PDA

View Full Version : It seems to me that the QB position is more mental than physical


3pac
04-21-2009, 06:47 PM
So why do we put so much weight into their physical intangibles? Why does it matter if they have a huge arm? Why does it matter if they're taller than 6'3"? Jeff Garcia has hardly any physical tools (and is very short), but he wins wherever he goes. Drew Brees is about the same height and doesn't really noticeably excel in any physical way. Peyton Manning's arm strength is average. The list goes on.

It seems like QBs that get drafted based on their body fail more often than they succeed, whereas intelligent, confident QBs can thrive despite any potential physical setbacks.

So my point is this, when rating a prospect for the draft, why aren't the mental factors more boldly outlined? People drool over how strong or fast they are, but the evidence seems to point in the direction of mind over matter when it comes to the player on the team who is, afterall, the game's real decision maker on the field.

Also, I fully expect my reputation to go down a couple 1000 points after this since the only kind of topics I make go against common opinion, it seems, but...I don't really understand the point of it anyway so, flame away.

bored of education
04-21-2009, 06:54 PM
It's called a combination of things, like a a good grinder from the deli. you want good meats, sauces and bread but if the veggies are bad or the person making it doesn't have a clue then it will suck. you need the right balance and be in the right system to have a good grinder.

if i was about intangibles and IQ John Clayton would be an HoF QB.

3pac
04-21-2009, 07:00 PM
It's called a combination of things, like a a good grinder from the deli. you want good meats, sauces and bread but if the veggies are bad or the person making it doesn't have a clue then it will suck. you need the right balance and be in the right system to have a good grinder.

if i was about intangibles and IQ John Clayton would be an HoF QB.

Yes, obviously, don't take what I said out of context. You know as well as I do I don't mean simply their literal "IQ", or that I don't think athleticism matters.

Kid_Ego
04-21-2009, 07:07 PM
That is just a bunch of BS that basially means they cant measure heart work ethic and determination at the combine sountil they can there is no obvious answer to your question

Halsey
04-21-2009, 07:11 PM
I'll take a smart, 6'3 QB with a strong arm and sturdy build. You can have a smart, 5'9 QB with a noodle arm and a frail build.

Kid_Ego
04-21-2009, 07:12 PM
That depends are the 2 qbs in question Ryan Leaf and Jeff Garcia?

scottyboy
04-21-2009, 07:13 PM
yes and no. You have to not a be a nutcase and freak out after bad throws, drops, tough losses etc.

but you need the physical talent to make the throws.

3pac
04-21-2009, 07:25 PM
I'll take a smart, 6'3 QB with a strong arm and sturdy build. You can have a smart, 5'9 QB with a noodle arm and a frail build.

That's not my comparison. The comparison is smart, confident 5'9 QB with noodle arm and frail build vs. mentally-slow, easily-intimidated 6'3 QB with strong arm and sturdy build.

And I'd rather have the former any day of the week.....yet we still give players like JaMarcus Russell priority.

Halsey
04-21-2009, 07:33 PM
The idea that having good physical tools somehow makes a player dumb is just silly. There is no negative correlation between physical tools and mental aptitude. Fans who think like that simply don't know how to evaluate QB's in the least bit.

3pac
04-21-2009, 07:43 PM
The idea that having good physical tools somehow makes a player dumb is just silly. There is no negative correlation between physical tools and mental aptitude. Fans who think like that simply don't know how to evaluate QB's in the least bit.

Please find when I said that, I'd love to see it in writing. I never said there was an either/or correlation. The point is that physical tools are highly overrated, and not only that, but are CONCENTRATED on. When people talk about QB prospects, the first things they talk about are how far they can throw a football or how fast they are for scrambling, despite the fact that the Jeff Garcias, Chad Penningtons, etc all show that those intangibles are not necessary.

But when was the last time a QB had real success while lacking football IQ or being easily intimidated? Obviously if they have both, great, and no - having one doesn't mean they don't have the other - but I see no argument why someone would take a quarterback based on their arms.

yourfavestoner
04-21-2009, 07:44 PM
Do you make a new thread for every new thought that pops into your head? You're like GRF, albeit much less entertaining.

3pac
04-21-2009, 07:46 PM
Do you make a new thread for every new thought that pops into your head? You're like GRF, albeit much less entertaining.

Pretty much.

hockey619
04-21-2009, 08:03 PM
Physical tools can be measured and compared and generally are much harder to teach. You cant teach 6'6 and JRuss arm. You can teach him how to read a D though in theory.

