Quarterbacking The Chiefs In The New Era

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However, teams seem to be searching desperately for players like Cam Newton or Colin Kaepernick. Players who go 6-5, 248 and 6-5, 233 respectively. However, what should more importantly be pointed out is that these QBs are “scramble-a-holics.”

Many of the new era QBs have the “scramble-a-holic” disease. While teams have come to cherish this trait, I’m of the opinion that it doesn’t nourish the “needs” of a team approach and also jeopardizes the health of that QB and then places their health in constant doubt. Especially, if that QB has used his legs a lot in college to get him wins. Think RGIII.

Being a scramble-a-holic dramatically interferes with a quarterback’s ability to make better decisions in the pocket because they think they don’t have to stay in the pocket, and that’s because there’s a voice inside their head that says, “I can do it all by myself.” And, they’ve been right about that enough times to have their beliefs reinforced. It’s “Psych 101” and called classical conditioning. Being a scramble-a-holic is directly related to a QB’s superior athletic physique and is tied in part to a pseudo elevated sense of their own self-worth which comes from their previous successes in college. Think of the bicep-kissing-Colin Kaepernick. I have the feeling he’d kiss is own gluts if he could.

I’m of the old school opinion that a QB placing their own “prerogative to run” as a high priority, limits that QBs time to consider his other critical choices like:

throwing to a checkdown RB or receiver,

moving from one side of the field to the other to buy more time and find a secondary receiver,

staying in the pocket longer to give receivers more time to make their moves and get open as well as

getting outside the hash marks to throw the ball away.

Even the old time scramblers, greats like Roger “the Dodger” Staubach or Fran “the Mad Scrambler” Tarkington (one of my personal faves), used the whole backfield, from sideline to sideline, to give their receivers a chance to come free… before they’d take off down the field. Even the great Steve Young only averaged 25 yards rushing per game in his career, though you’d guess it would be much, much more. He also used the whole backfield, like Fran the Man, to accomplish his prime directive as the leader of the offense: distributing the ball to his playmakers and getting his fellow compatriots going.

In my mind, it’s almost ideal, for a QB to have some limitations they have learned to live with, in order to make the most of the throwing talent they have been blessed with and which keeps them relying upon their team mates.

Then they have to use their head instead of their feet.

When a quarterback does turn up field to gain as much yardage as possible, he has to do all they can do, to assure that he… comes back to live for another day, another play.

Michael Vick throws caution to the wind. So does Cam Newton. So does RGIII. That’s why all have spent time on IR. There are signs that Newton is perhaps “getting it.” On Sunday he threw for 223 yards and only rushed for 45 in a 38-0 blowout of the N.Y. Giants, the Chiefs next opponent.

While Colin Kaepernick had great success “running” and passing in college, and he looked great getting the 49ers to the Super Bowl last year (not that Alex Smith’s didn’t have something to do with that), he has yet to prove he can continue to be a running and passing QB who challenges for championships.

Even if he does, certain truths hold constant about the pro QB position that will also hold true for the 49ers team.