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How Do NFL Teams Know When a Young QB is Worth Building Around? (good article)

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9 hours ago, BigDingus said:

 

I know it's amusing to break it all down to just this, but if he's incapable of throwing for 300 yards, he won't be a franchise guy ever. 

 

Sorry, that's just the reality of the NFL today. There's not a single franchise guy that can't do it several times a year minimum. To never be able to do it means there's something seriously lacking in part of his game.

 

Like it or not, that'll have to change at some point or the Bills will be looking for a new QB in a couple years. 

 

I don't disagree that a QB worth keeping has to be able  throw for 300 or more .   The point I was trying to make is fixating on that stat to the exclusion of everything else is ludicrious.     

 

For instance,  assuming a ypa of 7 (which may be a bit high but lets use it for arguments sake),  it would take 43 attempts to reach 300 yards.     But from the game logs,  Josh has never had more than 37 attempts in his career.  So in part ,  our coaches have never asked him to throw enough such that 300 is actually a realistic goal.   And it probably will not happen this season given that our OL is still a patchwork and our WR corps is average.  Put Josh Allen on the KC offense and I bet you that 300 would come easily.  Heck ,  even Matt Moore looks like an All Pro now in his subbing stint.

Edited by prissythecat
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I read the article and found some of it interesting and insightful.   

 

However, I don't think it answered the question - how do teams actually make the judgment.   I think I have some sense of how teams, or at least McD and Beane, are doing it.  

 

I think teams define the behaviors they want to see in a franchise QB.  They are behaviors like pocket presence, scrambling ability, accuracy, decision making, reading defenses, leadership, adjusting in game, depth of understanding of defenses.   There are a whole lot of things like that.   McD has a list of them, I'm sure. 

 

What McBeane do is evaluate these things continually, evaluate them to see if their QB is getting better at them regularly.  That's the mantra - continuous improvement.  

 

When you're a coach or a GM you know you have a problem with your young QB when he stops getting better at something, and where he's stopped isn't good enough.   So you had a Jay Cutler who clearly stopped getting better at his decision making before he was a quality field general.   It was obvious after two or three years in the league.   When you see that, you have to give up and move on.  

 

In Trubisky's case, I'd be worried, because he doesn't seem to be continuing to improve.   In Allen's case, I"m happy.   I think he's getting better in many phases, but I admit I don't see and evaluate all the things McD sees and evaluates.   

 

I've thought from the beginning that people were getting sucked in by Goff and Mayfield and even Mahomes and Watson.   I do not believe that ANY rookie, second or third year QB knows enough to have demonstrated that he will be a long-term success in the NFL.   Any of Goff, Mayfield, Mahomes and Watson could be a Hall of Famer, but ANY of them could still turn out to just okay.   It's a long process, and they're all on the path with Allen.   Whether any of them stays on the path is, as far as I'm concerned, still an open question.  

 

So how do teams know what to do about Trubisky or Goff or whomever?   I think they ask themselves whether he's continuing to improve at the many aspects of quarterbacking.   If the answer is yes, keep him.  If the answer is clearly no, move on.   If it's yes with respect to some aspects and no with respect to others, you think very hard about those skills where his development seems to have stalled and decide whether you can live with it or get him going again.  

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56 minutes ago, Shaw66 said:

I read the article and found some of it interesting and insightful.   

 

However, I don't think it answered the question - how do teams actually make the judgment.   I think I have some sense of how teams, or at least McD and Beane, are doing it.  

 

I think teams define the behaviors they want to see in a franchise QB.  They are behaviors like pocket presence, scrambling ability, accuracy, decision making, reading defenses, leadership, adjusting in game, depth of understanding of defenses.   There are a whole lot of things like that.   McD has a list of them, I'm sure. 

 

What McBeane do is evaluate these things continually, evaluate them to see if their QB is getting better at them regularly.  That's the mantra - continuous improvement.  

 

When you're a coach or a GM you know you have a problem with your young QB when he stops getting better at something, and where he's stopped isn't good enough.   So you had a Jay Cutler who clearly stopped getting better at his decision making before he was a quality field general.   It was obvious after two or three years in the league.   When you see that, you have to give up and move on.  

