Daunte Culpepper got a shot this weekend at the Steelers‘ #2 quarterback job – Charlie Batch was injured in the team’s first preseason game and both Daunte and Byron Leftwich were given a look. When the weekend was over, Leftwich had a contract and Daunte didn’t. So what happened? Did Daunte simply not impress coaches? On the contrary…the Steelers coaches were said to like what they saw from Daunte. The problem wasn’t Daunte’s performance but – what a familiar refrain this is becoming – his stubborn pig-headed attitude. Leftwich got the contract, says John Clayton, because he was willing to accept a pure backup role, unlike Daunte who somehow thought the team should sign him and give him a chance to compete against Ben Roethlisberger. The team had no such intention, and he remains unemployed.
Sadly, Daunte has no one to tell him what an obstinate ass he is being. He has no agent. He listens to no one but the voices in his own head. And so a talented football player sees his career continue to degenerate into farce. When will this guy just wake up and take whatever someone has to offer?
The Vikings parted ways with Culpepper before the ’06 season, and given the way he’s behaved, I can’t say the team should be faulted for it. Brad Childress has said all along that he wanted Culpepper to be his QB – he says he took the job partly because he thought there was already a franchise quarterback in place. He didn’t count on said franchise quarterback being an unrepentant moron. Culpepper is comic relief now, unlike his pal Randy Moss who has resurrected his career and rehabilitated his reputation.