Tom Brady, Kurt Warner, Earl Morrall, the list could go on.
And these are just a few at one position.
What we have in common here is the fact these guys were once listed as “backups” before they had to step in and start in the NFL.
My buddy and I were discussing this yesterday as we were heading to Kansas City for the Seattle game. We eventually came around to the conclusion that, in the NFL, there really is no such thing as a backup.
Fifty three players have made the roster on 32 teams and can call themselves a professional football player. True, they may not start but that does not mean that they are somehow not deserving or worthy of that. Our opinion was that if they have made it this far then the coaches should have no hesitation to insert them whenever they feel necessary.
Check out what Tony Romo did against Carolina–certainly not what one would expect out of a player tagged, almost disdainfully, as a “backup”. Tagged with that label which carries an undercurrent of almost not being good enough to even be on the team.
We Chief fans have to look no further than our own situation. I sincerely believe that we can cease calling Damon Huard a “backup” and we can call him that which he has proven he deserves–a starting quarterback in the NFL.
Okay, some say he has been a career backup. True, but he has proven himself to be good enough to always be just one play away from either entering the game or starting.
The same goes with anyone who does not start–they must be constantly prepared and alert and ready at a moment’s notice to go in and do the job. If a coach does not have faith in a player being able to replace a starter then that player does not even need to be on the team. Sure, Huard came into a difficult situation. But look what Larry Johnson has done after backing up Priest. Just look around the league and see how guys are constantly stepping in and delivering.
The point here is simple. In the NFL there truly is no such thing as a backup. There are simply 53 guys who are, or should be, capable of starting and doing the job when called upon.