 

In Trubisky's case, I'd be worried, because he doesn't seem to be continuing to improve.   In Allen's case, I"m happy.   I think he's getting better in many phases, but I admit I don't see and evaluate all the things McD sees and evaluates.   

 

I've thought from the beginning that people were getting sucked in by Goff and Mayfield and even Mahomes and Watson.   I do not believe that ANY rookie, second or third year QB knows enough to have demonstrated that he will be a long-term success in the NFL.   Any of Goff, Mayfield, Mahomes and Watson could be a Hall of Famer, but ANY of them could still turn out to just okay.   It's a long process, and they're all on the path with Allen.   Whether any of them stays on the path is, as far as I'm concerned, still an open question.  

 

So how do teams know what to do about Trubisky or Goff or whomever?   I think they ask themselves whether he's continuing to improve at the many aspects of quarterbacking.   If the answer is yes, keep him.  If the answer is clearly no, move on.   If it's yes with respect to some aspects and no with respect to others, you think very hard about those skills where his development seems to have stalled and decide whether you can live with it or get him going again.  

I think that mind set is changing slowly. I think most teams are going in the direction of building an offense that caters to the type of QB they are. Look at Arizona and Baltimore, they built an offense for what their QB is good at. For me they should be calling plays and building an offense around Allen. Making plays outside the pocket on the run seems to be what he is good at. Making him a pocket passer, IMO, is not the answer. For a guy with a rocket arm they should be making more plays over 20 yards passing. I realize why they are doing what they are doing with Allen. After the Pats game they have reeled him in and made him a game manager. 

 

I'm afraid they may never let him loose again cause it goes against the complimentary football and ball control. 

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21 hours ago, prissythecat said:

I thought that the criteria was much simpler . Didn’t our resident offensive and and qb gurus say that we just need to see if the qb throws for 300 yards within a few games . If they can’t do it ,  move to next guy .

Trubisky had the same knock last year.  His defenders said that it didn't matter that his numbers were poor and pointed to his 11-3 record as evidence that he was progressing into a franchise QB despite the fact that the record was much more a function of having the NFL's best defense than anything Mitch was doing.  Suddenly Chicago's defense is only good but not dominant, and Trubisky's defenders have all but disappeared.

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36 minutes ago, Billl said:

Trubisky had the same knock last year.  His defenders said that it didn't matter that his numbers were poor and pointed to his 11-3 record as evidence that he was progressing into a franchise QB despite the fact that the record was much more a function of having the NFL's best defense than anything Mitch was doing.  Suddenly Chicago's defense is only good but not dominant, and Trubisky's defenders have all but disappeared.

 

I was never impressed with Trubisky.  His shortcomings were on full display during the playoffs last year.    If Josh Allen's trajectory is the same,  I would be scared. 

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2 hours ago, Jrb1979 said:

I think that mind set is changing slowly. I think most teams are going in the direction of building an offense that caters to the type of QB they are. Look at Arizona and Baltimore, they built an offense for what their QB is good at. For me they should be calling plays and building an offense around Allen. Making plays outside the pocket on the run seems to be what he is good at. Making him a pocket passer, IMO, is not the answer. For a guy with a rocket arm they should be making more plays over 20 yards passing. I realize why they are doing what they are doing with Allen. After the Pats game they have reeled him in and made him a game manager. 

 

I'm afraid they may never let him loose again cause it goes against the complimentary football and ball control. 

That doesn't make sense.  You have to build an offense that defenses can't stop.  I think, for example, it doesn't make sense for the Browns to structure their offense to what Mayfirld does well.  

 

Arizona and Baltimore? Check back in two years and tell me that Murtay is winning and Jackson is still doing it.  

 

Quarterbacks succeed by beating what defenses do, not by being themselves.  

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4 hours ago, Shaw66 said:

 

I've thought from the beginning that people were getting sucked in by Goff and Mayfield and even Mahomes and Watson.   I do not believe that ANY rookie, second or third year QB knows enough to have demonstrated that he will be a long-term success in the NFL.   Any of Goff, Mayfield, Mahomes and Watson could be a Hall of Famer, but ANY of them could still turn out to just okay.   It's a long process, and they're all on the path with Allen.   Whether any of them stays on the path is, as far as I'm concerned, still an open question.  

