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How Much Can You Really Develop a Quarterback in the NFL?


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https://www.theringer.com/2021/4/28/22406266/quarterback-development-nfl-draft-josh-allen-buffalo-bills

 

Lots of GMs and coaches have the "I can develop him" ego and it only takes one to convince themself about a certain player to draft them. We will likely see a few swings and misses while teams search for "their Josh Allen" until its figured out how rare Josh exactly is.

 

Also, if you click on the video linked at the top of the article it highlights a really bad throw on an easy target but if you backup 5 seconds you see a laser thrown on the run perfectly placed, and mind you Wyoming is up 42-0 haha.

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2 minutes ago, jletha said:

https://www.theringer.com/2021/4/28/22406266/quarterback-development-nfl-draft-josh-allen-buffalo-bills

 

Lots of GMs and coaches have the "I can develop him" ego and it only takes one to convince themself about a certain player to draft them. We will likely see a few swings and misses while teams search for "their Josh Allen" until its figured out how rare Josh exactly is.

 

Also secretly articles like this make me nervous that somehow last season was all a dream.

There is a very real concern that last year was a bit of a mirage, if you don’t want to believe the risk, take a look at #2 on our QB depth chart.  That said, I believe JA showed last season that he can absolutely do everything you want him to do and he has elite capability.  The difference between him and Mitch, Goff etc is the elite traits, both physically and what APPEARS to be mentally. 
 

As far as “developing” a QB at the NFL level, I think it all goes back to the first paragraph here.  You have to start with somebody who has all the tools, and that includes the mental capacity to learn and apply the lessons.  Those guys are rare, a guy who has that, plus all the physical gifts of Allen, damn near unheard of.   There are lots of examples out there with one or the other or not quite enough of one to make it big.   I think from a fan perspective, a lot of people get hyped about the athletic ability of QB prospects, while very important, it’s not the defining part that makes or breaks a QB.  In fact, most of the greats, are limited athletes.  The hard part is, how can one figure out the mental aptitude of the prospect?  There is no real way.  It’s great to know everything, but if you go Nathan Peterman on the first blitz, doesn’t matter.   There are so really smart, really tough and exceptional “under pressure” guys who are the kings of the field.   If you find a guy who just hasn’t been taught the nuances of the position, but possesses all the rest, you can develop that.  That “it” factor is impossible to judge IMO and that’s what’s going to determine if you are Blake Bortles or Josh Allen. 

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meh,

 

allen had poorer coaching and way less experience than 90+% of first round qbs.  he also has much much more talent, and there are and were very clear patterns to his bad throws, got excited and his feet got wonky.

 

some of these goofs don't see the forest for the trees.  a guy like alex smith, great at some many things, but when he is in perf form the ball just doesn't quite get to exactly where he wants it with pop, can't improve upon his polished self, but a more raw guy can.

 

it's kinda goofy to me how a more raw pass rusher or OL (jason peters anyone?) can bee seen as a player who can work on his craft and get much better, but somehow that analysis can't be done on a QB.

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49 minutes ago, colin said:

meh,

 

allen had poorer coaching and way less experience than 90+% of first round qbs.  he also has much much more talent, and there are and were very clear patterns to his bad throws, got excited and his feet got wonky.

 

some of these goofs don't see the forest for the trees.  a guy like alex smith, great at some many things, but when he is in perf form the ball just doesn't quite get to exactly where he wants it with pop, can't improve upon his polished self, but a more raw guy can.

 

it's kinda goofy to me how a more raw pass rusher or OL (jason peters anyone?) can bee seen as a player who can work on his craft and get much better, but somehow that analysis can't be done on a QB.

I think about this as well. Because Allen wasnt given much of an opportunity, Buffalo was the first time he ever had *real* coaching. No disrespect to Wyoming but theyre not Oklahoma, USC, Alabama, OSU, etc. And before that was JuCo for him. In that respect it does make sense that he hadnt even began to scratch his potential in college. But of course that doesnt then mean that every QB from a less prominent school will magically flourish in the NFL. I do think Allen is an outlier there.

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1 hour ago, Brennan Huff said:

There’s exceptions to every rule. I’d say Allen is the glaring exception. Accuracy is hard to fix. He went well beyond just fixing it...

 

He was only accurate because there were no fans in the stands.  

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1 hour ago, jletha said:

https://www.theringer.com/2021/4/28/22406266/quarterback-development-nfl-draft-josh-allen-buffalo-bills

 

Lots of GMs and coaches have the "I can develop him" ego and it only takes one to convince themself about a certain player to draft them. We will likely see a few swings and misses while teams search for "their Josh Allen" until its figured out how rare Josh exactly is.

 

Also, if you click on the video linked at the top of the article it highlights a really bad throw on an easy target but if you backup 5 seconds you see a laser thrown on the run perfectly placed, and mind you Wyoming is up 42-0 haha.

It happened last year with Justin Herbert. 

 

He came in and tore the cover off reasonable expectations for a rookie. 

 

 

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I don't know the answer to the OP question.  My take is it is far easier to screw up a QB prospect with bad coaching and bad supporting cast, than it is to coach them up.  Have to believe the coaches help somewhat, but the ability to make quick a decision and deliver an accurate throw is more inherent talent than it is coaching.  Coaches might help with pre-snap reads, after that I suspect it comes down to the player.

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1 hour ago, Straight Hucklebuck said:

It happened last year with Justin Herbert. 

 

He came in and tore the cover off reasonable expectations for a rookie. 

