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Despite Eli Manning’s Consistency, New York Giants Place High Value on Back-Up Quarterbacks

June 24th, 2012 at 6:37 AM
By Jen Polashock

As much as backup quarterback is an overlooked position in New York (in blue anyway), it is an ever-important role.

david carr Pictures, Images and Photos

Rewind to the New York Giants’ 1990 regular season when MVP quarterback Phil Simms went down in Week 15 with a broken right foot. Then-reserve QB, Jeff Hostetler stepped up and owned the part – right through Super Bowl XXV.

Giants fans don’t ponder this as much with Eli Manning under center. Easy E has started in 119 consecutive games – all while taking a pounding during a number of those games. The epitome of his toughness, most will agree, was publicized throughout January’s NFC Championship Game.

Many tend to forget back in 2007, during the Week one game versus the Cowboys when LB Anthony Spencer hit Manning on a 2-point conversion attempt, injuring the quarterback’s left (non-throwing) shoulder. Initially, it was reported that #10 would miss four to eight weeks with a sprained/bruised AC joint; he hasn’t missed a single regular season game since. Every serious football fan knows how the 2007 season ended for Manning and the New York Giants…

Considering the last number of years and all 32 teams’ QB/injury situation, one has to realize how significant that reserve role justly is. The case of Hostetler is rarer than it is reality.

Division rival QBs Tony Romo and Michael Vick both succumbed to injury at some point in the last two years. Collectively, their teams went 9-10 with them in medical bay receiving treatment.

Ask fans from the Chicago Bears, Indianapolis Colts, Detroit Lions, Kansas City Chiefs, (even the Oakland Raiders early on in 2012 will chime in) if a capable backup is/was a need for Jay Cutler, Peyton Manning, Matthew Stafford, Matt Cassel, (and then, Jason Campbell). Ernie Accorsi could have told you so too.

"I always said the most important guy on your team is the quarterback and the second most important is the backup," remembers Ernie Accorsi, retired GM of the New York Giants (and Cleveland Browns). "I wanted (Kurt) Warner as soon as we got (Eli) Manning. In Cleveland in 1988, we had (Bernie) Kosar, (Gary) Danielson and Mike Pagel. Kosar and Danielson got hurt so I picked up (Don) Strock. We had six quarterback injuries. All four got hurt – Kosar twice – and we made the playoffs. You can't do that today. You can't afford that."

There are, of course, stories that aren’t played out so horribly. Matt Schaub went down and then his backup (Matt Leinart) went down – putting rookie T.J. Yates in as the only quarterback to come in under center and have the team continue to play pretty much the same (more due to a fabulous running game that was hitting on all cylinders). Again, as with Hostetler (and Steve Young), it’s rare.

Bear in mind, those teams with no true starter at quarterback or ones with ongoing quarterback controversy aren’t being introduced as part of this equation.

Since no controversy is remotely near this gun-slinger position on the New York Giants, it’s safe to say Eli Manning’s health is a hotter commodity than QB David Carr and QB Ryan Perrilloux. This remains fact since the Giants tend to carry only two quarterbacks on their 53-man roster.

Since Carr has the actual regular season game experience of 11 years, it’s pretty much a lock that the spot is his. However, Carr is 32-years-old and is now signing one-year contracts; this won’t go on forever and at some point, he’ll retire. The Giants will need to secure a reliable backup before that time hits. Question is will they groom him from within or try to grab someone in free agency as they’ve been doing?

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Tags: David Carr, Eli Manning, Ernie Accorsi, Football, Jeff Hostetler, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Ryan Perrilloux

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6 Responses to “Despite Eli Manning’s Consistency, New York Giants Place High Value on Back-Up Quarterbacks”

  1.  Krow says:

    Carr is wealthy … let’s not forget that. He bag’d every dime of his then-huge rookie contract ($46.2 mil). Add to it several million more as a backup QB and you easily top $50,000,000.

    So it’s reasonable to conclude that he’s not in this for the money.

    I think Carr likes being in football. It would not surprise me to see him back up Eli for the next 5-6-7 years. And then end up a QB coach. We could see them both retire in the same year.

    •  fanfor55years says:

      Good point.

      I’ve always expected the team to go with the veteran backup because when you have a championship-quality team you don’t want the downside risk of a huge drop-off in offensive production if Eli goes down. BUT, I think this defense is shaping up to be so good that they might be able to thrive with Perrilloux at quarterback even if he makes some of the mistakes that Carr wouldn’t.

      I believe the backup will be Carr and that Perrilloux continues to be the third option (and quite possibly trade bait, which is what I think the Giants have been generally looking for when they go after young quarterbacks), but for the first time in years I would be reasonably comfortable if they went with a youngster like Perrilloux because I have a feeling the offense can win a lot of games over the next few seasons scoring only 20-24 points.

  2.  Luv2Salsa says:

    Carr is the man. He is the most important clip board holder in the league. His value is measured from Monday to Saturday, not so much on Sundays. True, he is knowledgeable of the offense and has some QB skills left that he can step in for Eli without the need for Gilbride to dumb down the system, but he is valued by this team for what he does each week in preparing his teammates for the upcoming opponent. He’s smart. He runs the scout team unselfishly. He “becomes” the next opposing quarterback so the defense can practice against him. He’s at Eli’s hip in the film room, and on Sundays you often see he and Eli pouring over the still photos on the sidelines. He is a player/coach if ever there was one.

    From a staffing perspective, the Giants can get away with a more junior man as quaterbacks coach, due to David Carr. Perrilloux may throw a better ball but he’d need to be coached up to fill the roll through the week, if he was promoted to #2.

    •  fanfor55years says:

      Agreed. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve been Carr’s biggest supporter around here. I think he is almost a perfect #2 to Eli. I also happen to still think that he could be as good, or better, than a few of the starting quarterbacks in the NFL. And I definitely expect him to be the backup this season.

      What I’m saying is that while in previous years I’d have been heartsick if the Giants had gone with a young backup like Perrilloux, because the loss of Eli would then mean the season was over, I could live with a youngster now because I think the defense and special teams will be good enough to allow a sputtering offense to still get enough done to win plenty of games.

      Having said that, I fully expect Carr to be on the roster this season, and perhaps for a few more.

  3.  Krow says:

    Carr is second only to Eli in lifetime TD passes … … … to Sinorice Moss.

  4.  kujo says:

    Is “longevity” really the word you were looking for?

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