I've been doing some thinking about backup quarterbacks, and the decisions NFL teams make when selecting who to go with when their main guy goes down. The near catastrophe of Roethlisberger obviously got me thinking about Charlie Batch and other potential options for the Steelers. Apparently the Cleveland Browns are also considering bringing back Vinny Testaverde to be their insurance option. This decision is actually what got me thinking the most. Why do some teams take a gamble on unproven, young prospects, while others recycle the same washed-up old options? Why have Steve Beuerlein, Vinny Testaverde, Trent Dilfer et. al gotten so much playing time over the past decade? Why aren't more teams taking a gamble on having the next Tom Brady tucked away on their depth chart? Brady was a 6th round pick (same round as the Steelers 3rd string option, Omar Jacobs). Marc Bulger was also a 6th round pick, and while he's not necessarily the guy I would want leading my team, he's obviously been far better than people expected.
My question for you guys is whether you'd rather take a chance on Omar Jacobs or whether you'd go with a more proven commodity like Charlie Batch? Obviously if it's just for a game or two, the obvious answer is Batch. What about in the event of a longer term injury to Roethlisberger--say 6-12 weeks. My problem with Batch is that there is SO little upside to his ability. Sure he might not make as many mistakes as Omar Jacobs might, but I'm equally confident that he won't find a way to do anything special on the football field in 2006, if he were called upon. This is all, of course, speculative, but that's ok. Any opinions?