In brand-new QB room, Roughnecks have variety of skill options to choose from

Head Coach Curtis Johnson is experiencing quite a bit of change in his second season at the helm. His team, the Houston Gamblers, is now the Houston Roughnecks. And the three quarterbacks on his training camp roster are completely new from last year.

Kenji Bahar, Montell Cozart, and Terry Wilson are out. In are Jarrett Guarantano, Reid Sinnett and Nolan Henderson. It’s one of the most competitive quarterback rooms in the league as teams approach the end of the second week of training camp. Johnson doesn’t seem in a hurry to name a starter for week one.

“One day, one guy is winning, the next day…all three of those guys, they’ve all had their days,” said Johnson during his media availability on Wednesday.

Sinnett boasts the most pro experience of the three. Though he has yet to play in an NFL regular season game, he’s been a part of the off-season roster or practice squad of four NFL teams since his entrance into the league in 2020. In 2023, Sinnett played one game for the San Antonio Brahmas of the XFL before succumbing to a season-ending injury. Later that year, he had two stints with the Cincinnati Bengals. A new coaching staff and a new offensive system for the Brahmas in 2024 led to Sinnett no longer having a place on the team; he was claimed off waivers by the Roughnecks in late January.

Guarantano played collegiately at Tennessee and Washington State. In 2022, after an impressive rookie minicamp tryout, he signed with the Arizona Cardinals. Though he didn’t make the team, he was scooped up by the Denver Broncos in December, lasting until July 2023, when he was released. Guarantano was popular on the in-season workout circuit: He tried out for the Green Bay Packers, Atlanta Falcons, Minnesota Vikings and Las Vegas Raiders after his time in Denver.

The youngest of the three, Henderson signed with the Baltimore Ravens as a rookie free agent following the 2023 NFL Draft. He only made it to June, when he was cut. He had one tryout during the NFL season, with the San Francisco 49ers.

Not only is Johnson’s quarterback room completely different in 2024 than it was in 2023, the quarterbacks themselves all have skills that set them apart from each other. “If you look at Reid Sinnett…he’s a drop-back guy. He can spin it out, he can throw it all over the field. He’s going to make completions…(he’s) very, very smart,” said Johnson.

“Jarrett Guarantano has a big, huge arm. I got a clear vision of him, I’m giving the ball to (RB) Mark (Thompson), I’m throwing play-action, Mark’s going to bring down the safety…I can see a lot of balls (thrown over the middle).

“Nolan Henderson is more of an RPO, I can hand it off, he can run it, he can throw it. So it’s three different visions that I like that we have for all three of those guys.”

When I asked Johnson if it was possible he could play multiple quarterbacks in a game given their different skillsets, he answered in the affirmative. “I always like the defense to have to prepare for more than one thing,” said Johnson. “So definitely, game one, I’m 99.9% sure, and I haven’t game-planned one play, that you’re going to see more than one quarterback.”

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