I’ve felt that our discussion around Tanney has largely gone with the assumption that 3rd QB’s have to be exceptional or a significant draft choice to be kept. As far as a management goes around the league, this is not a universally agreed upon principle.
I did a relatively random survey of teams to see which ones carried 3rd string QB’s last year. I was too lazy to sample all of them. Instead, I generally focused on winning teams so that it their decision couldn’t be tossed out simply as bad management. I also threw in the QB hungry Jets just to show what sort of performance might generate a looksie.
Things that stand out to me:
- There is a lot of variation in quality at 3rd string QB: the ratings spanned from 41.9 to 110.8.
- Most of them had lowly UDFA or 7th round pedigree.
- 2 of these 3rd stringers went actually played in games last year and won at least one.
- When Scott Tolzien was picked up off waivers in 2011, he didn’t perform that amazing until the 4th preseason game. His two earlier performances had 59.0 and 79.2 ratings.
I think Tanney will be writing his story for the season tonight. If he lights it up, I am almost certain he will make a 53 somewhere around the league.
San Francisco 49ers - Scott Tolzein
Signed as UDFA in 2011 to the chargers was picked up off waivers by San Francisco in 2011.
2011 Preseason: 25/40 302 Yds 1 TD 1 Int 83.5 Rating
2012 Preseason: 18/34 165 Yds 0 TDs 2 Ints 41.9 rating
Was a 2nd round pick of the Lions that started for a few years, but largely a career backup as both 2nd and 3rd stringer for Pittsburgh.
After a sternoclavicular (SC) joint and rib injury to Ben Roethlisberger in week 10, and a rib injury to Byron Leftwich in week 11, Batch was the starting quarterback for week 12 matchup vs the Cleveland Browns, during which the Pittsburgh Steelers turned the ball over eight times (three interceptions by Batch and five fumbles by five other players) and lost 20-14. A week later Batch led the Steelers to victory over the division-leading Baltimore Ravens 23-20 in Baltimore. Batch drove the Steelers down the field, connecting with Heath Miller for a game-tying touchdown late in the fourth quarter. Then, he led the game winning drive which culminated in a Shaun Suisham 42-yard field goal.
2012 Presason: 18/24 186 Yds 1 TD 0 Ints 110.8 Rating
UDFA rookie in 2012
2012 Preseason: 33/56 402yds 3TD 3Ints 76.6 Rating
Minnesota Vikings - McLeod Bethel-Thompson
Undrafted in 2010, started professional career with the San Jose SaberCats. Made Miami Dolphins practice squad in 2011. Beat out Sage Rosenfels for the 3rd string job in 2012
2012 Preseason: 18-36 242yds 1 TD 2 Ints 57.9 Rating
Drafted in the 7th round in 2011.
McElroy made his NFL debut on December 2, 2012 in the third quarter during the Jets' contest against the Arizona Cardinals, replacing incumbent Mark Sanchez who, prior to being benched by head coach Rex Ryan, had thrown three interceptions. Tim Tebow was inactive with a rib injury, leaving McElroy as the back-up to Sanchez. McElroy threw his first career touchdown pass to Jeff Cumberland on the first play of the fourth quarter en route to a 7–6 victory.
2012 Preseason: 16/23 139yds 1TD 0Ints 99.7 rating