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.
"Best Point Guard in College FootBall,” Savage said. “He’s got eight eyeballs.”
Precision. Good and greatly enhanced Timing & Touch. His Game is impressively improved, this Year, after not one but two Years working with the legendary QuarterBack Coach, George WhitField.
Pocket Presence. Excellent. Strong Under Fire when he needs to be, yet he also displays great Instincts for knowing when it's Time To Bail. A deadly Passer On The Run and an utterly magnificent Runner.
FirePower. Adequate and clearly improving. His Velocity has taken a strong step forward, this Year, and I expect that as a diligent Student of the Game, his DownField Precision will continue to improve.
Brees and Wilson are blessed with such extraordinary Processing Speed, Spatial Instincts, and Field Vision that they can instantly recognize a Bad Angle and make the Appropriate Adjustment: The most precious Commodity in FootBall, as in Life ~ our finest Friend of all ~ is of course Time, and the rare likes of Brees, Wilson, and of course Tom Brady are blessed with such a Bounty of GigaHerz that on every single play they have the Benefit of a few extra MilliSeconds at their disposal with which to Adapt, Improvise, and Overcome the efforts of their Foes.
In short ~ haw ~ Brees & Wilson are blessed with the intrinsic Advantage of those extra MilliSeconds of Time with which to Seek Alternatives when they find their intended Throwing Lanes likely to be blocked.
That and the other benefits of exceptional Processing Speed is why Brees has forged such an extraordinary Career, I believe, and why I expect that Wilson will, as well, to the perpetual confounded bewilderment of so many.
And that is why Johnny FootBall's ostensibly short stature doesn't concern me in the slightest.
Many Evaluators will be horrified at the off-field hijinks, of course, but I am far less concerned on that Account.
An awesome anonymous Quote, from The Star TeleGram: “There is a difference between being a Criminal and being a KnuckleHead.” one Scout said. “He’s a KnucklehHead. We have a lot of KnuckleHeads on our team.”
Despite the virtually universal consensus that the kid is celestially arrogant and thus beyond developing his Game, the fact remains that he has sought out and trained with the legendary George WhitField in not one but both of the last two OffSeasons ~ not to mention doubling down on Extra Training by attending The Manning Academy.
But really: That doesn't sound like an arrogant Bastard to me.
What it sounds like is a kid who's intent on becoming a true Field General. In fact it sounds, based on'is words and'is Actions ~ most'f'm, anyway ~ that he's been investing a lot of time and effort in becoming Great.
What intrigues me most, though ~ and I'm amused more than surprised that it's received virtually no Media Attention ~ was this Quote in MySanAntonio from Coach WhitField, himself:
“He wants to run a lot less and make more throws and still be (as effective).”
It sounds ~ this startling focus on "running less", which has been demonstrably born out, this Season ~ and despite all the Hype focused on'is truly amazing ability to make plays with his Feet, as if this kid who has allegedly Gone HollyWood on us has already figured out that the best way to forge a long and perhaps extraordinary Career is to shift'is Concentration away from precisely that Aspect of'is Game that has produced all the Hype & Hysteria, and to focus, instead, on developing his skills as a Field General ~ and with none other than the very best.
I am given to a drop or two of Hyperbole, from time to time, I grant you…
But as I see it there is no exaggerating Johnny Manziel's Potential Impact on this Great Game.
Nobody is a more adamant Proponent of Pocket Passing than I, nor a more disdainful Critic of the propensity, over the Years, for so many to fawn over Scrambling QuarterBacks, and to declare, time and again, that this guy or that ~ from Fran Tarkenton to Michael Vick and beyond ~ is going to take the League by storm.
But nobody is more fascinated with History…and of the constantly changing Universe around us and among us.
I don't foresee any point where some indifferent ChowderHead who doesn't do the work to master the Game and become a genuine Field General ~ as Johnny Manziel is doing ~ and expects Greatness based on either great Running Ability, a Great Arm, or both actually racks up Championships or revolutionizes the Game.
Again: Michael Vick.
But this Great Game, I believe, is on the Cusp of Change. I believe that the Zone Read is just the beginning of a series of Innovations that are going to Tear Up the Competitive LandScape in the Years to come.
And I believe that Johnny Manziel ~ a genuine Student of the Game and a young man who I believe Gets It, all appearances to the contrary ~ is a strong Bet to become a central figure ~ quite possibly even the HeadLiner ~ of the Strategic & Tactical Innovations that I foresee sweeping across the League in the Years to come!!
Thanks, as always, to the extraordinary Work by the men of Draft BreakDown!!
Perceived Market Value