whichever holdover is retained for the starting job.
And then I fully expect the Falcons to use a high pick on a quarterback in next spring’s draft. More than likely it’s going to be their No. 1 pick. Which quarterback that is, we have an entire off-season to debate, so I won’t get into that now.
And then we’ll have D.J. Shockley buried on the depth chart. Unlike most Bulldog fans, I have little expectations for Shockley, and I suspect he’ll just be a camp body at best next summer.
Obviously, our quarterback situation won’t be much better for 2008 with a rookie and/or Mark Brunell being our best hope for salvation. But that’s the way I think the cookie will crumble.
I’m sure many Falcon fans will hope the team goes out and tries their hand at a better veteran option than Brunell. But I don’t foresee it. Free agency only offers Rex Grossman or Daunte Culpepper, neither of whom at this point would be significantly better than Brunell. Chad Pennington, Donovan McNabb, and Steve McNair may all be released or traded. All would be upgrades over Brunell, but by how much? Pennington is purely a West Coast QB, so he’s a poor fit here. McNabb’s or the Eagles’s asking price will likely be too step for the Falcons to reasonably pursue him, and McNair looks just about spent.
People have thrown around Derek Anderson’s name, but according to the most recent sources, the Browns have no intention of trading him. Frankly, if it’s a trade the Falcons want, probably the best option would be Chris Simms, but that is assuming he’s healthy and the Bucs are willing to trade him to a division rival for a late round pick. Something that seems unlikely at this point.
At this point, our saving grace at this position will be our TBD Rookie in perhaps three or four years time. Until then the mess will remain.