From the FanPosts. And the offseason rolls on....Thanks Texas Chief. -Chris
Here we are once again... depressed and dealing with the worst time of the NFL year....no football to watch on Sunday. Forget the 18 game schedule debates. The NFL needs to run 2 seasons per year with only enough time off for the draft and a 2 week free agency period. Anyway, in the spirit of breaking the monotony of the off season I thought we could all put in our 2 cents on a topic that has taken center stage for the last 2 seasons: The QB.
No, I don't want to have another Matt Cassel debate; and I certainly don't want to hear a single word about Brokie Crumple the walking injury with a cannon of an arm and the accuracy and attention to detail of a stoned Starbucks barrista the morning after a marathon 18 hour warehouse rave.
Forget about who we have, or don't have. Forget about who another team has or doesn't have. What I'm proposing here is to give everyone a chance to 'build their own' QB by taking traits from past NFL QBs and mashing them all together into what you think would be the ultimate NFL QB.
You pick the traits. You pick the men. You tell us why you have chosen what you have chosen. Let's get an idea of just how many different opinions are out there in Chief's land about what constitutes the perfect QB. After the jump I'll give you my hastily thought out build, and in the comments we can discuss yours.
Pre/Post Snap Read: No question, argument or debate here in my mind. Peyton Manning is the one to emulate. The Chiefs could not find a better model for a QB that always seems to know just whats going to happen and how to go about identifying and exploiting the smallest hole in the defense.
Footwork: A lot of a QB's accuracy comes from their footwork. We're not talking about scrambling, or avoiding pressure. We're talking about quick 3,5,and 7 step drops, having your feet set in the best position for balance and to channel power from the ground all the way up to the throwing arm. Off balance throws are the enemy of an NFL QB, and slow feet lead to slow set ups and broken timing with the receivers. Drew Brees, I'm looking at you here. I want my Chiefs QB to have your footwork.
Accuracy: I'm going to take another modern QB here, because I don't see a lot of room for debate. Tom Brady has taken accuracy on underneath and short yardage throws to a level I've seldom seen in my lifetime. Not only does he throw the ball where his receivers can catch it, but more often than not he hits them in stride AND manages to place the ball where the defender has little to no chance of disrupting it. With Randy Moss, and especially Deon Branch we got to see that even if his receivers don't full out burn the coverage to make the throws easy Brady can throw an accurate ball, even deep down the field.
Release: The best release (imo) in the entire history of the NFL belonged to one Dan Marino. No one was able to fling a ball out of their hand with the softest flick of a wrist in such a short period of time like Marino did. Marino may not have been the most mobile, or even the best at reading a play. His accuracy was good...but what made him stand out was the sheer speed with which he could deliver the ball once he'd made the decision on where to throw it. Triple patting and double pumping were not the calling cards of Mr Marino. Once Dan decided where to go with the ball...it was gone from his hands so fast that Houdini couldn't explain where it went.
Leader of Men/Poise Under Pressure: Two words. Joe Montana. Nuff said.
Pocket Presence: As a Chiefs fan it pains me to type this name, but.... Phillip Rivers. Rivers is a crybaby. Rivers an 8 year old pouting little girl. Rivers lets his emotions lead him into stupid plays and irresponsible ball handling practices. BUT Rivers must have another set of eyes in the back of his head. Don't mistake pocket presence for scrambling ability. They are not the same thing, and Rivers runs like a downs syndrome patient with a club foot and the hips of an 88 year old former rodeo clown. What Rivers does NOT do is take a lot of sacks unless the line just completely breaks down. He steps up into a pocket, shuffles a step or 2 to the right or the left, rolls outside the tackle box, and then makes the throw. The man is infuriatingly calm with the ball in his hands. He doesn't panic, or get happy feet, or give up on a play just because there is pressure. He makes just the right small adjustments to buy himself and his receivers the 1 or 2 seconds they need to deliver the ball as opposed to eating the turf. He will stand in there and let a play develop without trying to revert to a college football QB that checks one receiver and then takes off running down the field. An NFL QB has to be smart enough NOT to run down the field and end up being carted off on a stretcher because he's not patient enough to let a play develop. Ask for Rodney Pete, Michael Vick, or 'young' Donovan McNabb if you must....but try to name 5 QB 'greats' at the NFL level that sustained a long term career by checking 1 receiver and then taking off running the ball. It's not college football, and it shouldn't be. (Tim Tebow will either develop pocket presence and lose the happy feet....or completely flame out in the NFL)
Arm Strength: I consider this to be the most over rated aspect of an NFL QB. If you can't read a defense, go through progressions, avoid the sacks, and throw an accurate pass....then being able to throw it really hard or a really long way is all but meaningless. (Just ask Jamarcus Russell or one of 500 other QB's that got into the NFL based on their rocket arms....and then went nowhere.) Every year 1 or 2 guys come out of college with a cannon for an arm, stone feet, concrete brains, and lead weight in their ass. This year will be no different. However, there are situations where being able to throw the long ball or, more importantly, being able to deliver the mid-range pass in the form of a frozen rope rather than a lazy arc can be extremely valuable. I'll have to head right back to another AFC West rival again. (I'm beginning to to make myself ill.) Excuse me while I go evacuate my diner from my stomach after I type this name; John Elway. /Baaaarrrrrrrfffff
Pump Fake: Ben Rothlesb Roethlisber Rothlesbugar (the hell with it) Big Ben. (It's a stupid name. He's a repeat offender date rapist. And I'm not a big enough Steelers fan to bother looking up how to spell it.) The one thing he can do well is sell a pump fake. I have no idea how he manages to pull the ball down after delivering a fake with so much arm strength and vigor, but he does it every time. It may seem like an unimportant thing to the layman, but his pump fake ability is HUGE to the Steelers offense. Time after time Ben is able to stop a LB dead in their tracks, or force a safety to hesitate simply by selling the pump fake. Ben uses that advantage to perfection. When the game is on the line Ben manages to 'open up' a receiver simply by forcing a defender to bite on one of his astoundingly violent pump fakes. A defender hesitates and a receiver comes open, then Ben delivers the ball for that crucial first down or score.
Play Action Hand Off Fake: When a QB can fake a hand off, yet and sneak the ball away at the last second the effect is much like that of a good pump fake. The safeties tend to suck up toward the line of scrimmage (creating openings behind them) and the linebackers commit to stop the run (and thus break shallows coverage formation). Obviously, a team has to be able to run the ball to truly sell the play action fake. If you can't run then no defense is going respect the run game enough to bite on the play action. Dan Fouts (imo) was a the master of the play action fake. Sure, Fouts was a great QB, an talented passer, and a deep ball threat...but it's my opinion that that success was all set up by his play action fake skill. Yet another AFC West rival QB that I'm dissecting to build my frankenstein QB monster; but another one well deserving of the honor.
So there you have it folks. I've built my QB. Where did I go wrong? What categories did I completely whiff on? Leave out? Pick the wrong model for? What are your criteria? Have I built a complete loser of a QB? How would YOU build your future Chiefs Hall of Fame QB?