By Caleb Hanie
As a backup quarterback, you are assigned certain projects and tasks weekly during the regular season. This can look like anything from watching blitz tapes and pulling clips to help the starter and the rest of the QBs prepare for the week to doing more of a deep dive into something specific on film. Heck, for me, as a rookie, it consisted of buying gourmet breakfast every Friday and bringing it into the QB room to enjoy for morning meetings. Whatever it takes to get a win, right?
My time in Denver was amazing. In a few of my other blogs, I have written about my memories of being a backup to Peyton Manning. As you can imagine, Peyton is a very detailed person and left no stone unturned when it came to film study. One of my jobs for the entire 2012 season was to go back every week and watch the TV copy of the games. I watched OUR offense in the games from the previous week. This may seem counterintuitive to some. Wouldn’t you want to spend your precious time during the week watching the film of the team which you are about to play?? While this is true, for Peyton’s offense, it was almost equally important to study yourself.
We used a ton of verbiage and changed a lot of plays at the line of scrimmage. This, combined with the facts that the camera was ALWAYS on Peyton AND technology captured everything with crystal clarity, meant that the opposing defenses could theoretically watch the TV copy and pick up on signals and the words we were saying. So, my job was watch the TV copies and see what was exposed and compromised. This would usually take me an hour and a half or so and was actually quite entertaining. I would present the results in our Friday morning meetings, and often we would have to come up with new code words for our plays and audibles to keep our opponents honest and guessing.
As a backup QB, you often can feel as though you aren’t really contributing to the cause, other than running scout team QB for your team’s defense. With this job tasked to me, I was truly making a difference for our team. It was one of my more enjoyable times in the film room, and it was definitely more valuable than getting breakfast every Friday.