The Case Against the Running Quarterback

A quarterback who can run like a running back.

This idea has intrigued coaches ever since football has been around.

For decades, coaches, team management, and fans have had this perception and hypothesis that if we could just find a quarterback that could be a constant, legitimate running threat, then the offense would be unstoppable.

A quarterback that can take off and run if their receiver isn’t open?

That will change the game.  Everybody should do it.

There is merit to this theory.  Mobility gives the quarterback one more option during any given play.  Having an extra running threat gives the defense one more thing to prepare for.  Running quarterbacks can break the big one on any given play.

These are some of the many logical reasons why a running quarterback would revolutionize offensive football.  But, the idea hasn’t produced the desired result yet.  This isn’t to say that the idea is a total bust; some running quarterbacks have had success in the NFL (Michael Vick, Randall Cunningham, Fran Tarkenton), but none have won a Super Bowl.  Why is that?  Why does a running quarterbacks’ success reach a plateau short of the ultimate goal?

The reasons are numerous.

Reason #1:  Running quarterbacks do not read defenses as well as their slow-footed counterparts

For a regular from-the-pocket quarterback, running to gain yardage is the least attractive option.  What that means is: quarterbacks like Marino, Brady, Stabler, Unitas, or Montana would do whatever they could to complete the pass, and that means figuring out what the defense is going to do before the play starts.  When a quarterback has a legitimate option to run, they are not going to try as hard to complete the pass, and that means less reading of the defense.  When presented with options, people usually choose the easiest option that will yield the maximum benefit.  Which is easier: Taking off on the ground to where the least amount of defenders are, or figuring out how to complete a pass on a third and ten against the virtually limitless number of pass coverages?

So, what’s the solution to this problem?  Do you try to teach your raw, talented quarterback how to read defenses once they get to the level where they have to?  There is always a coach that will try that approach, but the running quarterback will always be behind their stationary counterpart because for the stationary quarterback, running was never a viable option.  The stationary quarterback has been reading defenses ever since they have been playing because they had to.  Trying to give someone a crash-course on reading defenses when they never have needed to before is like trying to prepare a kid to take the SAT’s when they haven’t paid attention in school since crayons were a required material.  Even if they’re ready to start paying attention, they’re so far behind the curve that they will always be somewhat behind the quarterback who has always been a student of the game.  Also, if the concept of reading defenses doesn’t give them immediate, visible success, they will fall back into old patterns, which means running.

Michael Vick was quoted this season, saying that this was the first time he had ever really tried to read a defense.  After over two decades of playing football in his life, this was the first time he ever tried to understand what the defense was going to do before the play?  Why now?  The answer is simple:  Because running only works to a certain point.  Anyone who thinks that he can learn how to read a defense as good as Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, or even Donovan McNabb is delusional.

Reason #2:  Having a running quarterback makes everybody else on the offense less good at their jobs.

Having a quarterback who is a dangerous runner is great for keeping a defense on edge, but it is also a crutch.  Linemen may not pass-protect as well because subconsciously, they know that the quarterback has a good chance to escape.  Receivers for running quarterbacks usually aren’t the greatest route-runners because there is an excellent chance that the quarterback is just going to improvise the play, or take off and run.  The coaching staff may be less creative in their play-calling because they have that weapon at their disposal.  The coaching staff could also be willing to let certain flaws in the rest of the offense go unfixed because they really don’t need to be fixed as long as the quarterback is still scrambling for yards on improvised plays.

At first, the quarterbacks’ scrambling resulting in big plays almost seems like stolen yardage, but it doesn’t take long for an offense to expect to score on the big play.  Soon after expecting to score on the big play, they will begin to rely on it, and there will be games against some defenses where the big play just isn’t there.  Scrambling and running around usually doesn’t go together with patience very well.

Reason #3:  Designed quarterback runs and trick plays stop working when you have a running quarterback.

What makes quarterback draws and naked bootlegs work?

