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What is a football quarterback?

The football Quarterback is unlike any other position on a football team. Lined up behind the Center, the Quarterback is the one player on offense who touches the football on virtually every offensive play. With very few exceptions, all offensive plays are run through the Quarterback (the exception being when a play is called for the Center to directly snap the football to another player in the backfield … a rare occurrence).

A Quarterback’s main responsibility is throwing and handing off the football. However, his role extends far beyond the use of his arm. The Quarterback position is more “coach-like” than any other position on the entire team as he is required, while on the field, to think and manage similar to that of a coach.

Using your brain.

As a football Quarterback, you are the leader of the team … and often recognized as one of the team’s captains. Responsible for seeing to it that the plays designed by the coaches are properly implemented, the burden is on you to review and recognize your opponent’s defensive scheme, see to it that your teammates are all on the same page, and follow through with the execution of the play while constantly being under pressure.

Part of being a good Quarterback is your ability to read the opponent’s defense as you take your spot under Center. If you have a deep play called and the defense appears to have you well positioned for such a play with their linebackers playing deep, if the situation is right you might change your play to a run. If your offensive line can create a hole, your Running Back will have a lot of room to run before your opponent’s Backs will be able to recover from their deep positioning.

What is a football quarterback?

Another weakness you might exploit is injuries to your opponent. If you recognize that a Linebacker or Safety is limping you might adjust your play to target that individual, knowing that he or she is going to be running at half-speed. Use your brains to target and exploit any weaknesses that you might see from your opponent. Doing so will put you in a far easier position to succeed.

In addition to recognizing your opponent’s weaknesses, you must also manage your team’s huddle. The huddle is when the offensive unit gathers behind the line of scrimmage and the Quarterback informs his or her teammates of what play to run.

Take control when in the huddle. Inform your teammates of any weaknesses that you’ve noticed that they might be able to exploit. Show your teammates that you are a leader, that you can run the offense. Any sign of weakness by you puts doubt in their minds, and a weak leader is direct path to failure. Be strong, wise, and in control at all times.

The football Quarterback arm.

Physically, the football quarterback must be able to throw the football, hand-off or pitch back the football to a teammate and occasionally run with the football.

A football Quarterback capable of throwing short, medium and long passes is a tremendous bonus to any offense. By having the ability to throw long means that the defense must protect more turf. The more turf that a defense has to protect, the more opportunities will be available for your teammates to find an opening to catch the football.

Also a plus to any Quarterback’s physical attributes is arm strength. Having the ability to zip a ball toward a receiver goes a long way toward preventing interceptions and knocked-down passes. As an example, if a Wide Receive cuts out to the sideline and you throw a slow pass, you give the defender extra time to react to the ball and the receiver. Doing so gives the defender more of a chance to get to the spot of your throw and either knock it down or pick it off. If that same ball was thrown with more zip the chances of having that ball picked or knocked down diminishes.

Throwing accuracy is an obvious trait to have when a football quarterback. If unable to throw a football accurately the likelihood of failure is great. Any wild pass can easily end up as a deflected or intercepted pass. The more often the wildness occurs, the more opportunities you give your opponents to succeed.

The running football Quarterback.

While having running speed is not a pre-requisite for being a football Quarterback, those that are capable of running quickly add a different dimension to any offense.

If you happen to run like a Running Back, the defense now has to add another defensive component to its game plan, thus complicating what it needs to do to be successful. Anytime you can create confusion for the defense, it’s a good thing as their confusion means your gain.

If unable to run like the wind, the ability to scramble is more important than the ability to run. Scrambling means to be able to break from the throwing “pocket” created by your lineman to avoid a sack, thus creating more time for you to create a play. You don’t need to be a fast runner to be a good scrambler. Rather, you need to have a good sense of the pocket and your surroundings … a “feel” for where the rushers are.

If unable to run or scramble, you had better have a great arm because you are going to need it. In this case you’ll need to rely heavily on your arm and being quick, meaning that once the ball is snapped you’ll need to quickly drop back and release the throw. This will decrease the amount of time your receivers have to get open as well as their ability to stretch the field by going long.

Smarts, throwing ability and running ability wrapped up into one.

Smarts, throwing ability and running ability … the football Quarterback must have it all. It’s one of the most important positions on the entire football team, and comparatively in all of sports, as the entire offense is run through this one position. The closest position to the Quarterback in any other sport might be a pitcher on a baseball team, as the pitcher has complete control over what he throws over the plate and starts every play in baseball.

Although, a pitcher doesn’t have defenders rushing toward them at breakneck speeds or teammates huddled around waiting to act on their every word.