Scout: Wallace Has 'Enough Upstairs' to Fit

An AFC scout likes new quarterback Seneca Wallace's intelligence, mobility and ability to not screw up things. "Mike Holmgren felt he was good enough and smart enough to execute the game plan and not lose the game," the scout said.

The Green Bay Packers have had a revolving door at backup quarterback this summer, starting with incumbent Graham Harrell. Harrell was released in favor of Vince Young, who was released in favor of Seneca Wallace.

The bad news is the Packers can't make up their mind. The good news is they've upgraded.

"When you're looking for a backup quarterback, you're looking for two things," an AFC scout told Packer Report on Monday night. "One, you have to be a smart. He's been around long enough that he can go forward without a full workload and execute the game plan. Second, you guys have offensive line issues. If you had, say, Matt Schaub, who doesn't get the ball out fast enough, it would be bad. What Ted (Thompson) and Mike (McCarthy) were thinking is we need to have someone similar to Aaron (Rodgers). That's why they brought in Vince Young but he didn't have the game-management skills. You need someone with enough upstairs to function on offense."

Wallace has plenty upstairs. He comes across as highly intelligent and comfortable in his role and comfortable in his own skin.

"Not all guys are cut from the same cloth with what they can handle mentally," the scout said. "That's not an issue for Seneca. Now, there are size limitations and arm limitations and there's been some decision-making limitations. But he can definitely come in and manage a game. You probably don't have to steer too far away from what you would do with Aaron."

Wallace not only is more intelligent than Young, the scout agreed, but he's run Mike Holmgren's West Coast offense for most of his career. So he arrives with at least some understanding of the X's and O's. Moreover, like with Young, Wallace's athletic ability allows him to do many of the same things the Packers ask of Rodgers.

Wallace said he'll learn the playbook by focusing on that week's menu.

"I think it's a little easier just with a game plan week because they're going to condense it," Wallace said. "It's not like training camp, where the whole gamut is in. So, I think it's a little easier to learn it when it's a game plan week. That way, you can learn the base stuff. You can learn the third down, the nickel, the red zone, short yardage, and just try to go it that way. It's still going to be like a foreign language to me because it's all new, but at least I can condense it to put it in my terms."

It's telling that Holmgren, one of the game's all-time great quarterback gurus, had such a comfort level with Wallace.

"He was with Mike Holmgren in Seattle and then Mike brought him to Cleveland because he's got movement skills and he can get the ball out of his hand," the scout said. "Mike Holmgren felt he was good enough and smart enough to execute the game plan and not lose the game."

Not losing the game is really all you can ask for. Unless there's some hot-shot rookie on the bench, backups are backups for a reason. At age 33, Wallace knows his role and his comfortable playing that role. Rodgers is the starter. Period. Wallace doesn't need to fling the ball all over the yard in order to impress the coaches.

"At the end of the day, you're not looking for a guy who's going to come in and win four games," the scout said. "You're looking to go 2-2 at the end of that stretch. You're not necessarily looking for someone to win games but not come in and lose them. He can make enough plays with his legs and with his arm and he can get out of the way of that offensive line."

Of course, in a perfect world, Wallace won't play a snap, unless it's at the end of a blowout win. If that's the case, Wallace can fill an important role, nonetheless.

"Just certain things on the sideline that he might not have got," Wallace said of acting as a second set of eyes. "Maybe looking at what kind of coverages or things that we can take advantage of, because that's big. The game is inches. You've got to take advantage of those opportunities when you get them. So, if there's something that a younger kid might not have saw or maybe a call that I can pick up on that they're using defensively in bringing certain blitzes, it's a chess match. Whatever I can get back to him to provide him with that, I'm going to do that."


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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.


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