Saw this article in the recent Sports Illustrated magazine. Thought it was an interesting read with a lot of quotes from current and former players. All about the nuances of passing the football. Check it out if you have time.
Pro football has evolved from a run-based to a pass-based game. In 1977, the last year before rules changes that limited contact by defensive backs and vastly expanded receivers' freedom, teams averaged 37.4 running plays and 25.0 passing plays while completing just 51.3% of their passes. In 2009 teams ran the ball just 27.5 plays per game and threw passes on 33.3 plays, while completing 60.9% of passes. The number of passes per game was up to 34.0 through the first eight weeks of the 2010 season. The change has been steady and distinct.
"Accuracy at a certain level cannot be taught," says Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young. "It's something where your fingertips are directly connected to your brain. Your mind tells you where to send the ball, and your arm follows. There are a lot of guys—a lot of guys—who can watch tape and see what kind of throw they have to make. But they can't actually make that throw, because it's just not their gift. They can rep themselves to be better and play at a high level. But they can't make that throw."