Following a strong 7/9, 126 yard, 1 rushing TD performance from Max Hall last night, the question for the future of the undrafted rookie QB has seemingly shifted from "Will he make the roster?" to "Can he be the backup QB?"
Well for my money the answers to those questions are definitely and sure...but he shouldn't be.
Now trust me, I understand how impressive the former BYU Cougar has been this preseason. He can seemingly make all the throws required of an NFL quarterback and has good enough survival skills to not only buy himself time in the pocket but also get a few yards out of a run - but a few nice performances in preseason isn't enough to be a backup on a playoff contender, regardless of what certain Fan Boys will tell you.
In case you haven't noticed, the regular season is a bit different from the preseason. In the preseason teams play vanilla defenses with limited blitz packages and coverages - basically it's not much more than what you would see in a high level college game. Combine that with the fact that Hall has faced nothing but 3rd and 4th string players in his 3 preseason performances and anointing him the backup seems to be a mistake - though he's certainly beaten out John Skelton.
Don't get me wrong, at some point I'd like to see how Hall would fare against a 1st team NFL defense, but I'd prefer not to have to see that in one of the first couple games of his NFL career - much less in a tight game where Derek Anderson falls prey to injury.
I don't know how far gone the situation is with Matt Leinart but if at all possible the Cardinals should retain his services as the number 2 quarterback. He's been a starter in this league (17 times to be exact, with varying degrees of success) and while he's not the perfect option, he knows the offense and is battle tested to a certain degree.
But if the organization has decided Leinart is done then a veteran QB should be quickly brought in.
While I realize that bringing in a guy like Charlie Batch is about as sexy as Bea Arthur in a thong, he's seen defenses in the league that Max Hall has only heard of on television. Such a veteran wouldn't be a long-term fix but it would provide a needed custodian in case of injury and while this hypothetical veteran might not win you games, but he certainly wouldn't lose them.
Can you say the same for an undrafted rookie? I can't.