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Saturday Roar: Martz Didn't Draft Enderle to Be a #3

Spending a fifth-round pick on a quarterback when your starter is signed long-term and your developmental backup passed for one touchdown and two (one "game-losing") interceptions in the NFC Championship Game is a confusing prospect. However, if this article by the Sun-Times' Sean Jensen is any indication, when that fifth-round quarterback might serve a purpose greater than merely the emergency option, it might make more sense. That means the Caleb Hanie for Backup campaign members, myself included, may be losing our candidate.

"We didn’t draft [Enderle] to be the third quarterback," Martz said. "If that was the case, then there was no reason to draft a quarterback.

We knew that Martz wasn't particularly high on Hanie last year - I mean, when the walking corpse that was Todd Collins' career is still the primary backup even after whatever the hell this was, you know for some reason the other guy isn't liked much. Is it because Hanie's too improvisational and has the mobility to escape trouble, whereas Collins has all the mobility of a lead statue? Is it because he's not "your guy" and was here when you signed on, knowing what the roster was going to be?
"You have to be good at that position to win, and one just isn’t enough. We feel really good about Caleb, but what if Nate is better? Who knows? I don’t know that he is or isn’t."
Wait a second. "What if Nate is better"? It's simple. You picked him. If he's better, he's the backup. If he's not, he's either the number 3 or he's Dan LaFevour part deux. And if you're uncertain that he's better than what you have, why are you drafting him?

And Martz acknowledged that he welcomes a chance to develop young quarterbacks, which is why he’s encouraged by what he has seen from Enderle. Player personnel director Tim Ruskell had scouted him when he was with the Seattle Seahawks, and he recommended that Day and Martz take a look.

Enderle’s statistics weren’t overwhelming, but Martz noted how many weapons the Vandals lost heading into his senior season. So instead of just dwelling on completion percentage, Martz looked at how Enderle recognized what a defense was trying to do and how he reacted.

"You have to sort through the garbage,’’ Martz said. ‘‘They were overmatched in a lot of games. When you look at those tapes, he may or may not have good numbers. But you have to take some of that with a grain of salt.

"The thing that was impressive, against those [top] teams, he stood in there and tried to make a play. He played as if he belonged there, regardless of what’s around him."

Like we said when he was drafted, he looks all the part of the pocket passer. If he's pretty much personally handpicked, there must be something they like about him. But given the comments Martz made, it looks like it could be at the expense of Hanie. Matt Gutierrez (remember, we still have him?) would have the inside track as the #3.