Naked bootlegs work because the defense is playing under the assumption that the running back is the biggest running threat on the field.  The “naked” part of the naked bootleg is that the quarterback has no blockers in front of him, relying on the defense concentrating all of their focus on the running back.

Quarterback draws (and draws in general) work under the assumption that the defense is looking for the pass, and nothing else.  The defense sees linemen blocking for the pass, receivers running pass routes, the quarterback dropping back to pass, and reacts to the pass, not noticing the quarterback (or running back) sprinting up the middle, stealing yardage.

These plays work because the defense’s primary concern is not in the quarterback running the ball.  Installing a running quarterback rearranges the defense’s priorities.  On the goal line, you might as well take the naked bootleg out of the playbook because everyone in the stadium knows to watch the quarterback.  Sure, every once in a while the quarterback will make a great athletic play to score on a bootleg, but why not just give the ball to the running back to make the same play?  That’s what running backs there to do.

As for quarterback draws, defensive linemen rush a running quarterback than they rush a pocket-dweller.  Rushing a scrambler means having a lane to guard and staying in it, much like covering a kickoff or punt.  If defensive linemen and linebackers are staying in their lanes, quarterback draws are dead on arrival.

Of course, there are times when these plays will work even though the defense is prepared to stop them, but usually not against the top teams.  Case in point:  in each of John Elway’s three Super Bowl losses in the 80’s (XXI, XXII, XXIV), the Broncos ran planned quarterback runs.

On first and goal from the one against the Giants in Super Bowl 21, a quarterback sweep resulted in a two-yard loss, and the Broncos missed a 23-yard field goal three plays later.

On third and three from the six against the Redskins in Super Bowl 22, a quarterback draw lost one yard, and the Broncos had to settle for a field goal.

On third and goal from the three against the 49ers in Super Bowl 24, Elway made a great athletic play and scored on a quarterback draw.  The problem?  The Broncos were down 41-3 at that point, and Elway had a hard time completing any pass that wasn’t a shovel pass or a screen pass.

Reason #4:  Pocket passers get sacked less often than running quarterbacks

You would think that being an effective runner would eliminate getting sacked from the equation, but it actually does the exact opposite.  The chances of getting sacked only go up with each second the quarterback holds the ball.  Pocket passers read the defense and get rid of the ball because there is nothing to be gained by holding the ball.  Running quarterbacks won’t let go of the ball because they are used to making plays with their legs that running looks like the better option than passing.

Do you know which quarterbacks hold the record for least times getting sacked in a season?

Dan Marino (1988, Miami)- 7 sacks

John Brodie (1970, SF), Jim Hart (1975, STL Cardinals)- 8 sacks

Joe Namath (1966, NY Jets), Mark Rypien (1991, Washington)- 9 sacks

There is not a single runner in this group.  In fact, these quarterbacks are comically slow.  These quarterbacks passed often and repeatedly, and yet only got sacked about once every other game.  You could make an argument about how great their offensive lines were, and that’s why they didn’t get sacked, and you would be right.  But all quarterbacks get sacked, just like all running backs fumble, all receivers drop passes, and all defenders drop passes or get beat on pass coverage.  Getting sacked happens to every quarterback, but it happens to the smart pocket-quarterbacks the least.

These weren’t run-first offenses, either.  Jim Hart ran the Air-Coryell offense years before it made Dan Fouts and Kellen Winslow famous in San Diego.  Namath was the star of the AFL’s signature New York franchise that just loved to show off his talents.  Mark Rypien spent the season airing it out to Art Monk, Gary Clark, and Ricky Sanders (two of which had thousand-yard receiving seasons).  John Brodie even threw for almost three thousand yards in a time when offenses were still centered around the running game.   Who was the Dolphins’ running back in the late 80’s?  Yeah, nobody else remembers either.

Reason #5:  A running quarterback tires out the rest of the offense

When a quarterback is running around behind the line of scrimmage looking for someone to throw to, the play lasts longer.  As a single occurrence, this doesn’t mean much.  When it happens repeatedly, the other ten players have to constantly work harder.

