There are 19 solid NFL quarterbacks; why are you so greedy that you think you should have two of them? Perhaps we’re all jealous of Painter’s awesome hair, but one after another, fans are clamoring for Mark Brunell, Bruce Gradkowski and Ryan Mallett like they’re Unitas, Montana and Elway. All of a sudden, Jim Sorgi’s approval rating in Indiana is so high he could earn the GOP nomination.

You’re getting worked into a tizzy because your second-string QB isn’t the second best QB in the NFL. Forget the fact that Peyton Manning has started 227 consecutive games. Colts fans have become spoiled by the “Next Man Up” mantra that has seen Jacob Tamme and Melvin Bullitt perform at an above-average level, replacing All-Pro starters in Dallas Clark and Bob Sanders. Colts fans are still borderline irate over the perfect season that never was in 2009 when the Jets (with one of the best defenses in the NFL mind you) defeated the 14-0 Colts and then the Bills (in a scene that looked more like a day at the summit of Mount Everest than 72 degrees and sunny inside Lucas Oil Stadium) knocked off the Colts in a meaningless game with Painter at the helm.

Thirteen franchises don’t have one proven, consistent, “in his prime” QB (don’t believe me? Bills, Dolphins, Raiders, Bengals, Browns, Jaguars, Titans, Redskins, Cardinals, 49ers, Seahawks, Vikings, and Panthers). You know who the best back-up QBs might be? Shaun Hill in Detroit, Jon Kitna in Dallas and Byron Leftwich in Pittsburgh. Chew on that for a minute. Painter or no Painter, there aren’t too many options out there for someone who will lead you to a 10-6 season and playoff appearance if #18 goes down. Hill, Kitna and Leftwich only did that about 25% of the time…in their respective primes (that lasted approximately six combined years by the way). Forget about any of them doing that today. And if you consider Billy Volek, Vince Young or Tim Tebow solid back-up QBs, please submit your resume and three references to the Oakland Raiders player evaluation department.

Now, what happens when you have a second QB on your roster who has either a) performed well when called upon, or b) is considered to have great “upside”? Obviously you trade him away because the draft pick you could get in return and invest in a player who will contribute over 16 games helps your win total more than having that second QB holding a clipboard (see Matt Cassel and Kevin Kolb).

In this day of 53-man rosters and most teams up against the salary cap, you have to invest your draft picks and your cash toward players who will help you on multiple plays in multiple games. Your back-up QB doesn’t tackle returners on punt coverage or rotate in to cover the slot receiver on 3rd and 8. He doesn’t come in to block as the third tight end in your goal line packages or have the flexibility to play three different offensive line positions in case one of your starters has to miss a few plays.

Your back-up QB should do several things well. He should direct deposit the veteran’s minimum into his checking account well. He should know the playbook and be able to contribute worthwhile observations in the QB meetings. He should not complain about his playing time. Colts fans, you have a darn good back-up QB. Just like every other back-up QB, he’s good until he has to get on the field. At that point, Curtis Painter isn’t going to win you enough games. But neither would just about any other QB out there.

You want Painter on that sideline; you need Painter on that sideline.

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