Drew Stanton: Being a backup quarterback is an ‘art’

An old adage says the backup quarterback is always the most popular guy in town. Drew Stanton says there’s more to the profession than meets the eye.

“There’s an art to it. No question about that,” Stanton said, via AZCentral.com.

Stanton, a former second-round pick now on his fourth team, was thrust into action by the Cardinals in Week 2, when starter Carson Palmer was ruled out with a shoulder injury. He had a fairly nondescript performance, completing 14-of-29 attempts for 167 yards and no touchdowns, but did enough to help Arizona improve to 2-0.

And get a four-year-old monkey off his back.

“Drew Stanton, who hasn’t thrown a pass in the regular season since 2010 … ” Or, “comma, hasn’t thrown a pass in the regular season for 1,100 days or whatever it was,” Stanton said, finishing the thought. “It is nice to put that behind me.”

Being inactive for such a long stretch forced Stanton to contribute in other ways. As a member of the Lions from 2007-2011, he learned under veteran signal-caller Shaun Hill, who taught him how to diagnose the team’s weekly gameplans.

“So as soon as we got the game plan, we already knew what we liked, what we thought we were going to do, the reads and progressions. The same thing with the red zone on Thursdays. We would already know, ‘OK, from the 25 (yard-line) to the 15, these are their major coverages. This is their blitz percentage.’

“It gives a sense of ease knowing those little things because every quarterback in the NFL who’s a backup, hopefully, knows the game plan in and out. It’s applying that game plan that really takes it to the next step.”

Palmer’s status for Week 3 remains up in the air, meaning Stanton could once again get the nod. If so, rookie Logan Thomas would assume his old duties by holding a clipboard perfecting a work of art.

Zack Kelberman
An award-winning sportswriter, reporter and blogger, Zack currently serves as the Miami Dolphins live correspondent and Team Stream curator for Bleacher Report. He's also a freelance NFL writer and the founder/editor-in-chief of Helmet2Helmet. His work has appeared on media outlets such as ESPN, Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports, MSN.com, FanSided.com, and About.com. Zack can be reached on Twitter (@ZackKelberman) or via email (zpkelb@gmail.com).