Do you know why offensive coordinators want passes out of the quarterback’s hand in three seconds or less?  Because the chances of getting sacked goes up exponentially after the three-second mark.  That is just too long to expect linemen to hold their blocks.  Also, when the quarterback runs across the field, the linemen have to go with him because where the ball goes, defenders go.

How do receivers get open on a broken play?  When a quarterback runs out of the pocket, receivers are instructed to run to the same sideline, and back to the quarterback.  That strategy allows for the best possible angle to complete the pass.  It also makes the receivers run much longer than necessary.  Again, once or twice is OK, repeatedly makes for tired and frustrated receivers.  Fatigue sets in with frustration.  Receivers get frustrated if a quarterback doesn’t stick with the plan and does their own thing.  It’s easy to understand how a receiver would get frustrated when they thought they had to run an eight-yard route, and ends up running sixty yards on the play because they had to run to the other side of the field, to where the quarterback was scrambling.  When this happens a few times a drive, fatigue and frustration sets in, and tempers can flare.

Reason #6:  The weaknesses of a running quarterback (and their offenses) get exposed in the playoffs and the Super Bowl

A quarterback running due to necessity can win some games, but it never lasts forever.   The most complete teams make the playoffs.  Sure, there are some teams that have an offense way better than their defense, or vice versa, but most playoff teams are there because they are playing well on both sides of the ball.  All playoff teams are there because they win more often that the rest, and winning is not a mistake.

I’ve already shown that teams with running quarterbacks have weaknesses.  All teams have some weaknesses, but the problem with teams led by running quarterbacks is that their weaknesses can be hidden to themselves by highlight material and fan mania.  It’s hard for players and coaches to introspect and find their own flaws when they make the SportsCenter Top 10 every week.

Playing in the playoffs is like being put in a pressure cooker.  It can either make something great, or destroy whatever is inside it.  Teams with massive flaws (like the ones above) fall into the latter category.  Look at the running quarterbacks who made it to the Super Bowl: Fran Tarkenton (Minnesota Vikings, Super Bowls VIII, IX, XI), John Elway (Broncos, Super Bowls XXI, XXII, XXIV; I’m only counting early in his career, he wasn’t a runner in ’97 and ’98), Steve McNair (Titans, Super Bowl XXXIV), and David Woodley (Dolphins, Super Bowl XVII).

Eight out of the ninety-two teams (counting each team and each year as an individual team) that have participated in a Super Bowl have been led by a running quarterback.  Those are not good odds.  All eight of those teams lost in the Super Bowl (Tarkenton and Elway three times each).  The closest of those Super Bowl loses was seven points (23-16, Super Bowl XXXIIII, Rams/Titans), but the average was a twenty-point margin of defeat.  All eight of the teams with running quarterbacks lost to teams that were clearly better coached, more balanced, more fundamentally sound, less flawed, and more complete teams.  That is not a coincidence.  What’s the moral of the story?  Teams with running quarterbacks turn into train-wrecks in the playoffs.  The numbers don’t lie on this one.

Maybe it’s our rebellious culture as Americans.  Maybe it’s our insatiable thirst for the exciting big play.  Maybe it’s our optimistic tendency to see what could be instead of what actually is. Whatever it is, the evidence clearly shows that using a quarterback as a full-time running threat should be put to rest permanently.  Let the quarterback position do what it was intended to do: throw the ball, lead the team, score points.  There’s no need to add extra responsibility to the most responsible position in football.

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29 Responses to The Case Against the Running Quarterback

  1. blutarskyy says:

    Obviusly there are exceptions to every rule. The one that comes to mind is Steve Young. While not considered a “running QB”, he did run quite a bit.

    Also your stats on QBs sacked the least is a little misleading. Dan Marino might only have been sacked 7 times in 1988 but he was sacked 270 times over his career, a record I believe. Marino, while one of the greats, also never won a Super Bowl. Namath was sacked 150 times, Jim Hart 243 times.

