Five young NFL quarterbacks to watch


Cleveland’s Colt McCoy is one of a host of young quarterbacks who are light on experience but heavy on potential. They all want to realize the type of early success that Baltimore’s Joe Flacco, Atlanta’s Matt Ryan and the New York Jets’ Mark Sanchez have experienced. Five of the young guns to watch:

Andy Dalton, Cincinnati: Carson Palmer’s refusal to return to the Bengals set the stage for Dalton, a former Texas Christian standout, to step in and play. Dalton has the added pressure of getting no off-season to learn first-time NFL offensive coordinator Jay Gruden’s system.

Blaine Gabbert, Jacksonville: Gabbert, the 10th pick in the draft in April, has gotten the snaps with the No. 1 offense since veteran David Garrard left practice last week because of a twisted back. Coaches have been pretty impressed with Gabbert, but it’s early in camp.


Kevin Kolb, Arizona: Once the “air” apparent to Donovan McNabb in Philadelphia, Kolb was injured in last season’s opener, paving the way for Michael Vick to take over. Now, Kolb (seven career starts) gets to reboot in Phoenix, where the Cardinals are still looking for someone to fill Kurt Warner’s cleats.

Cam Newton, Carolina: The Panthers are going to give the No. 1 pick every chance to succeed, even though it should be a bumpy ride with a young club in rebuilding mode. To this point, Jimmy Clausen has performed well with the snaps he has gotten in camp. Clausen started 10 games as a rookie.

Matthew Stafford, Detroit: Stafford, the No. 1 overall pick in 2009, battled injuries in his first two seasons. When healthy, he has shown flashes of excellence. But if he can’t stay off the injured list, he can’t help the trending-up Lions. He has started 13 games in two seasons.