Want to be an Elite QB

Every year in March Madness we see it. The teams with savvy vets

and senior laden rosters find themselves deep in the tourney.

Whether it is a small school like Gonzaga or a powerhouse like

North Carolina in the past or fan favorite Butler and reigning

champ Duke last year, teams who have players who have been in the

same system for more than two seasons excel. The same is in college

football and it cannot be any clearer than this fall at the

quarterback position.

The top four teams in the latest polls have a signal caller

who has been in their offensive system for three or more years and

their experience has been glaringly obvious one month into this

young season.

Alabama’s Greg McElroy, Ohio State’s Terrelle

Pryor, Boise State’s Kellen Moore and TCU’s Andy Dalton

understand exactly what their offense is trying to accomplish on

every given snap and as the national stage gets larger and the

lights shine brighter, look for those quarterbacks to get more

relaxed, more comfortable and continue to shred defenses.

While their passing efficiency and touchdown to interception

ratio is impressive, it is a different set of numbers that prove

why they have their teams on the path to BCS bowl games.

Combined, these four quarterbacks have been through more

than 420 pre-season practices, over 650 summer workouts and most

importantly, have logged over 1800 hours of film since they arrived

on campus.

And at a position where your detailed knowledge and

awareness of every offensive and defensive players responsibility

on each snap is the difference between a touchdown or a sack, a

seat at the Heisman Trophy ceremony or a seat on your buddies couch

and BCS bowl berth or an invitation to the Sun Bowl; preparation

and experience is everything.

For example, before each snap McElroy, Pryor, Moore and

Dalton know which way to turn the protection if the defensive

tackle lines up over his right or left guard, which gap his stud

freshman running back needs to fill on 3rd down pass protection,

and who to tell his freak wide receiver he is hot off of. On the

defensive side of the ball, each QB must know the stance of the

defensive end, alignment of the middle linebacker and which way the

free safety is leaning as all of those little things will tip off

each blitz and coverage.

Try to simply type that in less than three seconds, let

alone make sense of it in front of 85,000 fans who look forward to

cheering when you get lit up.

And all of that is

before the snap.

After receiving the ball from their center, each QB

doesn’t get to process that information, he needs to react to

that information and allow his “quarterback instincts”

to take over.

This is not an easy process as quarterback instincts take

time to develop and in an era where defensive coordinators game

plans revolve around how to cause quarterbacks havoc, the only true

way to be consistently successful is to experience it, both

mentally in the meeting room, visually in the film room and

ultimately, physically on the practice and game field.

While every signal caller arrives as a freshman as the BMOC

with a presence that screams potential, to become one of the

nations elite quarterbacks takes time. Due to the minutes logged

and snaps taken it’s no surprise that McElroy hasn’t

lost a game since the 8th grade, Pryor’s footwork has gone

from non-existent to clinic-worthy, Moore is the blueprint for a

coaches dream and Dalton leads the nation in victories by an active

quarterback. They have put the work in that is necessary to be

dubbed elite and invested the time it takes to become instinctive

signal callers.

Look for them to continue to shine and as the pressure of

conference play mounts, they’ll each just smile, watch more

film and continue to dominate the 2010 college football landscape.

 

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