Seneca Wallace hears the conversations surrounding the starting quarterback for the 2012 Cleveland Browns and wishes to add his name into the hat.
Under contract for two more seasons and entering his 10th as a professional, Wallace, in his postgame press conference, stated that he feels he deserves at least the chance to compete for the starting spot next season.
While the career-long back-up quarterback went winless in his three starts with the Browns, provided to him merely due to the now-infamous Colt McCoy concussion, Wallace was certainly quick to point out the fact that the Browns were at least in the discussion come late in the fourth quarter – “For us to come out here and go toe-to-toe with a team that could end up in the Super Bowl [is good].”
Wallace was also quick to use the ongoing bout of ineptness to his advantage. You know, the one which the franchise has traded in since its return in 1999? Bringing in a rookie quarterback – given Robert Griffin III being all the rage – per Wallace, would only serve to lengthen the Waiting. And, to further the debate about drafting a quarterback or improving the surrounding pieces, Wallace wants to make certain that, despite his ties to Mike Holmgren and understanding of the West Coast offense, he isn’t going to sit idly and settle for a teaching role without an opportunity to be the man.
“When I came here, [Mike Holmgren] made some things clear that he was going to bring in a Jake Delhomme and we were going to compete,” said Wallace. “He lets the guy run the show and call the shots on who’s playing.”
Referring to Pat Shurmur as “the guy” may not exactly be the best way to earn said opportunity, especially when coming off of the heals of a 16-of-41 day with 177 yards with one interception. That said, the fleet-of-foot back-up feels that he has put his time in and deserves a decision-based opportunity rather than one rooted in injury. Had he had a few extra games this year, Wallace feels the wins would have eventually rolled in.
“There was a time [in 2008] when I got eight games under my belt in a row and each game there was a big improvement and we won some games and it was during difficult times,” Wallace said. “We had a lot of injuries, things like that, guys in and out of the rotation. But we still moved the ball and scored points on teams.
“So I could imagine if I got the right opportunity and a good off-season and tried to push the guys in the right direction, what could happen.”
Wallace just has to hope that those pulling the strings share a similar imagination.