    So while pocket passers may be able to read defenses a little better, I would take a mobile QB with the ability to make defenses make more mistakes.

    • TaiwanMike says:

      I appreciate your response, although I disagree with you about the stats. Steve Young was most effective (like John Elway) later in his career when he was a much more effective passer than a runner. It took him a little time to see that throwing to Rice, Taylor, Watters, and Jones was the better way to go. The reason why the fans were clammoring for him early on was his running ability. I would have to check the stats, but if Namath was sacked 150 times over a 14-year career, that would equal out to just over 10 sacks a season, less than one a game, which is excellent. Jim Hart’s were spread out over a 19-year career, just about 12 a season, still less than one a game.
      I would want a QB to know how to avoid pressure, but that doesn’t mean scrambling.

  2. blutarskyy says:

    Check that, Testaverde has been sacked over 400 times in his career, also not a “running QB.

  3. blutarskyy says:

    Here are the stats, looking this list I see a ton of non running QBs with a ton of sacks.

    http://www.rci.rutgers.edu/~maxymuk/home/passing/qbsacked.html

    • TaiwanMike says:

      Look at the names at the top of the study. The quarterbacks that were sacked on the lowest percentage of their dropbacks are pocket passers. Then look at the highest percentage of their dropbacks. You will find Cunningham, Vick, Culpepper, Tarkenton, and Young. I didn’t say that pocket passers don’t get sacked. I said that they get sacked less often than scramblers and runners.

  4. RadarLuvsTheTandy says:

    The fact of the matter is Peyton Manning defined all laws and rules pertaining to the quarterback position. He not only can read defenses, but invent open receivers on the spot. Since Peyton Manning is the best, this just proves that a smart quarter back is better than an athletic one. Hell, have you seen Peyton Manning run? It’s almost as bad as listening to that accent of his (a cross between Southern Hick and Retard). But that doesn’t matter. The point is Peyton Manning alone proves that the Bible is wrong in MANY places, and Mike is correct. (There is NO way a man can live in a fish/whale/whatever without getting digested and dying. Bologna.

  5. RadarLuvsTheTandy says:

    *invented

  6. RadarLuvsTheTandy says:

    P.S. Mike, did I read you were from Buffalo? I was a HUGE Buffalo Bills fan in Tecmo Superbowl on the NES.

  7. lamprx says:

    Nice argument, Mike. Maybe I should have sent you to law school instead.

  8. RadarLuvsTheTandy says:

    Why do pharmaceutical company laboratories now use lawyers rather than lab rats for testing?
    . . . Lawyers breed faster, so there are more of them.
    . . . Lab personnel don’t get as emotionally attached to them.
    . . . Lawyers do things rats won’t.
    . . . Animal protection groups don’t get nearly as excited.
    . . . Some people actually LIKE rats.

  9. All excellent points. The one point I think you left out though: running QBs get hit more through the course of the game.

    Kind of like a boxer who goes to the body early in the fight so his opponent will be weaker late in the fight, the more shots a QB takes early in the game the less likely he is to be able to throw on target in the 4th quarter.

    That’s even more true in today’s NFL where hitting the QB is practically a felony offense. A pocket passer doesn’t take a whole lot of hits anymore. But a running QB, once he tucks that ball, becomes a running back by rule and can be pummeled.

    Great new blog!

    • TaiwanMike says:

      I agree with you about running quarterbacks taking more hits than pocket passers, but it’s also hard to quantify that with numbers. I wanted to base this blog on as many undeniable numbers and facts as possible. Calculating the number of hits taken is almost impossible, and even then not all hits are created equal. Some are more devastating than others. It is true that QB’s are more protected today than ever before, but I wouldn’t go as far as to say that they go untouched. It’s obviously more dangerous for them to go outside the pocket than stay in the pocket, and if they want to extend their careers they’ll stay behind the line of scrimmage. Thanks for reading, and I appreciate your feedback.