 

So I think it is still an open question with Goff. He is clearly good but how good is definitely debatable. I think the "he is a product of his coach" stuff is overblown a little but he hasn't proven himself to be a clear top 10 QB. 

 

Mayfield the jury is definitely out as to whether he is even good yet. 

 

But Watson and Mahomes? They are good. In fact they are great. I watch them each week make incredible play after incredible play. We are in year 3 and I am already satisfied they are top 10 QBs in this league. Take out the Brady, Ben and Brees generation and the list of guys I would take ahead of them is very, very small. Wilson is a slam dunk.... after that... could you still make an argument for Matt Ryan? Possibly. Stafford? A stretch. They are both incredible Quarterbacks already. 

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1 hour ago, GunnerBill said:

 

So I think it is still an open question with Goff. He is clearly good but how good is definitely debatable. I think the "he is a product of his coach" stuff is overblown a little but he hasn't proven himself to be a clear top 10 QB. 

 

Mayfield the jury is definitely out as to whether he is even good yet. 

 

But Watson and Mahomes? They are good. In fact they are great. I watch them each week make incredible play after incredible play. We are in year 3 and I am already satisfied they are top 10 QBs in this league. Take out the Brady, Ben and Brees generation and the list of guys I would take ahead of them is very, very small. Wilson is a slam dunk.... after that... could you still make an argument for Matt Ryan? Possibly. Stafford? A stretch. They are both incredible Quarterbacks already. 

Well, I marvel at Watson and Mahomes, BUT ...

 

I'll stick by what I said.   Wentz was GREAT his first year.  Goff was INCREDIBLE.  Now we're scratching our heads a bit.   I think the league catches up with guys who flash early, and it's only the great ones who keep doing it year after year.   Look at all the flash-in-the-pan DEs.  They all look like Bruce Smith for a year or two, and then, not so much. 

 

Playing QB in the NFL is incredibly difficult, and the fact that Watson and Mahomes are having success against 2019 defenses doesn't mean they will have what it takes against 2024 defenses.   

 

Yes, some of the great ones are great from the beginning and have sustained success, but a lot of guys are great for a year or two or three and then come back to the pack.  

 

I'll wait. 

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Talk about making a simple thread complicated.....geeez

 

If the guy looks like JP Losman, get rid of him

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9 hours ago, Logic said:

This "300 yards nonsense" is just the worst.

Fantasy Football has ruined football discussion/analysis.

I agree with both, the fantasy attitudes are what makes “real football” forums unreadable at times,  especially the 1st & 2nd half and post game day threads, luckily when the Bills win the worst of them thankfully disappear for a week.

 

Go Bills!!!

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16 hours ago, BigDingus said:

I know it's amusing to break it all down to just this, but if he's incapable of throwing for 300 yards, he won't be a franchise guy ever. 

 

Sorry, that's just the reality of the NFL today. There's not a single franchise guy that can't do it several times a year minimum. To never be able to do it means there's something seriously lacking in part of his game.

 

Like it or not, that'll have to change at some point or the Bills will be looking for a new QB in a couple years. 

 

I think you (and some of the others) are confusing effect and cause.

 

To be a franchise QB, The Man, a modern NFL QB has to be able to quickly and unerringly read the D, decode the coverage, know where the open guy is, and complete the throw.  Often that means he has to sense and avoid pressure by stepping up or moving around the pocket.  Sometimes it means he has to be able to bail and throw on the run.  And, he has to have several targets he can have faith in to run the right route with the right timing, get open (enough), and either make the catch or defend it.

 

When a QB can do all that reliably and has the tools around him, 300 yard games will inevitably.  But if the QB tries to force it by just slinging the rock all over the place when he really can't tell what's going on, sure, he'll pass for >300 yds but he'll also throw far too many interceptions - sometimes in the same game.  One symptom of this is that interceptions will climb as defenses get film on him in that offense and figure out what his tendencies are and how to bait him.

 

I remember Ryan Fitzpatrick's first game ever in the NFL, for then-StL Rams in Houston.  He threw a freakin' 310 yd passing game, complete with 3 TD passes.  Comeback win, his very first game in the NFL.  OMG, who is this kid, what an arm, we've found something great.  Next 3 games, all losses.  Much lower completion percentage, much lower YPG, 0 TDs 5 INTs in the 2nd of those games.  Those were winning clubs, contending clubs, and they figured out what he didn't see or know.