And some times good physical tools do lead to his head being behind the 8 ball, as he was able to get by on physical ability to make up for his mental mistakes, so he never needed to learn and fix his approach to the game.

singe_101
04-21-2009, 08:15 PM
Manning has average arm strength? There are about 15 that can throw it more sharply? uh...

I don't think you're making a lot of sense. The physical freaks who go really high are also supposed to be smart. The projects usually go later (Derek Anderson).

A lot of smart QBs went relatively high, there weren't THAT many taken before Brees. Garcia went to San Jose State so he was lucky to follow Young.

Lefors, Troy Smith, Gradkowski, etc. are why they don't assume everyone can be Brees. What DIDN'T Smith do up to the last game, that was a really complete season against a tough schedule, legit Heisman, and Flacco has better tools (plus smarts but maybe Smith is as smart).

3pac
04-21-2009, 08:25 PM
Manning has average arm strength? There are about 15 that can throw it more sharply? uh...

I don't think you're making a lot of sense. The physical freaks who go really high are also supposed to be smart. The projects usually go later (Derek Anderson).

A lot of smart QBs went relatively high, there weren't THAT many taken before Brees. Garcia went to San Jose State so he was lucky to follow Young.

Lefors, Troy Smith, Gradkowski, etc. are why they don't assume everyone can be Brees. What DIDN'T Smith do up to the last game, that was a really complete season against a tough schedule, legit Heisman, and Flacco has better tools (plus smarts but maybe Smith is as smart).

I've been a Colts fan since I was a toddler, I've watched every game. Peyton's arm strength isn't anything *special*. He DOES however have tremendous accuracy when throwing it "far," which is more than many big-armed-QBs can say.

Plus, there are plenty of QBs with questionable mental intangibles taken early. Vince and JaMarcus come to mind. And while I agree on Lefors and Gradkowski, I wouldn't really throw Smith into that group. We never had much of an opportunity to see what he had to offer. Honestly, the one game I saw him play against the Patriots was pretty impressive in my eyes; he showed potential.

yourfavestoner
04-21-2009, 08:47 PM
Manning has average arm strength? There are about 15 that can throw it more sharply? uh...

I don't think you're making a lot of sense. The physical freaks who go really high are also supposed to be smart. The projects usually go later (Derek Anderson).

A lot of smart QBs went relatively high, there weren't THAT many taken before Brees. Garcia went to San Jose State so he was lucky to follow Young.

Lefors, Troy Smith, Gradkowski, etc. are why they don't assume everyone can be Brees. What DIDN'T Smith do up to the last game, that was a really complete season against a tough schedule, legit Heisman, and Flacco has better tools (plus smarts but maybe Smith is as smart).

Eli has a stronger arm than Peyton. I remember Peyton saying as much while Eli was still in college. Peyton makes his money in the intermediate passing game.

The Great Jonathan Vilma
04-21-2009, 09:18 PM
Pennington was a first rounder, noodle arm, slow, no big build. Brees was the first pick in the 2nd round, i'd still consider that pretty high. There are obviously exceptions to the ideals that you are referring to. There are also big, strong, tall QBs who fall in the draft due to the lack of intangibles you are refering to.

The idea of top overall picks is that you can get the best of the best, the ones who have the ideal phyiscal skills, but also have those intagibles that you seem to say get overlooked. Matt Ryan had 'questionable decision-making' as a questionmark going into his draft, and he faired okay. The key is being able to accurately assess those things that can't be measured. Fact is, my evaluation may be considerably different than yours when it can't be quantified in numbers.

It is also a matter of risk/reward. We can take a chance on a guy that he will 'mature' later, and he currently has all the physical tools. A guy may have those tools (ie Pennington) but you know you are nearing a ceiling. It is possible the floor may be higher, but that is also no gaurantee. Why not take the chance on someone who has the physical makeup that can change games?

Why Vince Young? I agree, he had the height/speed, but he also had a certain sort of percieved intangible that you were referring to in that he apparantly had leadership and straight up won games. He had arm strength, but no accuracy. Out of all the things mentioned, the only thing you can 'teach' is hopefully technique and help with decision making and accuracy.

Peyton Manning? I'd say his arm is a little above average, but due to his decision making and understanding of the game, he looks faster because he is able to use his touch and anticipation to know where to put the ball. Point is though, can we really even use this guy as an example? Are we going to find other guys with those skills? Certainly not.

