Can an " Elite Quarterback " be develop or is he just " that guy "
With the game of NFL football at the height of it's popularity and no ceiling in sight, the Quarterback position has become the most debated in football. In my opinion the NFL Quarterback position has to be the hardest to play in all of sports. In a sport that is totally Quarterback driven, you might be hard press to come up with a list of ten QB's ( out of 32 teams )who will hit anyone's Elite list. With such a high premium put on the Quarterback position to carry a team, you have to ask yourself, why there are so few team's in the NFL with the capability to develop a championship caliber QB. The first thing you might hear is players don't work as hard at the game the way they use to. I don't believe that to be true, professional football player probably train harder at their sport than any other. People might say it's all the money players make, it give them no incentive to work at their craft. While I think there might be a case to be made with some players, I think the number is very small. You don't play this game without some love and passion for it.
Where as I don't think money is the reason Quarterbacks fell to make the impact we as fans feel they should. I do feel money is the main reason their development is hinder. NFL Owners and General Managers feel they can't let that kind of money sit on the side line and learn the game at a more gradual pace. The Quarterback position is the one position on any team where a longer learning period is needed. There have been very few exceptions of Quarterback who have started their rookie year and became Elite QB's. ( Troy Aikman, Payton Manning, Dan Marino to name a few ) Theses three guys had that " it factor " the first day they step on the field. Troy and Payton took a pounding their first few years, just tying to stay alive while learning on the job. Dan Marino looked like a polish veteran right from the beginning, one in a million, you may never see this kind of Quarterback again.
Without the time that is needed to sit behind and watch a veteran Quarterback go though the day to day riggers of being an NFL Quarterback, these young QB's are eaten alive. I believe it take a minimum of three years to develop an NFL ready Quarterback, a guy who learn's the position inside and out.This mind you is not an Elite Quarterback, this is a QB who might not lose his team a lot of games. We have seen this type of QB win Super Bowls ( Trent Dilfer, Rob Johnson, Doug William, Mark Ripen ) the one thing these Quarterback have in common, they learn the game from the bench. These were veteran QB's who had the opportunity to develop their skills to the point where they could lead a team to and win the Super Bowl.
The term Elite Quarterback is used to loosely for my taste. The real question is what make's a Quarterback Elite? I know it can't be winning a Super Bowl, Dan Marino was one of the most Elite Quarterback's in NFL history ( no SB ring ) Ben Roethlisberger on the other hand has been to three Super Bowls and won two and there's a lot of so call experts who don't think he's Elite ( I'm not one of them ). My definition of an Elite Quarterback is every time he go's on the field the opposing team know's he can win, Big Ben fits that definition. There are only a few QB's in the NFL today that give me that feeling.They are ( Payton Manning, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger ) these are the only QB's I feel have that " it factor " in the NFL.
Aaron Rodgers is the only QB on my list who got the chance to sit and watch the game being played by a veteran for a extended period of time. And if not for Brett's on again off again retirement talk he might still be sitting. I believe sitting helped Rodgers become the Elite Quarterback he is. Time.... Time..... Time is what it take's to develop an NFL ready Quarterback! The approach a majority of Owners and GM's take with the most important part of their team's blow me away. It put to much pressure on coaches, their team's, and most importantly the young Quarterbacks they bring in to lead their team's.
If money is the underline reason for the under development of an NFL Quarterbacks, than money should be the main reason team's take a more diligent approach to this position. Most of the team's in the NFL go though QB after QB tying to find that guy, a ton of money spend hoping there's a diamond in the rough coming out of college football. I read a very amazing take on this subject on the ESPN Webb sight the other day.( and by amazing I don't mean good ) John Clayton had a Q&A on his blog sight, a fan of the New England patriots ask John if the Pats should draft a Quarterback to develop as Tom Brady's successor? John said no because it might upset Tom ( wow! John miss the whole football field on this answer ) if there's a right time to draft a young Quarterback and develop for future it's now for New England. They have a great QB and the time to let a young man sit and watch how it's done.
As we have witness with this lockout, NFL football is a business, so any Quarterback who gets upset about a smart business move has no loyalty to his team. ( he can't play forever ) I believe if more time is taken with the development of young Quarterbacks, we might see 15 to 20 team's with a real shot to win a Super Bowl instead of the 4 to 5 we can count on each year.
Brought to by: AJ Jones from Cambridge
"Let's Talk Football" Visit- www.ajstakeontheNFL.blogspot.com