 

 


Right. So they didn’t have to “develop” Herbert. He wasn’t a project

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Like Ethan said, it far easier to limit a QBs potential than to make great strides in improving them. ( Gase & Darnold) It appears there are coaches that do not know how to best use and build around a QBs more prevalent skills, and instead force the use of  schemes regardless of a scheme suiting the skill set of their QB, I suspect that there would be less overt failures of QBs if coaches had better skills themselves, jmo. 

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3 hours ago, DCofNC said:

There is a very real concern that last year was a bit of a mirage

 

 

Please show your math on this. If he takes a giant dump this season, I'll be the first back here to admit fault.

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39 minutes ago, Brennan Huff said:


Right. So they didn’t have to “develop” Herbert. He wasn’t a project

I see what you're saying, Herbert was so good right away that it wasn't the Chargers. You're probably right on that.

 

But no analyst thought he was going to do that last year, including Greg Cosell.  

 

The Chargers themselves didn't start him, and Anthony Lynn wants to play archaic run first football.  

 

So he wasn't as much of a project as Allen, but he was viewed as a slight underachiever in college. 

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instincts are what you cannot do without

 

I know there will be Stevie critics here but he had 3 straight 1000 yard games for Buffalo.

Stevie Johnson was a player with incredible instincts who needed right coaching and QB to display.

Most coaches would just say 'run the route as designed" and if he did that he would have been extremely limited.

Chan told him to be at certain spots at certain time and run the route how you best see it and he blew Darrelle Revis, who was top CB at time, out of the water. It helps that Ryan Fitzpatrick is an extremely intelligent QB and can anticipate some of the moves.

 

 

 

https://vault.si.com/vault/2013/11/04/the-case-for-stevie-johnson

 

Week 13: Film Session - Stevie Johnson

Thurman breaks down some film of Stevie Johnson's big day against Darelle Revis

https://www.buffalobills.com/video/week-13-film-session-stevie-johnson-6415402

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, jletha said:

https://www.theringer.com/2021/4/28/22406266/quarterback-development-nfl-draft-josh-allen-buffalo-bills

 

Lots of GMs and coaches have the "I can develop him" ego and it only takes one to convince themself about a certain player to draft them. We will likely see a few swings and misses while teams search for "their Josh Allen" until its figured out how rare Josh exactly is.

 

Also, if you click on the video linked at the top of the article it highlights a really bad throw on an easy target but if you backup 5 seconds you see a laser thrown on the run perfectly placed, and mind you Wyoming is up 42-0 haha.

 

I think the answer is that you can't develop a QB in the NFL.  What you can do, is draft a QB with a fierce desire to succeed and the fundamental raw tools (mental and physical).  In which case he may develop himself, given the opportunity and the resources.

48 minutes ago, Limeaid said:

instincts are what you cannot do without

 

I know there will be Stevie critics here but he had 3 straight 1000 yard games for Buffalo.

Stevie Johnson was a player with incredible instincts who needed right coaching and QB to display.

Most coaches would just say 'run the route as designed" and if he did that he would have been extremely limited.

Chan told him to be at certain spots at certain time and run the route how you best see it and he blew Darrelle Revis, who was top CB at time, out of the water. It helps that Ryan Fitzpatrick is an extremely intelligent QB and can anticipate some of the moves.

 

 

 

https://vault.si.com/vault/2013/11/04/the-case-for-stevie-johnson

 

Week 13: Film Session - Stevie Johnson

Thurman breaks down some film of Stevie Johnson's big day against Darelle Revis

https://www.buffalobills.com/video/week-13-film-session-stevie-johnson-6415402

 

All this is true, and yet while Fitz would never throw Stevie under the bus, it's also probably true that some of Fitz interceptions in Buffalo were Stevie not running the route or route variant Fitz expected

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A smart kid with a gifted arm is not enough to carry him to the next level.

 

How many QBs actually put in the work like Josh did? He went to QB mechanics school and worked super hard to change whatever he had to. 

 

Hes a huge competitor and hates failing. He was undervalued by almost everyone. 

 

All these things together is the perfect storm to become great.

 

 

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Thanks for the link.

 

Ad others have alluded to, this article leaves out a key point: whereas most QBs that get drafted high have spent their whole lives in training to play QB — elite 11 camps, private tutors, great college coaching — Allen had never had any real coaching or training.

 

Where teams are gonna get in trouble is picking QBs high who HAVE had all of those things and are thus more “maxed out” in terms of improvement and skill set.

 

Allen is a bit of a unicorn. More teams will fail than succeed if they’re trying to find “the next Josh Allen”.

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Quote

“It’s not a basketball shot where you can improve the mechanics and just rep it, rep it, rep it. In a basketball shot, you’re sitting there, your feet are set, then you’re shooting,” Tice says. “In football, you’re all over the place. You have to throw off-platform, and make a play throwing sidearm, and over the top, and the next one you’re throwing off your left foot. And I think that’s why it’s so much harder to get more accurate, is because there’s so many more mechanical things happening when you’re throwing a football.”

Allen’s metamorphosis likely came from a mix of better footwork, a dash of mechanical fixes (that may or may not have stuck), and a lot of help from a front office dedicated to giving him the right supporting cast of coaches and teammates. “Calm feet and calm mind have led to [Allen’s] improvement,” Tice says.

 

https://www.theringer.com/2021/4/28/22406266/quarterback-development-nfl-draft-josh-allen-buffalo-bills

 

Good read.

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I mean as everyone above wrote, Josh had maybe half the coaching a typical high-end prospect gets in their live. He's the exception, not the norm. For every Josh Allen there will be a Kyle Boller or Jake Locker. 

 

4 hours ago, Gugny said:

 

He was only accurate because there were no fans in the stands.  

 

Hang on, let me call some friends of mine in Wuhan. 

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