Bengals Backup QB Derby: No “Clear” Leader as Alex Carder gets a Look
By Jason Marcum
Of the four quarterbacks on the Cincinnati Bengals roster right now, none of the mare eligible to be on the practice squad this year.
Ashland’s Taylor Housewright and Central Michigan’s Ryan Radcliff were serving as the team’s tryout QBs during the rookie minicamp earlier in May, but it appears as though they’ve sinced moved on and are looking at other options. The Bengals typically like to have a QB on the practice squad each year to develop and also give the defense some goo looks in practice. They typically go with good short-intermediate throwers who are mobile and can simulate any NFL quarterback to a degree, especially with the recent infusion of read-option QBs into the league.
Dec 27, 2011; Detroit, MI, USA; Western Michigan Broncos quarterback Alex Carder (14) in action against the Purdue Boilermakers during the second half at the 2011 Little Caesars Bowl at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
Enter former Western Michigan QB Alex Carder
"Zac Robinson, one of the three back quarterback candidates, didn’t work Monday and Gruden said it was because of soreness in his elbow. Indications are Robinson may not throw again until training camp next month, but his situation appeared to be unrelated to Monday’s post-practice workout for Western Michigan rookie Alex Carder. It didn’t look like they were immediately going to sign Carder, recently cut by the Lions, but they wanted to get him on their board and may look at him later. None of the backup candidates, Robinson, Josh Johnson, and John Skelton, are eilgible for the practice squad and they’re always looking for a young guy to develop.While Gruden said none of the candidates have played well enough to ease their doubts about the No. 2 spot behind Dalton, he said there is time for one of them to secure the job with the work in training camp and the preseason games."
Carder was actually given a draftable grade by several draft sites, inlcuding NFL.com:
"Can work from the shotgun and under center. Accurate thrower in the short to intermediate passing game, shows the anticipation and tight spiral to hit windows on seam and out routes as well as crossers between the hashes. Quiet feet and balanced in the pocket, which help that accuracy. Good mobility, able to keep up more than first downs with his feet on roll-outs if no options are available downfield. Tough competitor, leads his team on the field and is willing to stand in the pocket to deliver even when interior rusher is bearing down. Seems to know what the defense is giving him, generally makes good decisions on check-downs."
Also, it doesn’t surprise me that the other backups haven’t separated themselves yet. I fully expect John Skelton to win the backup job once he has a full summer of studying the playbook and developing chemistry with A.J. Green, who he’s already previously compared to his former Arizona Cardinals teammate, Larry Fitzgerald.
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