NFC South: 2012 backup quarterback

Falcons: Backup QB plan

June, 5, 2012
6/05/12
12:00
PM ET
NFC Backup QBs: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

Assessing the Falcons’ backup QB situation if Matt Ryan is injured and misses time.

The Falcons are very content with Chris Redman as their backup. His veteran presence and willingness to serve as a mentor has aided in Matt Ryan’s development from the start. Although Redman has played only sparingly in the Ryan years, he’s taken thousands of practice snaps and sat through countless meetings. He knows the offense as well as Ryan and has the respect of his teammates. If Ryan were to go down with a short-term injury, the Falcons firmly believe Redman could do a nice job of finishing a game or even starting a few games. He’d be surrounded by a star-studded cast at the skill positions, so there isn’t likely to be a huge drop-off. But, if Ryan were to suffer a long-term injury, that could cause some problems. Although he came into the league in 2000, Redman has made only two career starts. Redman can’t make all the throws Ryan can, so the Falcons would have to scale back their offense if Redman has to play more than a few games.

Confidence rating (out of 100) if Ryan goes out for an extended period: 75

Saints: Backup QB plan

June, 5, 2012
6/05/12
11:23
AM ET
NFC Backup QBs: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

Assessing the Saints’ backup QB situation if Drew Brees is injured and misses time.

Assuming Brees’ contract situation gets resolved, Chase Daniel will step into the backup role. If there’s been one silver lining to a very difficult offseason for the Saints, it’s that Daniel has had a chance to get first-team reps in the offseason program. That’s great experience for a guy who has attempted only eight passes in three NFL seasons. Teammates and coaches say they’ve been impressed with how Daniel has handled the offense. Like Brees, he is undersized, but the Saints must like something about him because they’ve kept him around. The increased practice time can only make the Saints feel more comfortable about Daniel if he has to play. The Saints have a great supporting cast on offense, so Daniel could have some success if he is forced into action.

Confidence rating (out of 100) if Brees goes out for an extended period: 65

Panthers: Backup QB plan

June, 5, 2012
6/05/12
10:11
AM ET
NFC Backup QBs: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

Assessing the Panthers’ backup QB situation if Cam Newton is injured and misses time.

Veteran Derek Anderson was the backup last year, but he’ll have to go to training camp and again beat out Jimmy Clausen as the backup. The word out of Charlotte is that Clausen has looked good in the offseason program. Perhaps being the third-team quarterback and not playing gave Clausen time to regain his confidence after being forced to start on a bad team as a rookie in 2010. Coach Ron Rivera has been talking Clausen up and general manager Marty Hurney is the guy who drafted him in the first place. They’d like to see Clausen do well. But it still might be difficult for Clausen to move ahead of Anderson, who has 43 career starts. Anderson has deep ties to offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski. The two were in Cleveland together. During that span, Anderson had the best season of his career in 2007, throwing for just fewer than 4,000 yards in 15 starts.

Confidence rating (out of 100) if Newton goes out for an extended period: 70

Buccaneers: Backup QB plan

June, 5, 2012
6/05/12
9:01
AM ET
NFC Backup QBs: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

Assessing the Buccaneers’ backup QB situation if Josh Freeman is injured and misses time.

It didn’t draw nearly as much attention as when Tampa Bay signed guard Carl Nicks, receiver Vincent Jackson and cornerback Eric Wright, but the Bucs believe adding Dan Orlovsky as a free agent was significant. He is by no means a threat to challenge Freeman for the starting job. But Orlovsky is an upgrade over former backup Josh Johnson. Orlovsky is more of a traditional drop-back passer than Johnson, plus he has more experience, coming into the league in 2005. Orlovsky has only 12 career starts. But five of them came last season when Peyton Manning’s neck injury created a desperate situation. The Colts got their only two wins in games Orlovsky started and that raised his stock a bit. There’s nothing in Orlovsky’s history that says he’s going to dazzle anyone. But he can throw the deep ball and coach Greg Schiano repeatedly has talked about how his offense wants to take some shots down the field.

Confidence rating (out of 100) if Freeman goes out for an extended period: 55

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