 

My point is that while it's true that a modern NFL QB has to be able to generate that kind of passing yardage to win a championship in todays' NFL, looking for a 300 yd game is a poor benchmark for eventual QB success.  It's an effect of a QB understanding how to read the D, knowing where to go with the ball, and having enough WR/TE who can catch reliably, it's not a cause or a benchmark.

The strategy Daboll is taking with Josh, for better or worse, is to push him hard to not make throws when he doesn't know what he's seeing.  They seem to feel that he's enough of a competitor that he won't see ghosts, and he'll learn what he's seeing and naturally open it out.  I don't know if it will work, but I do know the opposite strategy doesn't necessarily.

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1 hour ago, Hapless Bills Fan said:

 

I think you (and some of the others) are confusing effect and cause.

 

To be a franchise QB, The Man, a modern NFL QB has to be able to quickly and unerringly read the D, decode the coverage, know where the open guy is, and complete the throw.  Often that means he has to sense and avoid pressure by stepping up or moving around the pocket.  Sometimes it means he has to be able to bail and throw on the run.  And, he has to have several targets he can have faith in to run the right route with the right timing, get open (enough), and either make the catch or defend it.

 

When a QB can do all that reliably and has the tools around him, 300 yard games will inevitably.  But if the QB tries to force it by just slinging the rock all over the place when he really can't tell what's going on, sure, he'll pass for >300 yds but he'll also throw far too many interceptions - sometimes in the same game.  One symptom of this is that interceptions will climb as defenses get film on him in that offense and figure out what his tendencies are and how to bait him.

 

I remember Ryan Fitzpatrick's first game ever in the NFL, for then-StL Rams in Houston.  He threw a freakin' 310 yd passing game, complete with 3 TD passes.  Comeback win, his very first game in the NFL.  OMG, who is this kid, what an arm, we've found something great.  Next 3 games, all losses.  Much lower completion percentage, much lower YPG, 0 TDs 5 INTs in the 2nd of those games.  Those were winning clubs, contending clubs, and they figured out what he didn't see or know.

 

My point is that while it's true that a modern NFL QB has to be able to generate that kind of passing yardage to win a championship in todays' NFL, looking for a 300 yd game is a poor benchmark for eventual QB success.  It's an effect of a QB understanding how to read the D, knowing where to go with the ball, and having enough WR/TE who can catch reliably, it's not a cause or a benchmark.

The strategy Daboll is taking with Josh, for better or worse, is to push him hard to not make throws when he doesn't know what he's seeing.  They seem to feel that he's enough of a competitor that he won't see ghosts, and he'll learn what he's seeing and naturally open it out.  I don't know if it will work, but I do know the opposite strategy doesn't necessarily.

Right. And one more thing.  Like Fitzpatrick's first game, doing once is a function of facing a defense he understands. To be an success he has to learn to recognize and understand all defenses, and that is very difficult and takes time. 

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10 minutes ago, Shaw66 said:

Right. And one more thing.  Like Fitzpatrick's first game, doing once is a function of facing a defense he understands. To be an success he has to learn to recognize and understand all defenses, and that is very difficult and takes time. 

 

Haha, I get your point, absolutely, you're right, but I'm not sure it applies here. 

 

Story time:  I once heard David Carr, the Houston QB talking about "the Fitzmagic, it's real, it burned me"   I think Fitz is one of those guys that can enter some special headspace where he can see everything and nothing can stop him.  If only he could get there on demand.  Oh My.

 

Picture this.  St Louis a marginal team that year, 5-6, struggling at QB.  Marc Bulgar injured 2x.   Houston a bad team 1-10.  StL 2nd string QB, Jamie Martin, 4-1 but now he goes down.  Hahahaha who's the backup, third string, Kid went to Harvard.  Houston: We're playing a Hahvad boy yuck yuck.  We're 2-10 after this, Book It.

 

David Carr turns on for one of his occasional hot games.  75% completions or something ridiculous, almost 300 yds.  TD, TD, FG, TD.  Houston has a fine 24-3 lead.  We got this.  BAM, Fitzpatrick flips whatever switch it is he has and comes out firing.  TD, TD, FG, TD, FG.  Earth to Houston, Come In Please!  By the time Houston wakes up and starts to realize what hit them, it's a tie game, goes to overtime.  Fitz wins it on a 56 yd pass.

