Talking about Seneca Wallace almost always involves talking about qualifiers. When you talk about Wallace, phrases usually end with, “for a backup,” or “for a journeyman.” Wallace hasn’t been through a bunch of different cities, but for whatever reason he still feels like a journeyman to me. I don’t mean it as an insult either. I think Seneca Wallace is extremely valuable to the Cleveland Browns. I felt that way last year, and I think his value is only increased this year.
Can we all agree that Seneca Wallace had a very good year last year for a backup? I know he only participated in one win as a starter – a 23-20 victory over the Bengals in week four. For the season, Wallace stepped in when called upon to complete 63.4% of his passes. He threw for four touchdowns and two interceptions. His QB rating for the season was 88.5. If he had done that for an entire season, he would have finished between Kyle Orton and Jon Kitna. He would have finished higher than Eli Manning, Carson Palmer and Donovan McNabb.
Consider this. Wallace was playing for a new team. He was playing for a new coach running a different system than he had run for the first five years of his career. He achieved those numbers with a team of receivers so green that tight end Benjamin Watson ended up leading the team in receiving for the year.
Now, the Browns are going to implement an offense that Wallace should be intimately familiar with. Pat Shurmur was hand-selected by Mike Holmgren to bring that familiar offense to the Browns. I just don’t see how that couldn’t benefit Seneca Wallace’s ability to be one of the best backups he could possibly be.
Any of you who have read my stuff know how much I detest a QB controversy. That’s why it is so nice to know that Seneca Wallace is the backup. I am confident he will end up playing meaningful snaps for the Browns only in case of injury or if the Browns find that Colt McCoy isn’t the long-term solution. I guess there is also a possibility that he could play while buying McCoy some maturation time, but I don’t really see that happening.
In the end, the Browns are a better team for having an insurance policy like Seneca Wallace around. Now that the Browns are implementing the West Coast offense, he can play an even more integral role as mentor for the guys learning the new system.
As always with Browns articles, that is if there is a season this year at all…