It’s about the quarterback.
Always will be.
It’s the most important position in sports.
The only other one in the discussion is starting pitcher and they only get the ball every four or five days. The QB touches the ball on every offensive play, is the leader and the manager and has to be among the best players, and athletes on his own team to be effective.
My friend Matt Robinson, a starter at Georgia and in the NFL with New York and Denver and the USFL here in Jacksonville marveled at the power of the quarterback when he stepped into his first NFL huddle.
“I’d always just played the game and played my position. But in the NFL, I stepped into the huddle and guys who were 10, 15 years older than me were just waiting for instructions. It didn’t matter who I was. I was the quarterback!”
Watch Tom Brady on the sidelines or go back a few years and watch Troy Aikman interact with his teammates. Both are part cheerleader, part psychologist, part teammate, part coach, all leader and confident in their skill.
“If you’ve every played quarterback at any level, you’re a brother of mine,” Aikman recently said on ESPN’s “Year of the Quarterback.” “There’s something about that position that calls for all kinds of skills. If you’ve played it, you know. If not, you might not get it.”
Where else in football is there room for somebody with “touch.” How can somebody who is expected to stand in the pocket and take the most violent hit also be expected to console a teammate when he’s at his lowest? You might not think Joe Kapp and Peyton Manning have anything in common but as quarterbacks, they had to have many of the same skills.
I laugh every time I hear somebody suggest Tim Tebow should switch to H-back in the NFL. Tim’s a quarterback. He was that in high school and before. Out of position as a freshman, Tebow transferred to Nease as a quarterback, nothing else.
Hard to say if there’s a quarterback competition in Jacksonville or what the Jaguars timetable is for Blaine Gabbert to become the starter. But I can tell you this: When he walks into a room, there’s no question he’s a quarterback. You can tell when an athlete walks into the room, and Gabbert is certainly that. But he has a quarterback’s presence, an air of confidence.
I asked him about it when the Jaguars first drafted him in April. “I really like playing football,” he said, “But I LOVE being a quarterback. Absolutely.”