Blog Entry

Re-inventing the Quarterback

Posted on: January 9, 2009 9:19 am
Edited on: January 10, 2009 6:58 am
There are rare times in our lives that we get to see revolution.  The word itself seems to imply a violent coup of existing ideologies, but Aristotle defined it simply as a change from one constitution to another in a very short time.  Revolution in sports has mostly been confined to radical deviation from team concepts.

Think the forward pass and the jump shot.  These revolutionary changes in sport are relatively rare.  More common (but still with high impact on the respective game) is the revolution of play and position.

Changing the fundamental aspects of individual performance requires several elements:  individual talent, opportunity, coaching, and hard work.  Apply these elements to those who have revolutionized their positions and you'll see what this means.  Whether you're talking about Dick Butkus or Tiger Woods, the mechanism is the same.  Individuals excel in bringing something new to a game and that, in turn, attracts imitation.

One of the best examples in the past 50 years is Lawrence Taylor.  Arriving at a time when linebackers were a second line of defense, LT pushed the edge and brought linebacker speed and method to the pass rush, fully re-defining his position.  We are perhaps witnessing a revolution of the college quarterback.  This revolution's name is Tim Tebow.

Many of you will shrug this off as simple conjecture, but stick with me.  Define a quarterback.  It's pretty simple...brain, eyes, and arm.  That's the definition we've been playing with for decades.  Sure, there have been a few quarterbacks with the ability to gain yards with their legs, but that's rarely by design and usually a product of broken play and an opportunistic adjustment.

Face it.  The game we've grown up with gives us running backs that run, receivers that catch, and quarterbacks that throw.  Tebow is breaking that paradigm as we watch, and the floodgates are opening.

Sure, Tebow's arm isn't great...but it's adequate.  His speed isn't explosive, but he brings power and vision to the running game.  Most of all he challenges defenses to cover more of the field in ways they are not designed to be covered.  Stack the box and he kills you with a goal line jump pass.  Drop into coverage and he runs for 12 yards.

Find a way to cover both and he hands off or pitches to a receiver on a toss sweep.  A product of the system?  In part.  But an even larger part is the type of player.  Big, strong, tenacious, and focused.  Words we usually associate with a defensive end or linebacker.  Now we're associating them with the quarterback.

Nothing happens overnight, but by Aristotle's definition this is revolution.  Mark these words...imitation is the most sincere recognition of success and revolution.  Go watch some high school football games next fall.

Sure, you'll see some pro-set quarterbacks on the field.  But more and more you'll be seeing teams take their best and most determined players and line them up behind center.  Revolution begins with youth and challenges our abilities to adapt to change.  This revolution has begun.

Since: Nov 26, 2007
Posted on: March 22, 2009 8:11 pm

Re-inventing the Quarterback

How can anyone honestly say that the QB position is not changing? Have we forgotten that more and more NFL teams are using a Wildcat formation? Have we forgotten that more and more college teams are implementing a spread offenese to increase the effectiveness of the Option play?

Be real. The QB position has been changing before our eyes for years. In fact, most offensive positions have evolved over the past few decades. Fullbacks are rarely used anymore. It's becoming more and more common to find wide receivers lining up in the backfield. Every position changes. To say they aren't would be ridiculous.

Tebow's popularity is helping to popularize such style quarterbacking in college as well as the pros. I'm not saying that in five years every quarterback in the NFL will be huge bulky guys who are running option plays on every down. Of course not. There are different style of offenses in football. This style is not necessarily replacing all the others, but it's adding to them.

It's not fair to compare Tebow to Vick. At all. In fact, it's kinda stupid. Vick was a speed runner, Tebow is a power runner. If anything, compare him to McNabb. Despite what I'm reading on here, McNabb was a very effective runner in the NFL. More and more he relied less on his running ability. Not because it wasn't effective, but because his age prevented him from handling it.

Great post, dur.

Since: Jan 28, 2009
Posted on: February 9, 2009 5:07 pm

Re-inventing the Quarterback

Re-inventing the Quarterback I guess you don't have to worry about Vick, Young, Mcnair, and Mcnabb running up the middle. I guess you don't have to worry about Mcnair and Mcnabb having the size to run you over. Just because the quarterbacks I mentioned have the athletic ability to make you miss doesn't mean they won't run you over. Listen, their is nothing revolutionary about tebows running style as a quarterback.. Just some people are happy to see a white boy do it. I'll take Vick, Young Mcnair, Mcnabb anyday. All of them were better college players. Hype is Hype. Football is played on the field.


