NFL LAB // THE SCIENCE BEHIND BUILDING THE “PERFECT QB”

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What does it truly mean to be a “Franchise QB”? Some believe a guy who gives you 10 plus years of consistent availability, and starts. Others believe someone who represents the organization in the utmost highest of class for roughly the same time frame while periodically keeping the team in contention, with mild playoff success also known as “Sports Purgatory”. Then there are those who define a “Franchise QB” as something way more “Intangible” than “Tangible”. A “Gamer”, “Go Getter”, isn’t always pretty, but “By any means necessary” follow me I got this! A Franchise QB will be the reason you win more than the opposite. He can keep you above water, and in most cases manage to still flourish through tough stretches, where the team may be underperforming, or suffering with injuries in other areas. He has the ability to extend plays either with his brain or feet to salvage possessions and make something happen when things go off schedule. This is why in my opinion the line between “Elite” & “Really Good” is more robust than most people believe. The current NFL is chalk full of super talented young QBs who have either not accomplished anything yet due to still being in the toddler stage of their careers, or have already failed a handful of times, and now the Jury is starting to leave for deliberations. It takes too much to be elite for everyone to be considered in the room, and the current crop of qbs young and old still have a lot to prove outside of few. Nonetheless they still have physical and mental gifts that got them that far. Let’s take a look at the key attributes from NFL Qbs past and present I would select in the construction of the PERFECT NFL QB.

BRAIN: Peyton Manning The father of the modern NFL offense brought an approach to quarterbacking we had never seen, well at least to his level. Manning’s ability to walk to the line of scrimmage, and in 2 audibles completely take your defense out of what they originally wanted to call all while scheming his targets into the right places to be was monumental. No QB in history studied the opposing defense more thoroughly than number 19. One former opponent of Manning said “He had your entire possession planned out before you even took the field”.

ARM POWER: Brett Favre The hardest thrower of the football i have ever seen. Once clocked at 63mph on short throws Favre was no guy to play around with. Broke numerous fingers, and hands even chose to show up at local high schools in Wisconsin to give young players some heat. Defending Favre was physically impossible due to the fact that his right arm forced opposing defenses to always play honest. There was no Quick Out, Deep Post, Deep Out, or Fly he could not reach or sometimes over reach. The pass Favre threw to Antonio Freeman back in 2001 to clinch the Wildcard win was clocked at 67mph. Just keep in mind that’s in the dead of winter, with 20lbs of pads, and late in the 4th quarter. Dude was raw!

ARM TALENT: Patrick Mahomes “Arm Talent” & “Arm Power” are 2 completely different gifts. Just for comparison purposes Bills QB Josh Allen may have a more stronger/powerful arm than Mahomes, but Patrick is the more gifted thrower of the football, whose arm strength is nothing to sneeze at also. His ability to throw clean darts consistently from dirty pockets, rolling left, rolling right, on balance, off balance, alternate platforms, and still manage to maintain the feathery touch on all tosses needed for throwing his targets open. Big Time Gunslinger who knows you can’t out scheme his gift!

BODY: Steve McNair Big, Tough, and Thick built! 6’2 235 lbs of dual threat fear. McNair was extremely difficult to bring down in the pocket, and even tougher when he got out into the open field. Built like a Free Safety he played his style of football in the same model. McNair’s career didn’t last as long due to that style but while he played there was no QB more effective at what he did. After 13yrs of hits, and surgeries the ironman had finally had enough, and announced his retirement in 2008.

INSTINCTS: Aaron Rodgers When all else fails, things go awry, or in some cases just need to be solved i want this man’s set of instincts & intangibles. No QB in NFL history (IMO) is/was better at resetting the clock than Aaron Rodgers. A quarterback’s ability to adjust to the moment, and figure out the correct thing to do on every single vital down is the most crucial attribute for any signal caller. While Rodgers is a hybrid of Brett Farve & Patrick Mahomes, he is a more accurate, and rational decision maker than Farve, and more precise at throwing people open than Mahomes.

VEINS: Tom Brady Leading the Patriots to 9 Super Bowls, and winning 6 including 1 in overtime, and all 6 by a combined 29 pts says enough about the ice water pumping through the veins of Tom Brady. Won his first 2 years in, and never looked back on his journey to NFL immortality starting as a 6th round pick. A career playoff record of 30-11 with 73 tds, and 13 game winning drives were used to bury numerous AFC rivals, and NFC Juggernauts who stepped up to the plate. Can’t go wrong with all of that!

LEGS: Michael Vick The most physically dominant player under center the NFL has ever seen. Before Vick there was Fran Tarkenton, Steve Young, Randall Cunningham, and the aforementioned Steve McNair, but none of them athletically compared to him. Post Vick we have had Cam Newton, Lamar Jackson, and Josh Allen but once again none of them compare to the athlete overall that Vick was, and that’s saying a lot. Vick’s electrifying speed, and Agility were something NFL defensive coordinators had never seen from a signal caller or were even required to game plan for at all in the way football was still played back in 2000 when the Atlanta Falcons made Vick the No.1 Overall Pick.

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