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Reasons Why Declaring a Starting Quarterback Early Is Critical to Success

CINCINNATI, OH - AUGUST 10: Tim Tebow #15 and Mark Sanchez #6 of the New York Jets warm up before a preseason NFL game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on August 10, 2012 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Thomas ConroyCorrespondent IMay 30, 2016

In their first press conference, all head coaches will stress how important having structure at the beginning of training camp is key to the success of their team. It makes sense to name a starting quarterback well before the start of the season. The logic is sooner is better for all involved.

Here are reasons why declaring a starting quarterback early is critical to success.


Name a Starting Quarterback on the Very First Day

One of the benefits of naming a starter early in training camp is having each quarterback fully understand their specific roles on the team. The backup will never see significant playing time unless the starter plays himself out of the job.

If the mistakes are kept to a minimum, then everything stays status quo all throughout the year.


The Pressure Is Off Everyone

Naming a starting quarterback early doesn’t put any pressure on the player to become the savior of the franchise. Instead, it allows him to ease into his starting position.

The starter can practice with the first-team offense and develop some chemistry with his receivers and running backs. The preseason becomes a four-week dress rehearsal until the start of the regular season.

Familiarity provides prosperity for everyone.


Developing a Rapport with the Starter

The head coach has given the starting quarterback the keys to the franchise, so it’s the job of the offensive coordinator to make him believe that it’s his time to shine. The coordinator has to gain his trust and allow him to become more confident in the offensive scheme. The communication level has to be open, as the quarterback must be able to speak freely about what he likes and dislikes about the playbook.

If a good working relationship is going to take place, then you must be able to bounce ideas off one another during late-night film sessions.


Waiting Too Long Could Stagnant Growth

During a quarterback controversy, a head coach’s main job is to quickly end the questions surrounding the future of the franchise. Naming a starter will end the speculation, but if you wait too long, then you look indecisive.

You cannot have quarterbacks looking over their shoulder after each incompletion. They need to be relaxed in the pocket and to not worry if their next mistake will put them on the bench.


Trading One or the Other

The easiest solution to a quarterback controversy is trading one of the quarterbacks before the start of training camp. Unfortunately, the market doesn’t often equate fair value for your trade chip.



Don’t despair, as most head coaches never truly agonize over making the tough roster decisions, some even relish having the opportunity. All they want is a good quarterback with a strong, accurate arm and the ability to read a complex defense. 

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