By Jaboner Jackson 12:30 pm | With the NFL Draft only two days away (our Draft PhD, Rock Mayock, will be covering the draft from New York City), it's time to finish up Quarterback School. Our test case, Cam Newton, did well on Chapter 1 but less so on Chapter 2. Chapter 3 focuses on more subjective details.
1. An NFL QB must be able to take control of the huddle.
An NFL QB must be able to bark, cajole, berate, and comfort his players at the same time. The NFL huddle is a complex place. The QB must deal with ten other personalities, including oftentimes diva-type personalities from his receivers. Much of the criticism surrounding failed Raider QB Jamarcus Russell focused on his inability to lead the huddle. When head coach Tom Cable made the switch to Bruce Gradkowski in 2009, players were quick to point out that Gradkowski got on their case and directed them. One of the knocks on current Raiders QB Jason Campbell is his mellowness in the huddle and lack of fire. A quarterback needs to be a perfectionist. He must command the huddle and be an asshole when needed. Winning gets respect.
2. An NFL QB must be handsome.
Really. Again it comes down to leadership. People listen to good-looking individuals. If your quarterback is ugly, teammates won't listen to him. This is human nature. It is not coincidental that most quarterbacks are attractive (Tom Brady, Carson Palmer, Michael Vick, etc.) It was not a coincidence that both Jason Campbell and Bruce Gradkowski were better looking and more svelte than the chunky Jamarcus Russell. Ugly players should play receiver. Give me a good looking quarterback.
3. An NFL QB must assert himself with the coaches.
The quarterback and play caller must be on the same page throughout the season but in order to create that synergy, they must battle each other. Conflict is good. A quarterback must tell the coordinator and play caller what does and does not work for him. In this way, a true bond gets formed between the coaches and quarterback.
Here is your homework for Chapter 3, the final chapter: Analyze Cam Newton according to those parameters and post your responses under the comments or email me. I’ll have the correct ‘grade’ tomorrow. Please note that if you email me comments, I might choose to use them in my next post.