Thursday, March 13, 2014

Dual Threat Quarterbacks: Future of Football?

Playing quarterback on a football field, no matter what level, is one of the most mentally challenging and enduring jobs one could do. Knowing all the plays, where the defense lines up, and becoming a field general for your team are just a few of the many handful of items that a QB must do in order to be successful. For years, the most important values a team would look for in a quarterback would be intelligent decisions, arm strength and accuracy throwing the football. While these are still vital components in the modern-day of football, a new prototype has arrived.
‘Dual Threat’ would be the proper name. With the game changing by the year, the players are nowgetting bigger, faster, and stronger. With new defensive schemes and rule changes, the bottom half of the quarterback has received a whole lot of attention. Great footwork, speed, ability to avoid the pass rush and run when needed is now a tremendous bonus when selecting a quarterback. Gone are the days of Peyton Manning-like players. The new era of Michael Vick genre players has arrived, and it seems as if they won’t go anywhere, anytime soon.
Travel all the way back to the 70′s, where Fran Tarkenton was the first big name scrambler. Often credited as the innovator of running out of the pocket to create plays, Fran dazzled opposing defenses with nothing they’ve ever witnessed before. Kordell Stewart, Steve Young and Randall Cunningham were the next mobile quarterbacks to do so in the 80′s/90′s. However, it was Michael Vick in the early 2000′s that truly made mobile quarterbacks as well-known and prized as they are today, rushing for over 1,000 yards in 2006. 
Nowadays, the vital need to step up and make big plays is important to win football games. Defensive linemen aren’t getting any slower. With new equipment and technology now being used in the NFL, players and coaches are adapting quickly. With scouting as in depth as ever, coaches can now point even the smallest of fallacies in a player that will give them an edge. This is where the mobile quarterback comes in. An ever onslaught of skill assets creates not only a harder scouting report for the opposing team, but also the ‘unknown factor.’ For those who don’t grasp what this means, the unknown factor is simply the possibility of anything happening at anytime (i.e. Cam Newton breaking two tackles on a 70 yard touchdown rush.) This scary idea looms over opposing coaches and players like a dark cloud, ready to start pouring at any moment.
So where do these players go from here? Well, the only answer is: Up. With the constant arrival of players like Cam Newton, Colin Kaepernick, Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson, the future of not only the NFL but football in general is slowly starting to set in stone. Dual Threat quarterbacks are the best thing since sliced bread, and old school gun slingers are outdated, like pagers and phones with cords. With all the flashy highlights that are now being seen on ESPN every week in the fall, plays that would be seen only possible in Madden games are now being replicated on a game to game basis. Football is now getting more exciting, and as a fan, the future is awesome.

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