5 Toughest Quarterbacks in the NFL
Today's NFL has become an all-out passing league, a finesse league if you will. Long gone are the days of the Steve McNairs and Terry Bradshaws and that old bulldog style of football. But there is still great ability and strength in those who continue to play physical football with a chip on their shoulder.
Quarterback warriors lead their teams with determination and perseverance, a quality not commonly found these of days. They possess both the physical and mental strength to succeed at football's highest level. The five toughest quarterbacks in the NFL...
5. Donovan McNabb
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No longer starting for the Minnesota Vikings, Donovan McNabb has made a career out of perseverance.
He was famously booed by his hometown fans when the Eagles drafted him over Texas running back Ricky Williams. McNabb brushed off the criticism and eventually led Philadelphia to Superbowl XXXIX, losing to the New England Patriots.
But he was again cast off by Andy Reid in favor of the younger, more athletic Michael Vick. His Redskins stint was short and unsuccessful, and his current employer feels no more loyalty to him than the last two.
All that being said, McNabb has led a respectable career and still collects NFL paychecks at the age of 34. He is the active leader in career sacks with 410, pacing the competition. McNabb is tough as nails, he is a survivor.
4. Tim Tebow
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Tebow has been best described as a "cultural earthquake," creating a great divide in the NFL landscape as he creates seismic plate shifting whenever he steps on the field. And regardless of his passing talents or his ability to play the quarterback position, most everyone can agree that Tim Tebow has heart.
Since his senior season at Florida, every so-called expert has stated their claim at what position the former Gator should play. Tight end, fullback or H-back, Tebow wouldn't be able to succeed at any of those spots if he wasn't a strong, powerful athlete.
Timmy will be put to the test the last nine games of the Broncos’ season and it wouldn't surprise if they perform due to his sheer will to win. Tebow has accumulated seven rushing TDs in his short career—a product of the 'mobile factor' to his game.
With his mobility and knack for staying on his feet, combined with his leadership, Tebow might be the "perfect storm" for a football player at the quarterback position.
Te-bow or not Te-bow: that is the question. Only time will tell.
3. Jay Cutler
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Love him or hate him, the dude takes hits! Mike Martz has crucified his quarterback, and for that matter, every quarterback he has had since Kurt Warner. It's not reasonably possible for Cutler to let those deep routes develop with the lack of pass protection he receives from his C-grade offensive line.
Hands down he is the most controversial name on the list after leaving last year's NFC Championship Game in a less than dignified fashion. But, it turns out Cutler did suffer a significant injury and should be given the benefit of the doubt for the way he attacks the game.
Last year he led the league in sacks with 52 and through seven games in 2011 has 21. This season he is tied only with Sam Bradford, who the Rams have let get beaten and broken. The fact that Cutler has battled and started week in and week out should be a testament to his will.
Cutler would do well in a different system, but until then he remains Chicago’s unloved son.
2. Michael Vick
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Michael Vick might be the single most dangerous player a defensive coordinator has game-planned against ever. He was tough to track when he was on the Falcons, and he has become an even more complete player now that he has paired with Andy Reid on the Eagles. His escapability is video game-like, and he makes plays with that lightning fast speed and his laser cannon arm.
And I am not saying going to jail is tough, but Vick spent an entire year in a federal penitentiary, so I guess you can classify him as hardened. He has overcome trials and tribulations and bested even the strongest of his opponents, both on and off the field. Call him what you want, but Michael Vick is a tough man.
1. Ben Roethlisberger
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Ben Roethlisberger is the toughest quarterback in the NFL because he has two Super Bowl rings to prove it. With his enormous size and strong legs, Big Ben extends plays so his receivers can get open downfield.
He has done this season after season and his toughness continues to be his best attribute. He towers over defensive ends and constantly creates second chances on passing plays. And it doesn't matter if you are tough unless you can win championships.
Big Ben is otherwise a jerk. He's been accused of doing nasty things to girls in bar bathrooms and has been called out by his own teammates, but still he perseveres. Roethlisberger is tough like a cockroach, you can't beat him because nothing can.
He even survived a terrible motorcycle crash where he failed to wear a helmet. You could probably hit him with your car and he would come out the next Sunday and throw two touchdowns to Mike Wallace.
Roethlisberger has his team at 6-2, heading into the toughest showdown in the NFL: Steelers versus Ravens.
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