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Quarterbacks can be the difference between an elite team and one that just plain stinks. The quarterback is the captain, the leader, the most important player on the field. He can make all of the throws, make all of the play-calls, and read every single defense he comes across.
Sounds easy, right? We don't think it does either. Because of the depth that goes into becoming a quality quarterback we have found that there are a few strategies to really excelling at the position--regardless of skill level. Let's take a look.
1. The main strategy that a quarterback should follow is to stick to his skill-set. Many people play the quarterback position for many different reasons.
-Dan Marino was able to play quarterback at an elite level because he had an amazing arm.
-Chad Pennington had an insanely successful college career because of his dead eye accuracy.
-Tim Tebow became a household name due to his ability to scramble and keep plays alive.
So, find out where you are on the spectrum. Know what makes you a good quarterback. If you have great athletic prowess then lean on your legs. If you have a killer arm then try to make the big throws. So on, so forth.
2. Outside of sticking to your skill-set as a quarterback you should also try and become the most well versed player on the field. This means that you need to glue your eyes to the playbook and learn all of the routes. Becoming the most prepared player will pay huge dividends down the road towards your successful career.
You may find yourself wondering how we can narrow down the NFL to only name five of the best quarterbacks of all time, and it's true, it wasn't easy. After much research, many names appeared on the list and only six or seven were repeated. After narrowing even further, the list is complete.
1. In no order of importance, we begin with Peyton Manning on the simple fact that this year was definitely his greatest year. He set five records as a rookie including most touchdown passes and yards. Peyton is more a student of the game than any other quarterback. His ability to read a defense during the game based on film that he has watched makes him stand out among his peers.
2. Coming in at number 2, Tom Brady had the most wins in his first 100 starts and his team was the only undefeated in the 16-game era.
3. For the third position on our list we must recognize the always cool under pressure, Joe Montana. He won back to back MVP's and won Super Bowl XXIII with a 92 yard drive.
4. Our number four slot goes to John Elway who has one of the best winning percentages in league history (148–82–1). Also, he boasts nine Pro Bowl selections for a quarterback, which is the 2nd highest in history.
5. Last but certainly not least in any regard is Johnny Unitas. He certainly changed how the position was played by introducing the two-minute offense and becoming the first quarterback to have a 30-touchdown season. Johnny Unitas was instrumental in the Baltimore Colts' 23-17 win against the New York Giants in 1958 which was dubbed "The Greatest Game Ever Played."
The quarterback is the most popular position in all of sports. It is held by the most dominant player in the game because they are armed with the most important skills: Leadership, athletic prowess, and intelligence. So how does one develop these skills and become a great QB?
1. The quarterback is basically a coach that plays the game.
2. He has to spend the most time learning the playbook, front to back, and has to understand the job that every other position is required to perform during any given play.
3. A great QB will have a perfect understanding of the play they are calling in the huddle, and will be able to adjust to different plays at the line based on the defensive setting in front of them.
4. A great quarterback has to do more than just study books. Even though he is not the biggest or fastest player on the field, the QB is typically one of the most athletic.
5. He always has to be aware of blitzing defenders, defensive backs jumping routes, and what his receivers are doing at the line of scrimmage.
6. Having the endurance to scramble around in the backfield, to shrug off hits, and to sling a ball 50 yards is absolutely required.
7. Finally, a great quarterback is a leader of his team. The QB accepts almost all of the success and all of the failure during a game. The way a QB reacts to adversity will set the tone for the rest of the team.
The quarterback position, more than any other position in any othe sport, sets itself apart by the demands that it places upon the player. An elite quarterback, no matter what level of football he plays, will share the same skillset as most other elite quarterbacks. Let's take a look at just what makes a great QB.
1. The first thing all great QBs have in common is their affinity for the playbook. Having a complete and thorough understanding of the playbook leads to smoother plays and a dearth of confidence in the huddle. A great QB will be expected to understand every job that the players around him will be required to do, as well as his own.
2. The second thing a great QB will possess is great leadership. The QB sets the tone for how a team will play, how they will behave in the huddle as well as off of the field. A quarterback that is mature, self sacrificing, and respectful will be able to really control the huddle and run a more efficient game.
3. The last thing great QBs have in common is their athletic ability and capability of functioning under fire. From the first snap of the game, to the last, the QB is the most wanted man on the field. The defense is keyed in on him and doing everything they can to make him miserable. So a quarterback that can roll with this kind of pressure, brush off hits, and scramble out of the pocket, will be able to excel where lesser QBs will struggle.
Bottomline- being a great QB demands both talent and hard work.