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October 21, 2011

Shaking Things Up: NFL Week 7

Maya Angelou once said, “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”

NFL coaches have adopted a similar philosophy, with one added component;

“If you can’t change your attitude, change your quarterback.”

Week Seven of the NFL season will potentially feature six different quarterbacks making their first starts of the season as their teams try to make a playoff push, fill in for injured players, or get a head start on the future of their franchise.


After losing starting quarterback Jason Campbell for the rest of the 2011 season due to a broken collarbone, the Oakland Raiders were left with the ever inconsistent Kyle Boller and rookie Terrelle Pryor, who has only practiced with the team for a week after being suspended for the first five games,

Standing atop the AFC West with a 4-2 record, the Raiders needed to make a splash in order to keep their playoff hopes alive. They traded a 2012 first-rounder and a conditional 2013 second-rounder for Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer.

Palmer, who last played for the Bengals in then 2010-2011 season, said in the off season that he would rather retire than play another down for the Bengals, while still under contract by the team.

Raiders head coach Hugh Jackson has yet to announce who will in fact be the starter for Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs, but it’s looking like Kyle Boller will get the start, at least for this week.

Earlier in the week all signs pointed to the newly acquired Palmer getting the nod, but Palmer has had only five days to learn a new playbook and Kyle Boller has been taking all the first team reps in practice.

Palmer will ultimately become the Raiders starter; it’s only a matter of time.


After a fierce preseason quarterback competition, Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan decided to go with Bloomington, IN native Rex Grossman over former Dolphin John Beck.

Grossman, who led the Bears to Super Bowl XLI against the Colts, had an impressive start to the season.

In the Redskins first four games he threw for 989 yards and six touchdowns, leading the Redskins to a 3-1 record over that span going into their bye week, but in a Week Six contest against the Eagles, Grossman went 9-22 passing with four interceptions, and was replaced in favor of John Beck in the 4th quarter.

Beck looked impressive in one quarter of action, going 8-15 with 117 yards and a twelve-yard rushing touchdown, leading to coach Shanahan anointing him the starter for this week’s matchup against Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers.

This will be Beck’s first regular season start in over four seasons, when he started a total of four games for the Miami Dolphins back in 2007.


When English recording artist Lilly Allen wrote the song “It’s not me, its you” in 2008, she was probably thinking about the future relationship with Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow, coach John Fox and executive VP John Elway.

The Broncos who have been facing a great deal of fan pressure, have been reluctant to start Tebow, who was drafted by former head coach Josh McDaniel’s, who is now with the Rams.

That is until the team dropped two straight games with Kyle Orton under center, and when they were down 26-10 after a few minutes into the 4th quarter against division rival San Diego Chargers, they decided to give ‘ol Timmy a shot.

Tebow initiated two fourth quarters scoring drives, rushing twelve yards for a touchdown and throwing a 28-yard screen pass to running back Knowshon Moreno.

Although the Broncos ultimately lost 29-24, the Broncos have declared Tebow their starting quarterback going forward. He will make his first start of the season a Florida homecoming as the Broncos take on the Dolphins in Miami on Sunday.


There have been three rookie quarterbacks to start for their respective teams in 2011, and you can now add Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder to that list.

The struggling Vikings pulled starting quarterback Donovan McNabb in favor of rookie first round draft pick Christian Ponder at the beginning of the fourth quarter last Sunday, as the Bear’s were laying a 36-10 beat down on the Vikings.

McNabb, who only threw five incompletions on 24 passes, was sacked five times, and the Vikings offense looked anemic. Ponder came in and went 9-17 for 99 yards, and had an impressive eight yard run.

Vikings head coach Leslie Frasier took a huge chance on Ponder, selecting him in the first round of the 2011 NFL draft with the 12th overall pick.

Now he’s taking another huge chance on his quarterback, as Ponder will be making his first NFL start against the Super Bowl Champion Packers, who have started of the season 6-0.


Pete Carroll made a huge splash in his first year as head coach of the Seattle Seahawks when he traded a 2011 third-round pick and swapped 2010 second round picks with the San Diego Chargers for third-string quarterback Charlie Whitehurst.

He even went so far as to say that Whitehurst would be their “franchise” quarterback after signing him to a two year, $8 million contract.

Carroll made an even bigger splash in 2011 when he signed former Vikings quarterback and free agent Tarvaris Jackson to a two-year deal, and announcing that Jackson would be their opening day starter.

Jackson wasn’t terrible in five starts with Seattle, leading the Seahawks to a 2-2 record over that span, but in a Week Five contest against the Giants, Jackson suffered a strained pectoral, and was replaced by Whitehurst.

Whitehurst came into the game halfway through thethird quarter with a tie score of 14-14, and ultimately led the Seahawks to a latefourth quarter comeback victory after being down 25-22 with four minutes remaining.

Although the Seahawks had a bye during Week Six, the team is still mum on Jackson’s availability for this week’s game.

Whitehurst, who has been taking first team reps in practice this week, will look to make his first start of 2011 as the Seahawks take on the Browns in Cleveland.


Coming off an impressive rookie season in which he threw for over 3,500 yards and 18 touchdowns and competed for a division title, quarterback Sam Bradford and the St. Louis Rams have struggled to an 0-5 record so far this season.

Things just got a lot worse for the Rams as Bradford has been ruled out of Sunday’s game against the Cowboy’s with a high ankle sprain.

That means veteran journeyman A.J. Feeley, who started his NFL career in 2001 and has bounced around the league playing for five different teams, will make his first start since 2007 where he started two games for the Philadelphia Eagles.

In his 12-year career, Feeley has started a total of fifteen games, six less than Bradford has in less than two seasons.

Things wont be getting better for the Rams any time soon.

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About the Author

Harris Baker
My name is Harris Baker. I'm from New Jersey (NOT the Jersey Shore) and I'm a Junior at IU majoring in Sport Communication-Broadcast. I started with IUSportCom in Summer 2011 and I also work as a Hoosier Host with IU football recruiting. I'm a huge Jets, Yankees, and Nets fan (yes, there are Nets fans). Follow me on Twitter @Harris_Baker



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