 

I heard Fitz talking once about his time in StL that he really wasn't "there" as far as the NFL game yet.  So I'm not sure he understood Houston's D that day.  But yeah, to your point, because he didn't really read and understand defenses at that point in his career (rookie), Fitz couldn't sustain it.  He got 3 more starts, all losses.  Played badly.  Threw 0 TD, 5 picks in his 3rd game.

 

But hey, he had a 300+ yard 3 TD game his first game as a rookie so.....

 

 

 

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We will have a very clear answer between midway and the end of next season if Josh is a franchise QB, IMO. Too early to tell as of now.

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14 hours ago, Hapless Bills Fan said:

 

Haha, I get your point, absolutely, you're right, but I'm not sure it applies here. 

 

Story time:  I once heard David Carr, the Houston QB talking about "the Fitzmagic, it's real, it burned me"   I think Fitz is one of those guys that can enter some special headspace where he can see everything and nothing can stop him.  If only he could get there on demand.  Oh My.

 

Picture this.  St Louis a marginal team that year, 5-6, struggling at QB.  Marc Bulgar injured 2x.   Houston a bad team 1-10.  StL 2nd string QB, Jamie Martin, 4-1 but now he goes down.  Hahahaha who's the backup, third string, Kid went to Harvard.  Houston: We're playing a Hahvad boy yuck yuck.  We're 2-10 after this, Book It.

 

David Carr turns on for one of his occasional hot games.  75% completions or something ridiculous, almost 300 yds.  TD, TD, FG, TD.  Houston has a fine 24-3 lead.  We got this.  BAM, Fitzpatrick flips whatever switch it is he has and comes out firing.  TD, TD, FG, TD, FG.  Earth to Houston, Come In Please!  By the time Houston wakes up and starts to realize what hit them, it's a tie game, goes to overtime.  Fitz wins it on a 56 yd pass.

 

I heard Fitz talking once about his time in StL that he really wasn't "there" as far as the NFL game yet.  So I'm not sure he understood Houston's D that day.  But yeah, to your point, because he didn't really read and understand defenses at that point in his career (rookie), Fitz couldn't sustain it.  He got 3 more starts, all losses.  Played badly.  Threw 0 TD, 5 picks in his 3rd game.

 

But hey, he had a 300+ yard 3 TD game his first game as a rookie so.....

 

 

 

Thanks.  I love FItz, and that's a great story.  

 

Still, I believe he succeeded that day because he was doing what he knew how to do, and what he knew how to do worked well against Houston's defense.  Houston plays a different defense, Fitz doesn't have the legendary day.   

 

If Fitz had a better arm, he'd have been an absolute star, because as Gailey first identified about him and we've seen repeatedly, he has great football smarts.   His body just can't deliver the throws that the his brain, and the NFL, demands.  

 

Why do I love Fitz?  Well, two examples.   Press conference early in his stay in Buffalo.  Asked what he was going to do if the NFL hadn't called.  I would have gone to Wall Street and been an investment banker.  Are you going to Wall Street when you retire?  Hell, no.  I'm going to Arizona and drink beer.  

 

Second example:  His performance at that roast for Fred Jackson or Eric Wood.  Hysterical.  

 

 

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12 minutes ago, Shaw66 said:

Thanks.  I love FItz, and that's a great story.  

 

Still, I believe he succeeded that day because he was doing what he knew how to do, and what he knew how to do worked well against Houston's defense.  Houston plays a different defense, Fitz doesn't have the legendary day.   

 

If Fitz had a better arm, he'd have been an absolute star, because as Gailey first identified about him and we've seen repeatedly, he has great football smarts.   His body just can't deliver the throws that the his brain, and the NFL, demands.  

 

Why do I love Fitz?  Well, two examples.   Press conference early in his stay in Buffalo.  Asked what he was going to do if the NFL hadn't called.  I would have gone to Wall Street and been an investment banker.  Are you going to Wall Street when you retire?  Hell, no.  I'm going to Arizona and drink beer.  

 

Second example:  His performance at that roast for Fred Jackson or Eric Wood.  Hysterical. 

