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Do the Falcons Need a Veteran Backup Quarterback?

Pat Yasinkas from believes they do.


When you think about Atlanta's positional needs heading into the 2013 season, quarterback probably doesn't come to mind. Matt Ryan has been solid in his five seasons with the Falcons, and is coming off of a stellar year. That stellar year, however, ended in injury. It didn't matter in the grand scheme, because the Falcons lost the NFC Championship Game, and the injury coincided with the end of their season.

The official word from the team was that Ryan would have played in the Super Bowl had the Falcons beaten the 49ers, but there's no way to know. There's also no way to know if the Falcons could have pulled off a win against the 49ers if they could have put someone with more experience than Luke McCown (184/316, 2,035 yards, 9 TDs, 13 INTs in 22 games over seven seasons) in the game after Ryan was injured.

Currently, the Falcons have second-year backup Dominique Davis, 7th round draft pick Sean Renfree and undrafted free agent Seth Doege around to compete for roster spots, and while the Falcons did retain Davis as their third quarterback last season, he has no actual game experience. Renfree and Doege, obviously, are rookies.

The problem is, there aren't a lot of viable veteran backup quarterbacks available in free agency at the moment. How do you feel about Derek Anderson or Matt Leinart backing up Ryan? Or, bringing Byron Leftwich back to Atlanta? I don't think Vince Young or Jamarcus Russell would be particularly good fits. Don't even suggest Tim Tebow. The Falcons don't gain anything by signing a backup quarterback who can't throw with any accuracy, not in an offense that's built for an explosive passing game.

The Falcons can establish their backup quarterback hierarchy based on how Davis, Renfree and Doege perform in camp, or they can see which potential backup quarterbacks other teams cut after training camp.

Do you think the Falcons will be fine with the young backup quarterback options they currently have on the roster, or should they try to secure a veteran backup prior to the season?