Do guys with these smaller/slower attributes not bust? They certainly do. I don't know if they are any less risky. So why not take the same chance with a guy who can be pillar of success? Brees and Garcia, with their height are exceptions, not rules. Shorter players have a more difficult time seeing over the 6'3+ linemen that are now the standard. They have to be able to move and have an innate sense of how to find the angles and how to see downfield. If you can assess and spot guys like Brees (who had a rough start to his career if you recall) and be willing to let them get through the bumps and bruises, you may have a successful GM career ahead of you. More often than not, you'll flunk.

Bumps and bruises? The big, strong, fast QBs can better withstand the pounding that comes with getting smoked from all angles by monster athletes coming full speed and landing on them. Its not made up, the bigger/stronger guys should be able to withstand more. Not always the case, as many smaller guys have been durable, and many big guys have been injury prone.

Point is, you seem to refer to the top prospects most of the time, so i'll assume you mean 1st round. These teams are spending huge sums of money in their draft picks, they want guys who have it all. Typically, the phyiscally stronger players are the ones who excel in college, that is the nature of the game. They evaluate based on college film, and combine numbers. Interviews and such also, but who knows how those go as we do not get to see those. People move around draft boards and it only takes one team to love a guy for something to get drafted. 'Value' is huge, and many coaches have ego's that tell them they can teach a guy anything.

Fact is, i think you overplay certain things in your threads and ignore the other side. For every success story there is that many more failures. I don't think the question is very hard, and not being able to have a consistent comparison measure plays a huge role. Assuming that teams don't factor in what you are talking about would be a slap to all the franchises that are paying top dollar in all the resources they have to evaluate talent.

Its not against the grain, it is often just not having a clue.

PossibleCabbage
04-21-2009, 09:35 PM
The thing is, you can teach someone to recognize coverage. You can teach someone when to audible and what play to use. You can teach a guy to recognize when the safety is peaking so you can pick on them. These are all acquirable skills. You can even try to foment confidence and leadership in someone, as not everybody who displays these qualities has had them since birth.

But you can't really teach people to be faster, taller, or stronger. I mean, people will get stronger, and sometimes they get faster, but there's a limit determined by your genetics.

So when you look at two guys on your board who are ranked about equally: one has all the physical tools in the world but doesn't have the mental part of the game mastered, and the other is an astute student of the game but is a mediocre athlete; it's not totally ridiculous to take the first guy over the second. You can teach the first guy how the game is played at the NFL level, but you can't really teach the second guy to throw the ball farther.

At the same time though, it's stupid to take anybody who will take more than 3-4 years to really pick up mental aspect of the game of football at the NFL level. QB coaches don't really have time to work miracles, and roster spots are valuable. Whether to take a guy who has a shot at being great, but a reasonably high probability of flaming out versus a guy who has a really good chance of being an average NFL starter at his position, but won't be anything special, really depends on your needs and the overall shape of your roster. There's no right answer for every situation.

eaglesalltheway
04-22-2009, 11:15 AM
Obviously a QB can't thrive with just superior mental capabilities, and the same goes the other way. There are certain QBs that have more physical attributes but have questionable decision making. Brett Favre is one of them, he had a great arm and good accuracy, and because of that, he took risks that many quarterbacks with less strength and accuracy, but better mental abilities (or just wouldn't risk it), wouldn't do. Of course he had other non-measurables that made him great, but his risk-taking was what made him what he was, and there are many instances where it came back to bite him. There are cases of QBs with great measurables who succeed without elite intangibles, and there are cases where there are successful QBs who have great intangibles but not elite measurables. You need a blend of both to be successful, and any QB that has very little of either will not be successful. But you can't say either are more important, because there are different types of QBs, and depending on that, you can be successful without having elite menausrables or intangibles.

stephenson86
04-22-2009, 11:25 AM
you have to be overall a great athlete, mentally and physically tough. hardest position in sport me thinks.

LizardState
04-22-2009, 02:11 PM
NFL defenses eat good QBS alive, & the rookie ones are most vulnerable.The talent level of NFL defenses +the wisdom of DCs around the league is so high & the league games so viciously competitive that the greatest phenom QB to call signals to emerge from NCAA Div. 1 can be made to look like a bust unless the highly complex series of other factors falling just right occurs in the right sequence.

Some NFL QBs have excellent rookie yrs, like Rothlisberger, but look at how many of them have sophomore slumps..... once the defensive assts. have a yr's videotape to view they can find the weaknesses to exploit.