It’s that time of year in Cleveland where we have the “quarterback A or quarterback B?” debate. This year, candidates Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace appear to be better choices than past contenders, including Tim Couch/Kelly Holcomb and Derek Anderson/Brady Quinn.
When evaluating the 2010 quarterback derby, I came to the conclusion that … drum roll, please … it probably doesn’t matter. Until the Browns get some playmakers that can catch the football, both quarterbacks are fighting an uphill battle. That, however, is for another column next April.
Both Delhomme and Wallace do things well, but have their glaring weaknesses. The organization seemed to be banking on Delhomme correcting his turnover problem, but twice in his week one start he gave the ball to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Wallace, in two games, has thrown just one interception. It proved to be a costly one as Kansas City defensive back Brandon Flowers took it the other way for six points in a game that was decided by two points.
Wallace is a far superior athlete than Delhomme, and we’ve seen him do things that #17 just can’t do. His ability to escape pressure is a bonus and so far he’s been sacked just three times – including just twice against the vaunted Baltimore Ravens defense.
Against Baltimore, Wallace played an efficient game. It was the same type of game Delhomme became accustomed to while leading the Panthers to Super Bowl XXXVIII during the 2003-04 season. Here are the keys to the car. Drive cautiously and whatever you do, don’t crash it.
With the type of wide receivers we have on the current roster, controlling the game is a must for the quarterback. I think Wallace can do that, and I haven’t seen enough from Delhomme in 2010, but I’m not sure if his turnover tendencies are reversible.
Going forward, Wallace must throw the ball in bounds when going down the sidelines for deep routes. A handful of times in the last two games, a wide receiver has caught the ball but been out of play. This receiving group needs all the help they can get. It sounds like something you would tell a third-grader, but Seneca: “Please keep the ball away from the sidelines so our guys can catch it in bounds so we get credit for the yards, okay?”
I like that Wallace has a big arm. I like that he can scramble and keep plays alive. I like that, relatively speaking, he’s valued the football so far. For now, he’s my guy. That’s for now.
There are others who think that Delhomme didn’t get a fair shake and still buy into the old mantra that you shouldn’t lose your job because of injury. I don’t buy that. He got hurt, and the beat goes on.
The quarterback situation here is just one problem on a laundry list of problems – and that’s only on the offensive side of the ball. Wallace had the benefit of Peyton Hillis running wild last Sunday, and that certainly helps a quarterback.
But that was one week, and until we have a consistent running game and wide receivers that, and this is a novel idea, GET OPEN, our quarterback isn’t going to matter much.
Seneca Wallace is my pick now and I think other fans in town are going to be in his camp as well. Just a warning to Mr. Wallace though, as I know that he’s new in town. This is Cleveland, and the most popular quarterback in town is always going to be the one that isn’t playing.
This article originally appeared on LandLoyalty.com