  10. BigDaddyTM says:

    I landed here quite by accident but still read this story and found myself wondering this question…Who is this clown?? Let’s start with the flawed premise for this article…”… some running quarterbacks have had success in the NFL (Michael Vick, Randall Cunningham, Fran Tarkenton), but none have won a Super Bowl…”

    Wrong. But to clarify what is actually being pointed out here we are going to do something that the writer didn’t, express the difference between a mobile QB and a scrambling QB. Mobile QB moves around to buy time to find someone. If they can’t then they will run. Examples that have won SB’s? Aaron Rodgers, Ben Roethlisberger, Drew Brees (considered more of a pocket guy but consistently moves the pocket to find receivers), Brad Johnson, John Elway, Steve Young, Joe Theismann, Rodger Staubach just to name the guys from my memory. The two who were considered scramblers really weren’t (Young and Elway) as their careers ran their course. Scramblers are guys who will run after first read or when they see an opening. Most QB’s who start out this way, think Steve Young, don’t stay that way for long. It’s too dangerous in the NFL. In this part of his statement the author is correct…while they were scramblers! Young, Elway and Staubach all ran way more in the beginning of their careers than later. I’m going to stop there because I’ll literally write a whole new article pointing out the flaws in this one…

    • TaiwanMike says:

      If you want to know who this clown is, you just have to click on the “My biases out in the open ” link at the top of the page. You can read all about me. I hope my article didn’t offend you too much or ruin your day because that’s the last thing I want to do. Thanks for reading!

      • BigDaddyTM says:

        Bud, you didn’t offend me but you need to think thru your article a little more. As you can tell from my response you did a very poor job of differentiating what your referring to when talking about a “scrambling” QB. That is a very generic term thrown on anyone who can move a little to an athlete playing the position. Runners don’t play the position but scramblers do, as I stated. When reading a slanted article online I do tend to get a little excited and while I’m not sorry, if I offended you I can only hope that you understand my dismay.

  11. BigDaddyTM says:

    I can’t help my self…Reason #1 has it’s problems like using D. Mcnabb to prove a point about mobile QB’s in relation to M. Vick. Also saying that Vick said that last year was the first year that he tried to read a defense…quote was from 2010 season, bud. But reason #2 is what we are going to look at here.

    Drew and Aaron both are considered two of the three best QB’s in the league right now and both of them are mobile QB’s who will move the pocket as it suits them to complete a pass or set up a play. Do these two make their offenses less effective with this added dimension to their games? Then there is this statement…

    “…Scrambling and running around usually doesn’t go together with patience very well…”

    Does that line up with these two QB’s?? To expand on this Aaron is one of the more mobile QB’s in the league along with Big Ben. Does this statement fit with Ben? How about Elway after his first couple of seasons?

  12. BigDaddyTM says:

    Reason #3 is correct with over use of the different plays stated. One of Elways favorite plays was the draw or, in the same vein, shovel pass.

    “…If defensive linemen and linebackers are staying in their lanes, quarterback draws are dead on arrival…”

    This is only true when the QB is an owful ball handler. If he can’t present an effective fake then you can say this. If he is more effective then the rest of the running game then you can make this statement as well.

  13. JD says:

    I’ve always believed that running quarterbacks are nothing more than highlight film for ESPN but busts in the big games. They always get shut down when it counts. Tarkenton and Staubach were NOT running QBs but scramblers which is a huge difference.

    The last running QB I can even remember in a Superbowl was McNabb and he didn’t play that well. All the winners since Elway in ’98 have been pocket passers.

    I live in the Washington D.C. area and am having to listen to these poor saps talk about their new wonder kid, RGIII and how he’s going to take the Redskins to the promised land. Poor fools! The Redskins have a poor o-line and minimal talent to support him. Don’t look for him in the Superbowl anytime soon.

