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NFL Handicapping: A look at rookie quarterback candidates

07.18.2011     11:51 AM     Printer Friendly

It is estimated that as many as five NFL teams could start rookie quarterbacks in Week 1. Still a long ways to go before making a determination, but here is a look at some of candidates and the historical results of first-year starters.

Tennessee - Head coach Mike Munchak hints that he'd rather go with a veteran (see Matt Hassleback or Marc Bulger) than see Jake Locker or Rusty Smith thrown to the wolves. If anything, Munchak wants someone with experience to push and teach the young duo during training camp.

Carolina - Reports say that Jimmy Clausen will have every chance to start Week 1 ahead of Cam Newton.

Cincinnati - Head coach Jay Gruden summed it up best: "We're not going to force-feed anybody," Gruden said. "We're assuming Dalton (will be the starter), but if Dalton is not quite ready -- he's only (23) -- then we'll get somebody else ready."

Minnesota - Christian Ponder says he'll be ready to start. With Tarvaris Jackson expected to leave via free agency, it leaves a foursome of Ponder, Rhett Bomar, Patrick Ramsey and Joe Webb. Yikes.

San Francisco - Head coach Jim Harbaugh gives Colin Kaepernick just as good a shot as any to earn the starting gig: "All I want him to do is come in and compete and just get better each and every day," the coach said. "If he does that, that will equal success for him. He's got the talent and the ability to be a starter in this league. But that's all up to him."

Tags: NFL Minnesota Vikings San Francisco 49ers Cincinnati Bengals Carolina Panthers Tennessee Titans

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