Florida Knights ~ 6033/228
1 ~ Processing Speed
2 ~ Precision
3 ~ Pocket Presence
4 ~ FirePower
Processing Speed is my measure for a Player's capacity to Rapidly Read & React to the dynamically developing Tactical LandScape. This Capacity is crucial to the success of all 22 Players on the Field, but above all to the QuarterBack. Diagnostic Acuity supports this and is also crucial, but Knowledge without Processing Speed is fatal.
Precision speaks above all to Mechanics: A QuarterBack's consistency with his Stance, his Set Up, and his Delivery. I refer to consistent Accuracy in the Short & Intermediate Zones, where the best Offenses all make their Bread & Butter. In breaking it down, I'm looking at Timing, Placement, and Leading Receivers to DayLight.
Pocket Presence is all about how the QuarterBack responds to Pressure. Precision against mediocre Defenses or within simple Schemes matters not, if a QuarterBack mentally locks up under genuine Pressure against the better Defenses in The Only Games That Really Matter. Frankly, I'm not entirely sure that I even need this Category, because I strongly suspect that how a QuarterBack handles Pressure is far less about Testicular Fortitude than it is about Processing Speed.
FirePower is another Category that I am ambivalent about including, for it is simply DownField Precision. Furthermore, I don't consider it anywhere near as Short & Intermediate Precision, because DownField Precision makes for lovely HighLight Footage, but it's Short & Intermediate Precision that Moves The Chains and wins Championships.
Please note, if you will: I list FirePower last of the 4 Attributes I value most...and don't list 40 Speed at all.
Beyond this point, my Fellow FootBall Fanatics, you will find a lengthy Dissertation about QuarterBacks. Should you wish to take a look, I will of course be honored. But should you wish to spare yourself, the actual Scouting Report is far below!!
Yon Rambling Dissertation
Arm Strength is vastly overrated, and scrambling ability, while exciting, is ultimately worse than useless, because History makes it clear that noteworthy Scramblers, over the years ~ and indeed, the same could be said about the thousands of QuarterBacks who've failed despite a great Arm ~ ultimately fail to focus all their energy on QuarterBacking.
Mobility, alike, is vastly overrated. Steve Young is the only Scrambler who ever won a Super Bowl, and he won it because he was on a great team, because Barry Switzer can't coach at the NFL level or the CowBoys would've rolled the Miners again in 1994, and because he eased up on the scrambling. He became a QuarterBack.
Mind you: I'd hardly suggest that Arm Strength isn't nice to have...But the temptation to let'er rip ~ and to relying on that Capacity ~ can have a crippling effect on developing those skills that most matter, deep in the Heart of Winter.
And often they have been.
Countless times, in fact.
And don't get me started on Scrambling.
Processing Speed and an insatiable Work Ethic, producing that relentless Devotion to mastering every possible Aspect of the Job ~ the Aspects I've listed above ~ and Balls are what ultimately win Championships.
It's not as easy as simply counting the Rings, because Fortune & Circumstance play a large part in the Fates of Men.
And it sure as Hell isn't racking up gaudy Statistic during the regular Season. It's the Capacity and the Will to do the thousands of little things that put one's team in the best position to win, day in and day out ~ and doing them well ~ that is the ultimate measure of any QuarterBack, albeit one ~ ironically ~ that's impossible to quantify.
It's the ability to Read & React with Speed & deadly Accuracy against the nastiest, wiliest Defenses on the Planet, deep in the Heart of Winter...and the Will to dedicate Years to intensive Training & Study in order to be able to.
That ~ and his willingness to Use The Whole Pig ~ is what once separated Tom Brady from the Pack.
Precision. Excellent. Not yet quite as consistent as he'll need to become, but does much more than merely Flash Touch & Timing: It is clear that he's focused on and aware of such things, and that he's improving.
Pocket Presence. Exceptional. Stands Steady or steps up into the Pocket like a 10 Year Pro Under Fire. Strong Spatial Awareness & Instincts. Eyes consistently DownField. A genuine Beast Under Pressure. He demonstrates an outstanding consistency in sustaining efficient Field Vision and Mechanics On The Run. Disciplined enough to Square & Set when time allows, and coordinated enough to consistently throw effectively On The Fly when he has to.
FirePower. Adequate and with Potential. Inconsistent DownField Precision, but impressive Velocity on the Short and MidField Throws, and there's definite Potential to develop Long Range Efficacy.
I went to great and doubtlessly excruciating length, last Year, when Breaking Down Geno Smith, to explain how much emphasis I put on evaluating all Players ~ and especially QuarterBacks ~ in Games that they lost.
With Geno Smith ~ who was the Heisman Favorite at about this Time, last Year, right before the Games I would focus on ~ I saw a physically talented and intelligent QuarterBack who's Game collapsed Under Fire.
With Bortles, I saw a rawer, far less refined Prospect than Smith ~ one who indeed made a couple of costly JackAss Plays in the very Game in question ~ who nevertheless emphatically Rose to the Occasion: He consistently stepped up into the Pocket Under Fire ~ intense Fire!! ~ delivered deadly strikes all day long, and never gave an inch.
His Decision Making requires refinement, of course, but as Young QuarterBacks go, his Decision Making Under Fire is highly advanced, and his ability to Rapidly Read the Field and Rapidly React in an effective and often deadly manner is highly impressive, indeed: On many occasions, I felt like I was watching a seasoned Veteran.
He and'is TeamMates clearly believe in each other, and played Balls Out all day long, even after an early 10 Point lead had become an 18 Point Deficit with 10 minutes to go. They couldn't've been less intimidated by the highly favored GamePenises, who in their secret hearts were probably grateful to escape with the Victory!!
And well they might be: 2 Weeks later, the Knights knocked off none other than the highly favored Louisville Cardinals and Teddy BridgeWater, who is highly acclaimed, indeed, as well he should be.
Blake Bortles needs some Work, I grant you.
But he's blessed with outstanding Processing Speed, he's an accurate Passer, he's Poised Under Pressure, and he's blessed with phenomenal Improvisational Skills, Instincts, and Field Vision.
He's got The Right Stuff, and I believe that he's going to become an extraordinary QuarterBack.
Thanks, as always, to the extraordinary Work by the men of Draft BreakDown!!
Perceived Market Value