    • TaiwanMike says:

      I agree with you about running quarterbacks getting shut down in big games, and that they are easy highlight film material. They may sell tickets and give a team a couple extra regular season wins that they wouldn’t have gotten otherwise, but they don’t win Super Bowls. Staubach only scrambled when he needed to or when a play broke down, not as a regular point of strategy. Tarkenton’s scrambling was partially because he didn’t throw as hard as other QB’s of his era, and he needed recievers to be more open than the other greats of the time. That made a huge difference in the Big Game.

      As far as Elway goes, he wasn’t a running quarterback in the Shanahan-era Broncos. The Broncos built a running game (maybe the best in the league at the time), to compliment a modern high-powered passing game from the pocket. Elway was a totally different player in ’96-’98 than he was previously in his career under Reeves/Phillips.

      When it comes to local radio, I just see it as playing to the crowd. I can understand why the Redskins fans are looking for affirmation of the RG3 pick. The ‘Skins traded up to get him, and they weren’t able to get the highest rated QB of the draft class. Many of them may just be trying to convince themselves and each other that they really got the better player in RG3 than Luck. RG3 has a better team to start with that Luck, but Luck ran an offense in college more suited to the pros. I wish them both well as long as it’s not against the Bills.

      • BigDaddyTM says:

        Funny but revisionist history is something that stands until someone else stands against it. You try to change what Rodger did with his legs but for those who actually watched him you saw a very different thing. Rodger was a scrambler most of his career. Not a runner…after the first couple of seasons. Big difference. Elway was a scrambler most of his career. Not a runner…after the first couple of seasons. For those of you who believe what Taiwan is saying about the perception of Elway just take a look at the stats here : http://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/E/ElwaJo00.htm. You can see that his rushing stats were pretty consistent for his ENTIRE career. In ’92 and ’98 he appears to have been fighting some ailment because he goes from an average of about 200 a year to 94 in both years. If you read my post above you can read how I debunk this argument and redefine it. QB’s who run first do not last in the NFL because of the pounding that they take, but a lot of QB’s who start out like that refine their game to become scramblers. Brad Johnson, John Elway, Steve Young, Joe Theismann, and Rodger Staubach all ran first early in their careers then won Super Bowls later. A very different thing than your being lead to believe reading this article. Interestingly in Elways case the yardage remained constant, just the frequency was what changed. Because he was a master at picking his times he gained more with less attempts.

      • BigDaddyTM says:

        As to RGIII, I believe that the Skins organization would have picked Griff anyway. He fits Shanny’s offensive scheme much better. Not because Luck isn’t mobile, in fact the opposite is true. Griff shows more patience with a play when it breaks down then Luck. This may be because Luck had a lot less at WR to work with then Griff, I don’t know, but you can see it on tape. Griffen usually ran in two instances, when it was called (including options here) and when he literally had the defenders almost tackling him. That famous play against Oklahoma is a perfect example of that patience. The other difference maker is that Griffen is driven much like Jordan was, and you can see it if you know what to look for. I don’t care what the physical skill set is, when you find someone who is driven like that they find a way. Want a couple of examples? Tom Brady and Drew Brees. That is the quality that separates them from everyone else at the position. Oh, I forgot Mr Manning. Aaron is also showing signs of that drive. I don’t see that in Luck. Not outwardly. I am closely following both QB’s but by the time that Lucks Pro set experience is supposed to start to show (preseason) I wouldn’t be surprised if Griff was already level with Andrew. But it also wouldn’t be much of an advantage for Luck if Griff was able to catch up by mid-season (in comfort level and reading, that’s really what the whole pro set discussion is about) now would it?

        To be continued…

    • TaiwanMike says:

      Thank you for reading!

      • bigdaddytm says:

        Hey Mike! With the quarter point of the season here I wanted to update a couple of things and apologize for one.

