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 NFL Quarterbacks

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Coast2Coast

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PostSubject: NFL Quarterbacks   Tue Oct 23, 2007 10:43 pm

Last night's Jacksonville debacle reminds us again that most NFL teams do not have competent backup quarterbacks. Actually, several teams don't have competent starting quarterbacks either. Why is this? With all the pretty good college QBs that come out in any given year, why do so few QBs succeed in the NFL? Maybe the NFL is selecting the wrong kinds of kids and giving the wrong kind of athletes the opportunity to play in the league. Maybe there are many other kids who could have been successes, but never got the chance because they didn't have the desired physical tools.

The NFL regularly drafts and gives opportunities to the most physically gifted. Too many of them have brains that don't nearly match their arms. Rex Grossman is a classic case of how NFL teams draft the wrong kind of QB. Rex has above-average to very good NFL arm strength, etc. He also has a two cent brain. He proved he is incapable of making good decisions. Remember when Peyton Manning and Ryan Leaf both came out together and were thought to have comparable physical tools? The big difference was their head. Manning predictably succeeded. Leaf did not. Think about all the first round draft choices with first round physical skills that have been busts....Akili Smith, Cade McNown, etc. These guys had excellent physical skills/arm strength but their brains could not function at the level required to make correct, split second decisions in the NFL.

Now let's look at some guys who don't have first round arm strength but still have had respectable NFL careers....guys like Jeff Garcia, Kurt Warner, Trent Green, Jake Delhomme. Why did a 40 + year old Vinny find a job in the NFL? Why is Brian Griese a much more effective quarterback for the Bears, even though his arm strength is much worse than Grossman's?

The answer is because these guys make better decisions than other QBs with supposedly superior physical tools. Griese makes much better decisions, has a sixth sense to escape a pass rush and generally makes better choices about where to throw the ball than Grossman ever did. He will take the check down pass when the home run isn't there. Grossman was a gunslinger who would too often seek to make a play when it wasn't there. Being able to read defenses, react to what is there and take the check-down, and don't throw into coverage are important and admirable traits for an NFL quarterback. Griese ranks higher in those areas than Grossman. As a result, despite his inferior physical skills, Griese is marginally competent. Grossman is not.

The streets are littered with first round draft choices like Grossman who have great arms but lousy heads. Grossman will be out of the league in two years. Griese will still have a job somewhere. And that has nothing to do with their "physical" skills.

Maybe the NFL needs to test their draftees on their ability to read defenses and make split second decisions. Sure, arm strength is important, but increasingly we're seeing that it's the head that's a more important indicator to long-term success. The number of players with a great arm and a great head are few and far between.

The Wonderlic apparently can test basic IQ, but seems to be a poor predictor for split second decision making skills. I don't know if such a predictive test exists yet, but NFL teams sure need one. The next time I hear about a hot QB prospect with a million dollar arm, my first question will be, what about his head?
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PostSubject: Re: NFL Quarterbacks   Tue Oct 23, 2007 11:02 pm

Good post Coast. Some great points in there. Back in the good ol' days QB's were taken on their leadership and decision making. The athletic crap was a secondary thing. I think a great point is with the '85 Bears. No one is going to tell you Steve Fuller was an athletic freak at QB, but the guy knew how to manage a game and make smart decisions through out. Too many scouts these days look at upside and ignore what the player is actually doing in the present. Sometimes maybe taking a guy that's shown he knows how to play but doesn't have a high ceiling to get better is perfectly fine.

On a sidenote, I hope we aren't going to take away from what the Colts did last night. It was evident before Garrard went out that the Colts were going to win that game.
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PostSubject: Re: NFL Quarterbacks   Tue Oct 23, 2007 11:14 pm

STUN.Ryan wrote:
It was evident before Garrard went out that the Colts were going to win that game.

Maybe to a Colts fan, but that wasn't evident to me at all. The score was only 7-0 early in the 2nd quarter when Garrard got hurt. Jax was uncompetitive after that as the Colts D simply played the run and had no fear of the passing game. The Colts might have won had Garrard been healthy, but no way I can say that with any certainty. The only thing certain to me is that the game would have been more competitive.
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PostSubject: Re: NFL Quarterbacks   Tue Oct 23, 2007 11:54 pm

Jacksonville made the mistake from the start of the game not to run the ball with any authority, not to mention they hadn't scored or looked all that great with Garrard in for the first quarter.

Now we can all go back to giving the Patriots a bj.
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PostSubject: Re: NFL Quarterbacks   Wed Oct 24, 2007 12:12 am

Quote :
Now we can all go back to giving the Patriots a bj.
No
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Coast2Coast

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PostSubject: Re: NFL Quarterbacks   Wed Oct 24, 2007 12:44 am

STUN.Ryan wrote:
Now we can all go back to giving the Patriots a bj.

Awww. Are you feeling down? Not getting enough iron in your diet? Not enough respect for the champs? Too much media love for the Patriots? Do you need a Stuart Smalley moment?

The "we don't get no respect" card gets played and replayed so much in the NFL that it has become cliche. It's bad enough when the players do it. When fans do it, it becomes camp. You know better than to feel disrespected by the east coast media. They're just playing to their home crowd.

If you need something to hang onto, hang on to this:
November 4: Colts 38, Patriots 34
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PostSubject: Re: NFL Quarterbacks   Wed Oct 24, 2007 12:59 am

Na, I just heard some comments this morning about how this was a good win for the Colts because they knocked out the Jags QB. I thought that was a stupid statement. Meanwhile the Pats opponents' record is a staggering 17-28! I think the Pats are awesome, but I also know scoring in two minutes on a drive doesn't mean you're number one. The Colts are purposely putting together longer, more methodical drives. The old Colts would score at will and screw themselves in the end. That Patriots are damn good and they have an excellent chance to beat the Colts in two weeks. I just find it irritating that I heard that this morning with no mention of the Patriots playing in the AFC East. Nice call Coast on needing that Smalley moment! Laughing

I hope the Colts win in two weeks against the Pats (I'll be there!), but who knows. Randy Moss is incredible.
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Coast2Coast

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PostSubject: Re: NFL Quarterbacks   Wed Oct 24, 2007 3:35 am

Perhaps, but that's because he hasn't yet had to deal with the Hawkeye Mr. Sanders.

The undefeated, Super Bowl Champion Colts will be 3 pt. underdogs at home that day. Let the media talk all they want. Create the public perception that the Colts have absolutely no chance. You know where my money will be....
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BrianIm

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PostSubject: Re: NFL Quarterbacks   Wed Oct 24, 2007 7:34 am

I don't think you can estimate the ability of a QB's brain until you actually see him in action in a real NFL game. Like you said, NFL teams need to develop a test that will somehow test a QB's ability to make decisions, but I doubt there is an equivalent to being in a real game.
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