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Backup Quarterback Effect

When the team (and as an extension the quarterback) struggle, the backup quarterback often is one of the most popular players on the team. It's obvious Marc Bulger and now Kyle Boller aren't regarded very highly around here anymore. So much so that people are clamoring for Keith Null to start.

Might as well, we already know the jobs they can do, right? It's not like we are missing much from the 67.1 QB rating average they are posting up.

You can easily argue that. You're not going to develop a quarterback by sitting on the bench and taking advice from Kyle Boller are you? With the vanilla offense the Rams deploy, he'd probably have as good of a chance of handing the ball of as anyone (it's not like you're going to fumble the ball off on a handoff, right? Oh wait...)

But just what type of success to these quarterbacks achieve against the backup hype machine? Hit the jump to figure out.

The golden standard of course, is one Tom Brady. The supermodel wife, the Superbowl rings, the records. Of course, you could just end up with a Cleo Lemon. Perhaps a Dan Orlovsky? The Rams haven't run out of their own endzone yet, but I wouldn't put it past them.

Tom Brady achieved greatness because he said the scouts missed his competitiveness.

Matt Light had this to say about him:

"I mean it could be anything. You could be playing a game of pool...and if he misses a shot, you got to kind of watch out for flying sticks. I mean, he gets a little crazy out there."

that level of competitiveness sounds achievable enough for Null, who seems like a competent quarterback. had this scouting report on him for the draft:


Cerebral passer. Reads defenses quickly and rarely throws into coverage. Good understanding of the offense. Can look off the defender and check down to his secondary options. Good setup and delivery. Good accuracy in the short and medium range zones. Can hit the receiver in stride. Ascending talent with the size and experience worthy of developing.


Comes from a spread offense. Has enough athleticism to handle the transition to a regular dropback scheme, but will need time. Questionable arm strength. Struggles to drive the deep out and too often sails deep passes. Was not invited to the upper level all-star games or the Combine and therefore has plenty of questions about his ability to adjust to NFL speed.

Brady is right when he says it all comes down to competitiveness. You can be a great player, but if you really just don't care, it isn't going to work out. This team has in the past severely lacked passion, and it isn't a good sign four games into the year when your starting LT tackle gets pulled out of the game and couldn't care less. Say whatever you want, the losing culture that was supposedly jettisoned this off-season has come back quite quickly.

For everyone who wants Keith Null to play, is it worth exposing him to the double edged sword of playing for a losing team? No doubt, he's a fresh new quarterback who could possibly help the team. He may have the technical skills to succeed. But if you're trying to develop him into a long term possible starter, just how helpful will it be to expose him first hand to the losing culture? Just how quick will the competitiveness be sucked out of him by his own team? How helpful will it be to put him in the spotlight and receive the ire of the fans who desperately want a win. Is it worth it?