Charlie Whitehurst is not the answer at backup quarterback

By Kenny Gardner

The San Diego Chargers needed to improve on their backup quarterback situation going into the 2012 season in case Philip Rivers gets injured.  Billy Volek will be 36 years old by the start of the season, has not played significant minutes for a team since 2009, has not started a game since 2005 and has a career record of 3-7.  The Chargers decided to sign Charlie Whitehurst to a two year deal worth $4 million and release Volek.  Whitehurst will be 30 years old at the start of the season which is a positive in terms of getting younger at the position, but this is a questionable move.

In the nine games that he threw a pass and the four games he started, Whitehurst has compiled a 1-3 record with three touchdowns, four interceptions and a completion percentage of 54.2.  Volek in comparison threw 27 TDs and 15 INTs for his career while completing 60 percent of his passes.  I think San Diego saw what happened to Indianapolis when they decided to go with Kerry Collins as their primary backup after Peyton Manning’s surgeries. This is understandable as having an aging backup or starter could be disastrous depending on the QB and the team. However, there were other options to pursue who could have solidified San Diego’s backup spot.

Jason Campbell and Kyle Orton got average salaries of $3.5 million each from Chicago and Dallas.  Campbell’s deal is for one season while Orton’s is for three.  Campbell has a career winning percentage of .443 with a 31-39 record which is not great, but better than Whitehurst’s .250 winning percentage.  Campbell has also thrown 74 TDs and 50 INTs for his career while completing about 61 percent of his passes. Orton has thrown 80 TDs and 57 INTs for his career with a 35-34 record which is a .507 winning percentage and completed 58 percent of his passes. David Garrard was also an option at backup.  Garrard has a 39-37 career record which is a .513 winning percentage with 89 TDs, 54 INTs and completed about 62 percent of his passes.

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