While all of the focus during the Cincinnati Bengals OTAs right now, it’s easy to forget that there’s still a critical position to establish, and that is at backup quarterback. In the NFL, you’re only as good as your weakest link, and for a lot of teams, that ends up being their backup QB.
Look no further than the Bengals’ AFC North rivals, the Pittsburgh Steelers. Since 2005, when Ben Roethlisberger has been injured and unable to start, Charlie Batch went 6-3 in games he had to start, and 4 of those wins were during seasons in which the Steelers clinched a playoff berth.
But if you look at the Chicago Bears and games in which their backup QB started over the past two seasons, they went 1-6 in those games, and barely missed out on the postseason in each season, and longtime Head Coach Lovie Smith lost his job as a result.
Make no mistake about it: In today’s pass-happy NFL, you’re backup QB needs to be a competent starter who can win you a close game. Gone are the days of having the proverbial “game-manager” for a backup, as that has, and will continue to prove fatal for any team who loses their starter for any significant amount of time.