All of them were better college players?  Give me a break.


Since: Jul 9, 2008
Posted on: January 11, 2009 2:54 pm

Re-inventing the Quarterback

I agree he is not re-inventing the position of quarterback. However i can respect the things that he does on and off the field. He will be one of the best people in the nfl regardles of how he plays. And what is so bad about being one of the 5 bst college football players EVER!! All he does is win and that is all that matters. When all is said and done he might have two heismans and 3 championships...that is unmatched by anyone! he is doing the best with the talent he has and anyone who hates on him is nuts and jealous.

Since: Mar 11, 2008
Posted on: January 11, 2009 11:03 am

Re-inventing the Quarterback

Remember Urbans last great "system" QB? Alex Smith. How is he doing about right now? Lets see Tebow go up the middle against Tennesse or Baltimore or get hit by one of the Williams in Minnesota. Think he will be so eager to do it again? I dont. The NFL is not college every one is bigger and faster he will not last as a QB if he does not do someting diffrent. Remember Crpoch from Nebraska he was white, and a whole lot like Tim Tebow. What hapened to him? He was converted to a saftey. Good luck to ya Timmy better learn that slide move real fast.

Since: Dec 13, 2008
Posted on: January 10, 2009 11:56 pm

Re-inventing the Quarterback

I could have sworn the Prince had something to do with the Revolution??

Since: Jan 1, 2007
Posted on: January 10, 2009 8:55 pm

Re-inventing the Quarterback

imitation is the most sincere recognition of success and revolution
I thought imitation was the sincerest form of flattery? LOL Randall Cunningham, Steve Young and even Vince Young were the first names that came to mind. I don't know how many strong and accurate armed, cerebral, motivated and athletic quarterbacks there are out there, but coaches have been looking for years.

I think TT is just a rare breed. If he comes back next year, we will find out if he is "great" or the likes of Percy, a great surrounding cast and/or the "system" were responsible.

Nice theory though. Enjoyed it.

Since: Sep 18, 2006
Posted on: January 10, 2009 6:11 pm

Re-inventing the Quarterback

"Hype is Hype.  Football is played on the field."

Except we're talking about college football, where hype matters even more than what happens on the field...

Since: Jan 24, 2007
Posted on: January 10, 2009 2:19 pm

Re-inventing the Quarterback

Can You say Bobby Douglas?? 

Since: Sep 3, 2006
Posted on: January 10, 2009 10:26 am

Re-inventing the Quarterback

"Sure, there have been a few quarterbacks with the ability to gain yards with their legs, but that's rarely by design and usually a product of broken play and an opportunistic adjustment. "

Wow, lmao, thats all I can think of, just wow. Rarely by design? He is the first QB they have actually designed these running plays for? Good lord son where have you been? And I swear, if I could read just one article or watch one game with Tebow in it and NOT have to hear them drone on and on and on about how he is Christian and goes to these 3rd world  countries to feed people (which by the way, I have a few humans down the road here right in Florida who could use a few sandwhiches lol) I think I may puke finally. It just gets tiring after awhile. It is really great to have an athlete do good things for once but holy crap we get it already! We dont need to hear hte same story everytime just his name is mentioned, UGH 

Oh yea, and he drinks MILK! Wow, never heard of someone doing that before, maybe he is revolutionizing the world by drinking a glass of milk also!

Since: Nov 30, 2008
Posted on: January 10, 2009 9:17 am

Re-inventing the Quarterback

Obviously you're a new fan to the sport of football. Welcome aboard. I hope you enjoy it for many years to come. If you're not anew fan, then you must be one ofthe following:

A: TimTebow(secretly hoping that there will be a recount for the Heisman with enough public support. ain't gonna happen)

B: Not just any Gator fan, but a Tebow suckpump type fan. (this fan thinks that the sun rises and sets on that Rex Grossman wannabe. You're probably one of the tards that agreed with the announcers during the game when they said that spending 10 minutes with Tim will change you for the rest of your life. B.S.! How's he going to change me? Is he going to molest me or something?)

You have got to be one of the biggest dorks that I have ever seen post anything on here. You have absolutly no idea what you're talking about. Almost everyone who has responded has proven that by their examples given. I certainly hope you decided to think things over before you post again. And if you want the name of the Quarterback Tebow can only dream of becoming...Steve Young.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or