 

I don't want to get sidelined with debating Fitz as an NFL QB, so I'll note we have some areas of disagreement wrt Fitz.  And of course in general the point is inarguable that what a QB can do against a D, depends upon his ability to interpret and decode what the D is doing and take what they give him.

 

Jordan Palmer was on one of the shows talking about the young QBs in the NFL.  I forget which, but there's another similar clip here.  One of the topics was Josh Rosen, "Right Josh".   Palmer expressed that he believes Rosen can play QB in the NFL and so far has now had 2 teams where he simply hasn't had what any young QB needs to achieve success.  Then he sounded really heartfelt, and said something like "As a QB, Ryan Fitzpatrick is one of the hardest QB in the league to compete against, because he's so LIKEABLE.  He's witty, he's really smart (implication: about football, too), he's hysterically funny.  Everyone in the locker room loves him."  Palmer, you see, came into Cinncinnati to compete as a backup when Fitzy was there, and Fitzy won out.  So he ought to know.

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1 hour ago, Hapless Bills Fan said:

 

I don't want to get sidelined with debating Fitz as an NFL QB, so I'll note we have some areas of disagreement wrt Fitz.  And of course in general the point is inarguable that what a QB can do against a D, depends upon his ability to interpret and decode what the D is doing and take what they give him.

 

Jordan Palmer was on one of the shows talking about the young QBs in the NFL.  I forget which, but there's another similar clip here.  One of the topics was Josh Rosen, "Right Josh".   Palmer expressed that he believes Rosen can play QB in the NFL and so far has now had 2 teams where he simply hasn't had what any young QB needs to achieve success.  Then he sounded really heartfelt, and said something like "As a QB, Ryan Fitzpatrick is one of the hardest QB in the league to compete against, because he's so LIKEABLE.  He's witty, he's really smart (implication: about football, too), he's hysterically funny.  Everyone in the locker room loves him."  Palmer, you see, came into Cinncinnati to compete as a backup when Fitzy was there, and Fitzy won out.  So he ought to know.

That's really interesting. Thanks.

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On 11/6/2019 at 1:54 AM, GunnerBill said:

 

I agree. The Bills are good at avoiding games where they need their QB to throw for 300 yards because they have a good defense. But the one time this year they actually got into a game that was starting to get away from them defensively Josh was sub 50%, and threw for 169 yards. That won't get it done. I suspect there will be at least two more games this season that get away from the defense. In one of those Josh needs to put the team on his arm and sling it.

Dallas, Baltimore and maybe Pittsburgh?

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They don’t know, they make “educated “ guesses, that’s as good as it gets. Just look at the 2018 class of QBs if you don’t believe this. Guessing what potential new QB is gonna be the one is a exercise in futility the majority of the time. We can only hope the Buffalo Bills got it right this Go round, at present it is trending that way. Imo it takes up to three years to know if you got the right guy.

 

Go Bills!!!

 

 

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On 11/5/2019 at 3:59 PM, Logic said:


#1 is such a complex question. I would argue that there have been games where the Bills won in spite of Josh AND games where they've won because of him. I could easily point to his 4 game-winning drives this season as games that they won because of him, but it could just as easily be countered that a game-winning drive was only necessary in the first place because of his poor play in the previous quarters.

I do think the three benchmarks laid out in the article make sense, though. Clearly, the jury's still out on Allen.

1 is not complex.   We've won in spite of him for the majority of the season.   Fumbles, ints, and stretches during the game where he was non existent.  4th quarter comebacks arent necessary when you dont have multiple turnovers in a game. 

 

2 depends on how much value you place on his strengths.  Big arm, good runner, prototypical body size, etc.  But do they outweigh lack of consistency, accuracy and being prone to turnovers? 

 

3 is no doubt in my mind they are coached and prepared well.  Lack of execution seems to be the biggest problem. 

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They win games regularly and come from behind in the 4th quarter? 

 

Granted if they played better in quarters 1-3 they might not need to but that's kind of the nature of the NFL...

