Building the Perfect NFL Player: Quarterback
By Ryan of The Sportmeisters
During one of our recent Happy Hour podcasts, a guest mentioned in the chat about having a coach that was a combination of task master and players coach. Well, that got me to thinking, what about putting together the perfect NFL player?
Over the next two weeks, I’m going to break down every NFL position (QB, RB, WR, TE, OL, DL, LB, CB, S) and, taking current NFL Rosters only, will build the perfect NFL player. Today’s look will be at building the perfect Quarterback.
Head: Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts
No Quarterback in the NFL is smarter than Peyton Manning, period. Holding a current regular season of 117-59, he has completed at least 62 percent of his passes in every year, with the exception of his rookie season.
Known best for running the Colts no-huddle offense, he frequently will have a formation selected, only to walk up to the line of scrimmage before selecting a play, based on the defense presented to him.
He dissects defenses better than any other current NFL Quarterback to the tune of just over a career two to one touchdown to interception ratio. His 94.7 passer rating is the highest among all current NFL QB’s, and second in NFL history. Simply put, Peyton Manning has a quarterback’s mind that stands alone.
Arm: Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
In the pass-happy world of the NFL, no arm has more behind it than Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints. Since his breakout 2004 season, Brees hasn't thrown for fewer than 3,000 yards in a season, including 2008’s 5,069 yards, the second-highest seasonal output in the NFL.
In 2006, he had a streak of five straight 300-yard passing games, tied for second in the NFL, and also holds the NFL single-season record for passes completed with 440 in 2007. Since joining the New Orleans Saints in 2006, Brees has shattered the mold of a pocket passer quarterback, and should continue that trend over the next few years.
Body: Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
He takes a licking and keeps on ticking. At a mere 6'5" tall, and 241 pounds, Big Ben can stand up to most linebackers trying to take him on. Even with his rough 2006-2007 season due to his motorcycle injury, Roethlisberger did more than most, still playing in 15 games despite multiple injuries he was trying to recover from.
Now fully recovered, he was won his second Super Bowl ring, playing with a style he even admits as reckless, while taking plenty of hits. Since 2004, Roethlisberger has been sacked 192 times, most of them while still trying to make a play. He doesn’t throw the ball away when the rush is on.
Instead, most highlights of Big Ben can be seen when avoiding a blocking breakdown, whether its spinning around in the backfield for more time (ala John Elway), or tucking the ball and daring the defenders to take him down. Whatever the case, Roethlisberger’s frame is a model of a quarterback who can take a hit, and dish a few out himself.
Legs: Vince Young, Tennessee Titans
Let’s keep in mind, all we’re using is his legs, which are easily the quickest in the NFL since Michael Vick and Donovan McNabb. As a college QB at the University of Texas, Young twice rushed for more than 1,000 yards, and came two yards shy of doing it three straight years. Overall, his 3,127 yards were the most in UT history, and his 37 touchdowns is tied for number one among Quarterbacks.
In his first two years in the NFL, the numbers weren’t as high, but teams still respected his rushing ability, gaining 947 yards and 10 touchdowns, including a 6.7 yards per carry average his rookie season. While he played minimally in 2008, with the rise of the spread formation and the Wildcat, having quick feet like Vince Young’s is optimal for a winning quarterback.
Intangibles: Tom Brady, New England Patriots
Is it really any question? After getting passed over 198 times in the 2000 NFL Draft, Brady has done everything, from winning Super Bowls (36, 38, and 39), to setting records (50 touchdowns in 2007). He has a career record of 101-27, including a record 21 game winning streak. He has never lost in overtime, and has led the Patriots to 28 game winning drives.
His ten straight playoff victories is an NFL best. He wins with studs on the roster (Randy Moss, Wes Welker in 2007, Deion Branch 2003-2005), or in 2006, when he had a no-named receiving corps. Despite injuries, including a sports hernia in 2006, and knee problems in 2007 and 2008, Brady is one of the most respected and feared QB in the game today.
A quarterback needs strength, speed, and skill. A solid mind, strong arm, quick feet, big body, and the “extra” touch make up winners that we talk about forever. Pieces from Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, Drew Brees, and Vince Young together make up the perfect quarterback.
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