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Eels v 49ers - 2nd string players



The definition of second string refers to someone or something that serves as backup for the top choice.

Example - Colin Kaepernick was 2nd quarterback to Alex Smith at the 49ers, until Smith got injured which gave Kaepernick his chance which resulted in taking the 9ers to the Super Bowl. In the late 80's, Steve Young was backup to Joe Montana and didn't get his full season until 1991 when Montana was injured for the entire season.

Therefore, how can 2nd string in the NFL be more successful than the NRL? A second string player in the NRL would be snapped by another club as soon as he showed potential. Can this exist in the NFL, because they have more players and a larger salary cap? Or is a 2nd string player in the NFL, not wanted by other clubs? And what are 2nd string players doing while the top QB is playing?

If Jake Mullaney showed great form and Parra wanted to keep him at the club in case Hayne was injured, how could Mullaney become 2nd string? 


There wouldn't be too many times a second-string NFL player has come in and been more successful than the starter.
In Kaepernick's case, he was always going to take over from Smith at some stage, it just happened quicker than originally thought because of the injury. Smith then became second-string and was therefore traded away to free up salary cap space. Niners could have easily kept him on the team as an extremely handy backup, but they did the right thing by letting him go.
Second-string players are always wanted by other clubs if they are talented enough. You need plenty of depth in the NFL (just like any team sport really) and teams are always on the lookout for handy depth players. Players can ask for a release from their clubs to go somewhere else but it isn't as common as in the NRL. Likely they have to wait until they are free agents to shop themselves around.
To answer your question about what the backups are doing while they starters are playing....well, basically nothing. They train, they watch, they train some more. They don't play. They don't have a reserve grade like League does (the NBA has something like it though).

I'm not really sure what your asking about in the Mullaney case. You ask how can Mullaney become second string, but he already is. He is the next fullback in line behind Hayne, so if Hayne get's injured or called up for Origin duty then Mullaney gets his chance. 


Thanks for the info TS. The Mullaney case is about keeping him at the club even though he is playing at Wenty, but I guess playing for Wenty doesn't pay as much as 1st Grade so if another club was interested he would sign straight away. Just wondering if Parra could keep their 2nd string players. 


Every team needs second stringers. Not everyone can be a superstar. The better the second stringers are the more pressure they put on the guys ahead of them. That is a good thing. Always good having pressure from below.

Having said all that I think the Alex Smith, Colin Kaepernick story was handled very poorly. 


Of course they can stay if they want to (and the club wants them too), but it's not just about money, it's also getting that opportunity to play in the big game. If there's no chance of them playing First Grade at the club they're at then their best option is to look elsewhere for that opportunity. 


I wasn't a fan of them dumping Smith like that...but I think it's worked out the best for everyone in the end. Smith gets to be a starter again and the Niners have their young talent AND two draft picks (ok so it probably worked out better for the Niners...I ain't complaining). 

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