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I think you know what kind of QB you have when he stops improving his play and keeps making the same kind of plays -- good or bad -- over and over.   I think that sometime between the start of his second and the end of his third season as a starter, he hits his ceiling and any improvements from then on are probably only minimal.  It's why so many QBs who look so good as first or second year starters derail -- they hit the limits of their abilities and those limits aren't high enough to justify that QB being a competent NFL starting QB  

 

AFAIK, there haven't been any cases of a QB who's been mediocre to poor for his first three seasons as a starter suddenly metamorphisizing into a great QB.   I think the hard part for teams is deciding to cut ties with a young starting QB who's not improving.  They know he's not getting better but they keep hoping.   The Bucs handling of Jameis Winston is the classic example of this.   Rarely, a poor team or an injury obscures a QB's progress, which is what happened with Drew Brees in SD and Derek Carr in Oakland early in their careers as well as with Carson Wentz.  However, sometimes a poor team or injuries simply obscures the fact that the QB just isn't that good, which seems to be the case with Marcus Mariota.

 

OTOH, some young QBs are so good coming out of the gate that even minimal improvement later doesn't affect their status as NFL starters.  I think that both Patrick Mahomes and DeShaun Watson fit this category.

 

Back before the season started, there were a number of threads on "what do you need to see from Josh Allen", to which I responded that I needed to see him on a continual arc of improvement (meaning that while there might be setbacks, he was still improving as a QB and hadn't hit his ceiling).  Allen made a big jump between last season and this one.  He's continued to improve as the season has gone on.  Unfortunately, he was so far behind the other QBs in his class -- and most other first round QBs in recent years -- in his passing skills that he remains very much a question mark as to whether he'll ever be good enough to be considered a franchise QB.  At this point in time, he certainly seems to be on track, a young QB still on the upswing, unlike the 2 QBs taken ahead of him in 2019: Mayfield and Darnold.  Hopefully, by this time next year, the Bills will have figured out if he's truly a keeper of not.

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3 hours ago, SoTier said:

I think you know what kind of QB you have when he stops improving his play and keeps making the same kind of plays -- good or bad -- over and over.   I think that sometime between the start of his second and the end of his third season as a starter, he hits his ceiling and any improvements from then on are probably only minimal.  It's why so many QBs who look so good as first or second year starters derail -- they hit the limits of their abilities and those limits aren't high enough to justify that QB being a competent NFL starting QB  

 

AFAIK, there haven't been any cases of a QB who's been mediocre to poor for his first three seasons as a starter suddenly metamorphisizing into a great QB.   I think the hard part for teams is deciding to cut ties with a young starting QB who's not improving.  They know he's not getting better but they keep hoping.   The Bucs handling of Jameis Winston is the classic example of this.   Rarely, a poor team or an injury obscures a QB's progress, which is what happened with Drew Brees in SD and Derek Carr in Oakland early in their careers as well as with Carson Wentz.  However, sometimes a poor team or injuries simply obscures the fact that the QB just isn't that good, which seems to be the case with Marcus Mariota.

 

OTOH, some young QBs are so good coming out of the gate that even minimal improvement later doesn't affect their status as NFL starters.  I think that both Patrick Mahomes and DeShaun Watson fit this category.

 

Back before the season started, there were a number of threads on "what do you need to see from Josh Allen", to which I responded that I needed to see him on a continual arc of improvement (meaning that while there might be setbacks, he was still improving as a QB and hadn't hit his ceiling).  Allen made a big jump between last season and this one.  He's continued to improve as the season has gone on.  Unfortunately, he was so far behind the other QBs in his class -- and most other first round QBs in recent years -- in his passing skills that he remains very much a question mark as to whether he'll ever be good enough to be considered a franchise QB.  At this point in time, he certainly seems to be on track, a young QB still on the upswing, unlike the 2 QBs taken ahead of him in 2019: Mayfield and Darnold.  Hopefully, by this time next year, the Bills will have figured out if he's truly a keeper of not.

This is well said.  As I've said, I want to see Mahomes and Watson continue.  I'll give Flacco as an example.  He wasn't a star like Mahomes, but he looked like a long time winning starting QB when he was young. He nevergrew, the league changed, and he became a castoff.  I just don't  trust short bodies of work as absolute evidence of greatness. 

 

Continual arc of improvement was what I was talking about.  That's what you need to see.  And I agree that if the guy hasn't shown consistent improvement and isn't looking like a keeper by the end of three seasons, hardas it is, you probably have to move on.  Problem is when you have a coaching change in the middle. That's what complicates the Mariota decision.  

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