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The Quarterback Dilemma: Unveiling the Most Important Position in American Football


Known in Canada and the US as football, American football is a competitive team sport. It is similar to football in the UK in that the game’s objective is to work as a team to score points by advancing the football into the other team’s end zone. However, unlike UK football, which is only played with your feet, players can touch the ball with their hands. 

Eleven players are on an American football team, including a quarterback and a kicker. The quarterback has been considered the most critical position in American football for many years. However, while many still believe this, other people argue that this is incorrect. To find out a bit more about American football and hear the arguments for and against the quarterback being the most important position, keep reading below:

How Popular is American Football?

American football, in particular the NFL, is the most popular spectator sport in the US, with over 80% of people stating it is their favourite sport to watch and bet on. In fact, thousands of people tune in to watch their favourite American football teams play each week. If you’re interested in this, click here to view the listing.

The Different Positions in American Football

As mentioned above, in American football, each team has eleven players. Each player on the field has a distinct role and specialist set of skills. These are the various positions in American football:

  • The offensive positions – these include the quarterback, the offensive linemen, the running back, the fullback, the tight end, and the wide receiver.
  • The defensive positions – these include the defensive linesmen, linebacker, cornerback, and safety.
  • The specialist positions – these include the kicker, the punter, the kick returner, the punt returner, and the long snapper.

Reasons Why the Quarterback is the Most Important Position in American Football

Thousands of American football fans argue that the quarterback is the most critical position on the field. Here are some of the reasons why they think this:

  • Execution – like no other role in the game, a quarterback’s performance can impact the final score. It’s unlikely that a difficult day for a quarterback will result in a win for the team.
  • Leadership – while there are several coaches in an NFL team, such as the head coach, two or three coordinators and six captains per team, the actual coordinators are the quarterbacks.
  • Managers hate replacing them – unlike other playing positions, which managers will happily replace, they hate replacing quarterbacks. Replacing a quarterback is a nightmare for any head coach. The Vick drama at Atalanta is just one example of this. Of course, there are occasions when the replacement quarterback becomes the next big thing, but this doesn’t happen often.

Reasons Why the Quarterback Might Not Be the Most Important Position

As mentioned above, many argue that the quarterback is not the most crucial position in American football. Here are some of the reasons they think this:

  • The quarterback can’t win alone – it takes a team to win a game. Without a good offensive line, it is impossible for any quarterback, regardless of talent, to gain even a tiny amount of success.
  • Other players can make a difference – If we take Michael Jordan as an example, this American footballer played in the position of Shooting Guard and still managed to make a difference for his team. This proves you don’t have to be a quarterback to help your team win. If you have the talent and are willing to work hard, you can make a difference no matter your position.

It’s clear that there are soccer stars like Michael Jordan that bring magic to the football field, helping any team they participate in to do well. However, while this may be true, many argue that the quarterback’s performance is the most significant factor for football results. Whatever argument you think is correct, it’s clear that for a team to succeed, all players must work together and try their best.

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