        Beginning of Apology first…coming back to the site and rereading what was written makes me want to do this. While I stand behind everything that I said (watching RGIII you can see everything that I pointed out that was wrong with the reasoning in the article NOT championship related) but I don’t like the tone that I took with you and you handled yourself with professionalism.

        Hats off to you for that!

        Second part of apology next : You should be able to see everything that I was talking about with Griff but I have been sHOCKEd with how many called runs that this coaching staff has called using this talent, lending itself to your #2 and him being a crutch. I fully expected the THREAT of run to be what was advertised each game as opposed to the triple option being used heavily.

      • Apology accepted, and I do appreciate it.

        When I wrote the article, I wasn’t even thinking in terms of RG3 vs. Luck. It’s just my opinion that given the choice, I would rather have a traditional passer (not necessarily a statue, but better above the waist than below) than a runner, and I was just trying to quantify that opinion.

        As far as RG3 vs. Luck, I never said that I thought RG3 would fail. I like both players and have no rooting interest in either team with the exception that I can’t stand Dan Snyder. The thought of Snyder holding a Lombardi Trophy in February makes me want to wretch, but it doesn’t make me root against the Redskins (although I don’t root for them either). In all honesty, I haven’t had the opportunity to see Luck play yet, and the only Redskins game I have seen (I don’t like to form opinions of players based on highlights alone) was against the Bengals, and I was impressed. One month into a rookie season is too early to have any real opinion or prediction for the future, but I’m not going to deny that RG3 has had a good start.

      • bigdaddytm says:

        I have to say that I agree with you on the Snyder comment. I, and almost every other Skins fan, have lamented the day that he bought the team. -SIGH!-
        I have to say that I was not in favor of trading up and drafting Griff going into it. The major problem that I have usually found in a very mobile/scrambling QB is that often you are correct in that they don’t know how to play the position coming out of college and I personally didn’t want to wait the three to seven years (I said it) for them to develop. My mind was changed not by highlights of the young man playing but by one interview that I saw him do with coach mooch ( http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-combine/09000d5d82742179/RGIII-shows-his-smarts ). I wasn’t sure watching it the first time, but it looked to me like he had already diagnosed and was envisioning the play before it was completely drawn up! Now, going back today and calling on what I know about him, I KNOW that he had diagnosed the play and was actually playing it out in his mind. To me that was impressive. To me, from the neck up is where most physically talented athletes fail because they depend so heavily on their physical skills to carry them and don’t start to develop their sports I.Q. until later. Truth be known I originally wanted Barkley to be the Skins QB and was saddened when he choose to stay in college. Despite the exception that I had with your article I also prefer traditional drop back (but with mobility!) QB’s and Barkley, to me, was the best QB coming out of college.

        At this point Griff has, for a rookie, shattered several perceptions by many and is on pace to actually top what Newton did last season ( check this out http://www.sportingparagon.com/robert-griffin-iii-on-pace-to-set-13-nfl-records-a-cursory-look-at-the-first-4-games-of-the-season/). I’m looking forward to watching both Luck and Griff continue their rookie campaigns and, who knows, there may be some surprises and you may get to see Luck play before he meets up with your team the 12th game of the year.

  14. bigdaddytm says:

    On to the other stuff. At this point what I was pointing out about Griff vs Luck and the pro set experience is playing out pretty much as I was thinking it would. Luck hasn’t really displayed an advantage in reading a defense, decision making, audibiling, hard counts, blitz recognition and touch. All of these are displaying comfort level with what is happening around them (the QB).

    Honest discussion : I’m assuming that you are watching the two young studs and I wanted to ask — Do you see an advantage to Luck due to his experience running a pro style offense?

    I do want to be fair and don’t want to talk about anything other then what we are seeing from these two talented but very different QB’s. Receivers, running backs, O-line play and opponents are all variables that we won’t go deeply into if your game.

  15. Ray Hardison says:

    RG3 is Washington’s leading rusher and that is not a good sign, do not sign him long term because he is not going to be there long term…Just a matter of time

I do appreciate other viewpoints, so please comment

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