Is great QB play innate, taught and learned, or both?
I talked with a current roster quarterback of an NFL team and asked him about accuracy and he said, “Either you are accurate or you are not.”
When I asked him about a quarterback on the Texas roster that I have always believed had depth perception issues that got in the way of him throwing consistent deep balls he said, “Playing quarterback is more than having a strong arm and being able to get it to a spot. It has to get there on time, with the right arc, in the right spot of the zone, on the right side of the numbers, away from getting your receiver killed, etc.”
I asked him about the technical side of the quarterback position and how much accuracy can be affected by cleaning of mechanics and he responded, “Sometimes you can have a quarterback coach that can clean up your mechanics but so much of accuracy is between the ears and having a feel for the game, a receivers speed, a defenders angle, a defenders speed and the recognition of what you are playing against defensively.”
He went on to say that, “It’s the reason that you have seen guys that don’t have the best mechanics like Philip Rivers, Cam Newton, and ‘Big Ben’ have large level success because they have learned to hit spots, have really strong arms but more so have the ability to have their minds speak to their arms within having a feel for the moment.”
I thought it was an interesting conversation because it really brought in to focus that the QB position is wide open depending on who can slow themselves down and have the most success this spring based on the characteristics detailed above.
The running back coach
Here is how I hope the search for the new running back coach works in light of the fact that former Longhorns RB from Jefferson, TX and current Toledo Co-OC Anthony Johnson is on campus interviewing.
I hope Charlie Strong went to Sterlin Gilbert and said, “Give me a list of five guys that you would suggest to work with you at the running back spot.” Gilbert would then deliver Strong a list of names for coaches that would be able to seamlessly help install the offense in Austin.
More than anything, any new coach on the offensive side of the ball needs to be able to blend into the new Texas offensive staff more than anything else. Yes, he needs to be able to recruit but he needs to be an asset in speeding up the installation of the new offense and terminology.
Strong’s success at Texas still rides on the ability of the offense in 2016. Every single decision means so much to the success and mindset of the Longhorns this year.
It does not seem like the RB coach needs to be a big role, but in the context of this current coaching staff and their immediate need for success, it is really big.