There is a battle for the 3rd QB

Well there is one thing different about this years QB battle than last years. We already know who our #1 and #2 QB's are. Drew Brees is entrenched as the starter and Doug Flutie is our back up. This years QB controversy is who is going to be #3 fro the San Diego Chargers? Will it be the incumbent Seth Burford, or one of the two new guys battling to take his spot, Cleo Lemon or Rob Adamson?

Drew Brees has looked good this year in the camps and shown the effects from his off-season surgery to remove calcium deposits have not affected his game. It will be hard to improve upon throwing for 3,000 yards. Of the 32 starting QBs only 11 threw for 3,000 yards or more and Brees was #10. But I do look for him to improve upon his TD to INT ratio this year and with the acquisition of David Boston and the emergence of the combination of Tim Dwight, Eric Parker and Reche Caldwell, I feel that too will become better.

His timing has improved dramatically and he has built a better rapport with his receivers. I think after watching this years mini camp and watching how when he made a mistake he took the penance (push ups), just like his receivers if they made a mistake, lets his players know he is not above them and he wants it as much as they do. I believe Brees could be the emerging leader this year on offense.

Doug Flutie is back at the #2 spot this year and I still maintain (though many disagree with me) that Flutie was a huge influence in the way Brees played and had an impact on his 3,000 yard performance. I also believe he helped Brees with many of the intangibles that a young QB needs to learn to build their confidence. He was more of a QB coach to Brees then Brian Schottenheimer and being back there this year can only help Brees that much more. Let's not forget, just two years ago, the first QB since Stan Humphreys to throw for 3,000 yards with the Chargers was Mr. Flutie himself.

Of the three battling for the 3rd spot I would have to say Cleo Lemon had shown the best arm and most confidence. He is not afraid to throw the ball and tries to thread the needle a little too much, but he thinks Pass first and run later. He sails some, but he is pretty accurate.

Example: On the Corner route play to finish the first half of last Saturday's morning session, Lemon hit Kassim Osgood on a nice play in the end zone. In the afternoon session, he sailed a ball over a wide open Reche Caldwell going down the sidelines.

Seth Burford did not impress me. He looks the part, but has not proven he deserves it. I was not impressed with his stats in Europe, nor his play. He seemed to run more then he passed and when He passed the release was slow and it is amazing he did not end up with more INTs. In Mini-camp, he overthrew a lot or to the wrong shoulder. He was quick to take off and he just did not seem comfortable. He tended to hold on to the ball a few steps to long.

Example: In the afternoon session, he had Brian Sump going across the middle when he held on to the ball 3 steps too long and gave Drayton Florence a chance to catch up and break on the ball before the pass got there. In the Morning session, he scampered for a good 10 yard gain which was nice, but he had a wide open Tim Dwight on the sideline but once again he held the ball too long and the defense got to him.

Rob Adamson has looked very tentative out there and was sailing more passes than making them. His decision making is off and after hearing all the rumors about his abilities at his signing I expected more. I will admit he was not in there as often as Lemon and Burford, but I think that was due to they were performing better and he did not make the best of his chances when he was out there.

Example: In the morning session, a wide open Terry Charles had gotten by Sammy Davis on a fly route and Adamson missed him by a mile. I did not see him that much in the afternoon session so I can not really tell you any examples at that time.

The Competition is going to be stiff at the #3 spot and right now it is coming down to Burford and Lemon, with Adamson becoming a Practice Squad candidate. We still have camp and things can Change, but Lemon is who I have penciled in at # 3 role right now. Then again that is why they have camp and the pencil marks get erased. It is not last year's battle but it is a battle nonetheless. Let's see who comes out the winner.

Tom Criswell (the controversial one) can be reached at: or via the following link: Tom Criswell

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