Well cap, Doug Johnson was also in a similar boat, and pretty much every reserve QB we've signed over the years has been in a similar situation, where they must perform in order to open greater opportunities down the road.
For Danny Kanell, he signed here in hopes that after 2 or 3 seasons he could find a lucrative starting job elsewhere.
Doug Johnson needed to play well in 2003 in order to land a good starting job around the league the following year in free agency.
Kurt Kittner was in the same exact boat as Schaub is now when he was drafted in '02, since he knew that Vick wasn't going anywhere.
It's not about motivation. I'm sure Schaub is motivated to improve, but the problem is now and always has been with issues behind our starting QB is ability. Frankly, I don't think Schaub has the ability (yet) to be relied upon to win more than 20% of his starts. And basically IMO a competent backup QB can win nearly or more than 50% of his starts. Schaub is a long way from that. Detmer is definitely a longer way from that. ANd now Bryan Randall is even further from that.
Bottom line, if Vick goes this year, we can expect similar results that we saw in 2003, in which we'd be lucky to go 2-11 in his absence.
As always is the case with young QBs, it's hard for them to command a team. Unless of course you get a rare case with a player like Vick who is extremely talented so his teammates have confidence in him or a rare guy like Elway or Roethlisberger who just have "it" when a young 23 or 24 year old QB is under center, his teammates lack confidence in his ability to get them the ball. I'm sure Schaub impressed guys last summer with his performance in preseason, but his performances in the regular season were not awe-inspiring. Why should guys like Peerless Price, Dez White, Crump, etc. feel that the team can be just as successful with Schaub as it is with Vick?
Now, if Schaub beats out a veteran QB like Jeff Blake or someone who actually has a record of being a decent QB, then that can inspire confidence in his teammates that they can win.
Schaub was given the #2 job last year. Sure, he had a good preseason to back it up, but he has yet to truly earn the #2 job. Just like Vick was given the #2 job back in '01, and Graz back in '98. It's just a simple fact that when you are developing a young QB, you "give" him the #2 job in order so he can get the most reps as possible.
Schaub should be at the point in his career where he doesn't need a "knowledgeable" guy like Detmer working behind him. Wouldn't someone who has actually played within the past 3 years be more of a benefit to Schaub? Detmer knows the offense, but what does he know about what it takes to get it done on the field? He hasn't played forever!! He's rusty and so any on-field tips he offers should be taken with a grain of salt. Shouldn't someone like Jeff Blake or some of the other available backup QBs be more of a help for young QBs like Vick & Schaub because they can help them develop more on the field? Detmer can only help in the classroom. We need a guy that can help out on the field.
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.