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Friday, September 3, 2010
Scouts Inc.: Ranking the backup QBs

By Scouts Inc.'s Matt Williamson

Let’s analyze the backup quarterback situations in the NFC East. As a rule of thumb, we need to remember that No. 2 quarterbacks around this league are quite horrendous at this time, but you could collectively do worse than this crew.

In Washington, backup Rex Grossman very well could end up as the opening day starter because Donovan McNabb is once again injured. Philadelphia has Michael Vick as its No. 2 and -- like last year -- he should be primed to see the field quite a bit in specific packages designed for his unique skill set. In New York, Eli Manning’s backup is Rhett Bomar, but Manning -- like his older brother -- is an iron man at quarterback. Lastly, Dallas features veteran Jon Kitna as Tony Romo’s backup.

Here’s how I rank the backup quarterback situations in the NFC East.

1. Dallas Cowboys: Kitna has had success as a starting quarterback in this league. He is a tough guy who is well respected and liked by his teammates. Kitna can be a risk-taker and force the action, but he also has a solid understanding of coverages and what it takes to succeed at this level. However, he has yet to throw a regular-season pass for the Cowboys. Still, I have faith that Kitna could be effective on a short-term basis.

2. Philadelphia Eagles: Vick is a gimmick player who looks to be getting back to form as an explosive running athlete. But his accuracy is still a big problem. He just isn’t that good of a passer. If Kevin Kolb were to go down, Vick would get more snaps, but it wouldn’t shock me if Mike Kafka also played a role in a two-headed quarterback situation. Kafka is very intelligent and played quite well in the preseason game against the Chiefs. He might have a bright future.

3. Washington Redskins: Grossman once led the Bears to the Super Bowl. But inconsistency and injuries have hurt his career. He has always been someone who runs either hot or cold. And his confidence seems to waver. The Redskins’ coaching staff, namely offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, is very familiar with Grossman and seems to believe in him. However, he doesn’t move as well as he once did. He’s also short for the position and can struggle to see the entire field and find throwing lanes. And his 54 percent career completion percentage and 33/36 touchdown/interception ratio doesn’t exactly inspire a lot of confidence.

4. New York Giants: Bomar has ability. He was one of the most heavily recruited players in the nation before signing with Oklahoma. His college career was derailed by off-the-field problems and he ended up at Sam Houston State. Bomar moves very well and has a good arm. He also has put together a fine preseason. He might just develop into a very solid No. 2 behind the ever-durable Manning, but is very much a work in progress. Jim Sorgi was scheduled to back up Manning, but a shoulder injury has landed him on injured reserve.

Scouts Inc. watches games, breaks down film and studies football from all angles for ESPN.com.