INDIANAPOLIS — There was plenty of interesting quarterback talk over the weekend at the NFL Scouting Combine, and not just about Johnny Manziel, Teddy Bridgewater, and Blake Bortles.
Every team but the Saints had their coach or general manager address the media, and many addressed their quarterback situations heading into the offseason.
A look at some of the league’s more intriguing ones:
Raiders: Coach Dennis Allen was asked if his starting quarterback is on his current roster, and he answered, “I don’t know the answer to that yet. That’s obviously a position we’re going to look at to try and improve.”
That answer, of course, means, “No.” The Raiders went 4-12 last year with Terrelle Pryor starting nine games and Matt McGloin starting six, and finding an improvement for 2014 is crucial.
On paper the Raiders have a brutal schedule next year, with six games against the AFC West (three playoff teams) and four against the NFC West (three teams with 10-plus wins). The good news is they hold the No. 5 pick and are in a good position to draft one of the top three quarterbacks.
“That’s a position we’re going to look at very closely,” Allen said.
Cardinals: Carson Palmer’s 24-to-22 touchdown-to-interception ratio wasn’t very good, but Palmer, 34, seems to have the full backing of coach Bruce Arians. While Palmer’s arm strength isn’t so great, he did complete 63.3 percent of his passes for 4,274 yards while finishing with a 7-2 record down the stretch.
“There is no doubt he has plenty of juice left in the tank,” Arians said. “He’s in great condition. I would think he could play until 36, 37 easily.”
Arians also expressed a lot of confidence in backup Drew Stanton.
Jaguars: It was only three years ago that the Jags drafted Blaine Gabbert 10th overall, but it might be time to slap him with the “bust” label.
Coach Gus Bradley was asked about finding a franchise quarterback, and his answer speaks volumes.
“That’s really difficult,” he said. “I guess Chad Henne is ours, and he’s our starter if we get him re-signed.”
Henne is a free agent and threw just 13 touchdowns in 13 starts. Henne is a solid backup and spot starter, but the Jaguars, picking No. 3, need to seriously consider drafting another QB.
Rams: There have been rumors and at least one report from CBS Sports that the Rams aren’t thrilled with Sam Bradford, who is still under contract for two more years. But coach Jeff Fisher said in no uncertain terms that Bradford is still the Rams’ franchise quarterback, and the team would be interested in signing him to a long-term extension.
Bradford threw 14 touchdowns against four interceptions last year in seven games before tearing his ACL.
“One of the key reasons I took this job was because of Sam,” Fisher said. “He’s our guy. So I don’t know where that’s coming from. This year, before he got hurt, he was playing pretty good football despite the fact that we didn’t win a lot of games early.”
Buccaneers: Mike Glennon threw 19 touchdowns against nine interceptions last year as a third-round pick, and while new GM Jason Licht said he would like to give Glennon competition for the job, it doesn’t look like the Bucs will be looking at quarterbacks early in the draft.
“He’ll get every chance to be the starter,” Licht said. “We had injuries at receiver, we had injuries at running back, we had an offensive line that didn’t play as well as they would’ve liked. So you throw the fact he was a backup at the beginning of the season, getting thrown into the fire. There’s still a lot you have to evaluate. You don’t get a real fair picture of him just off the tape.”
Titans: It also sounds like Jake Locker, who has only started 18 games the last two seasons because of injury, will get every chance to be the starter in Nashville. Locker, the No. 8 pick in 2011, never will be a prolific pocket passer, but the Titans hope new coach Ken Whisenhunt can harness his potential.
“Last year, I think we were 4-2 with him as a starter and we were playing pretty well before he got hurt,” Titans GM Ruston Webster said. “So from that standpoint, the view we have is good. It is really about him just staying healthy, and he knows that.”
Browns: New coach Mike Pettine provided an interesting answer when asked an open-ended question about how he likes the quarterbacks on his roster.
“Brian Hoyer,” were the first words out of his mouth. “We’re looking forward to getting him back to where at least he’ll do some limited work in the spring. I’ve always admired Brian from afar. He’s proven he can be successful in the NFL, but at the same time, you’re always looking to make the team better and that’s the most important position.”
Most around the league expect the Browns to use their No. 4 pick on a quarterback, but Hoyer, coming off ACL surgery, still potentially could open the season as a starter.
One quarterback who wasn’t mentioned? Brandon Weeden, the No. 22 pick in 2012 who has more career interceptions than touchdowns (26 to 23) and wants out of Cleveland.