Jump to content

An Education in Quarterbacking: Understanding the Most Difficult Position in Sports


quotemokc
 Share

Recommended Posts

I won't post the entire article here due to its length but it has no videos so it should be easy viewing on mobile devices.

http://www.nfl.com/qb2016?campaign=fb-nf-sf35272256-sf35272256

Thought I would highlight this paragraph from it as I feel it is quite relevant to our situation with Ryan and Shanahan and our expectations in year 2 of a new system.

"What happens sometimes is, there's a coaching change, there's a system change, all of a sudden, he's learning something completely different -- starting over, almost," Gase says. "And you've seen good players have to take steps back because they're learning a new system. Now he can't get everybody else lined up; he's gotta worry about himself. It puts that guy in a worse position. I just keep thinking about Alex Smith -- how many systems did he play in? Then all of a sudden, Jim [Harbaugh comes to San Francisco], and they do a great job as far as using him to his strengths. And now he's in Kansas City, and he's part of the reason why they're able to do what they do. If you ever look at guys that stay in the system a long time, you'll see the turnovers going down, because they know where to go with the ball. It's almost like their offense is in the back of their mind, and they're more focused on what the defense is doing, and, What does the situation call for?" 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 63
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

These 2 quotes are also telling:

Adds Bills center Eric Wood, an eighth-year pro who, like Taylor, played in last January's Pro Bowl: "It's a lot for them to handle. It's not always the biggest and strongest and hardest throwers who make it; it's the quick processor."

In Grigson's eyes, another reason "the QB position is so hard to evaluate as a whole [is] because, many times, you go into that evaluation looking for physical traits when, a lot of times, history has clearly shown it's more about intangibles than flashy physical ability and body type. When you get great intangibles that converge with great physical talent, then you're probably going to be right more than wrong. But again, there are a lot of unseen factors, too. Does the player fit the offense like a glove, or is there a learning curve? Because if that curve is too steep, then that player may take too many lumps and lose his confidence. That's why raw intelligence is so critical to a rookie having any success."[/quote]
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree and it does make sense...but we are running against time, pieces are in place to make a run very soon, and there's no turning back now that we are in full fledge Shanny scheme mode.

This is serious guys, we could waste so much valuable time and talent trying to learn a new scheme. And to add to the pressure of learning the timing, footwork, playbook...Ryan has Falcon nation breathing down his neck to quickly learn and produce.

This type of pressure would be too much for a lot of us to handle... but after understanding this, I've learned to be patient with the team. I believe we are heading in a better direction, a tough one but better.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 minutes ago, JDaveG said:

These 2 quotes are also telling:

 

Because if that curve is too steep, then that player may take too many lumps and lose his confidence. 

 

do you think this has happened to Matt?

 

yes I know a stand pat answer is 'this season will show that', but I kind of think that happened last year as more of the system was being implemented, he became more and more uncomfortable looking to me

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, papachaz said:

do you think this has happened to Matt?

 

yes I know a stand pat answer is 'this season will show that', but I kind of think that happened last year as more of the system was being implemented, he became more and more uncomfortable looking to me

I do, but he isn't a rookie, so I don't think it's a permanent thing. He knows he can play at this level. That alone helps his confidence. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, JDaveG said:

I do, but he isn't a rookie, so I don't think it's a permanent thing. He knows he can play at this level. That alone helps his confidence. 

well that's true, but like Gase said, it's "almost" like starting over. question if you know the answer, I've read some reports that Matt played WCO in college, but I honestly don't know that because I didn't follow BC at all. Did he? if he did, is this 'version/variety" that much different?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 minutes ago, papachaz said:

well that's true, but like Gase said, it's "almost" like starting over. question if you know the answer, I've read some reports that Matt played WCO in college, but I honestly don't know that because I didn't follow BC at all. Did he? if he did, is this 'version/variety" that much different?

They're all different, but they share the basic details.  My best guess is the version run at BC was more stripped down than your typical pro system, but again, he's been in a pro system for a while now, so he's used to the coverages and so forth.  The biggest thing is the footwork and timing.  That's what is unique to the WCO in my opinion.  He did that for a few years at BC, then didn't really do it much here (we even complained about his footwork under Mularkey and Koetter).  So he's got to ingrain that again.  Then the terminology.  The same playcall under Shanahan is something completely different than what it was with Koetter.  Koetter used a lot of Mularkey's terminology as well.  

I expect him to do much better this season.  I still anticipate there will be times when he's thinking too much, but Mack and Schaub will help with that more than people think.  You saw flashes of him "getting it" last season, but when the offense is running properly, the reads are lightning fast.  This article touched on that when Roman said this:

Quote

"Try this: 'Hey, it's second-and-5, we're in Tiger, they just played Cover 3, so let's go Flank Right 2-Jet Z-Sail F-Drive. Tiger is a personnel group. Flank Right is the formation. 2-Jet is the protection. Z-Sail and F-Drive are two route combinations. And that is the simplest play, and formation, I could call: A two-receiver route and [another] two-receiver route, and the first one I said, you wanna start your eyes there. Or the play could end in the word 'alert,' which means if we get a certain look, be alert to audible to a specific play that we memorized during the week. Now, are they in nickel? Are they treating this as three wides or are they staying in base? Oh, they're matching, say, Richard Sherman on [Charles] Clay ... you need to be aware of that. So you've got a pre-snap read, then a drop read and a set read. On your drop, you're reading something -- you have a primary receiver, or a primary route combination -- then once your back foot hits and you don't throw the No. 1 read, then you're into your set read, and now you're getting through a progression: Ding ding ding ding ding. Meanwhile somebody's trying to hold you up and clothesline you. And you have to do all this in maybe two seconds."

The part about "once your back foot hits and you don't throw the No. 1 read, then you're into your set read" is what I saw Ryan struggle with last season.  He would sit on that no. 1 read instead of going through the progressions.  But there were some plays where it did go "ding, ding, ding" and bam! he hits the open man.  

He can do it.  But it's taking more time than I think anyone would like.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can't imagine, if there are many variations of the WCO, that they are radically different from one another. I've seen Kyle call plays that Aaron Rodgers has routinely killed defenses with. The cadences and the names may be different but the design and concepts remain constant.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, JerseyNo12 said:

I can't imagine, if there are many variations of the WCO, that they are radically different from one another. I've seen Kyle call plays that Aaron Rodgers has routinely killed defenses with. The cadences and the names may be different but the design and concepts remain constant.

Correct.  It's more the style that changes.  Kyle likes a more vertical passing game.  His dad did too, but his dad was more about hitting the long ball on play action.  Kyle likes to run 1 or 2 vertical options to clear the field out.  We might throw the out or the dig, but he's going to send someone deep to get the safety off the play, etc.  And if the safety starts to bite on the underneath stuff, then you take the top off.

I prefer his style personally.  The only other guy I think does things differently that I like a whole lot is Andy Reid.  Reid also likes to mix in a lot of vertical passing, but the thing I like about him is he takes the old school WCO concept of passing to set up the run to another level.  He will kill you with the pass game early to get a lead and then run the ball down your throat late.  It's a very smart way to approach games.  Get the lead, then pound the rock to seal the win.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 minutes ago, JDaveG said:

They're all different, but they share the basic details.  My best guess is the version run at BC was more stripped down than your typical pro system, but again, he's been in a pro system for a while now, so he's used to the coverages and so forth.  The biggest thing is the footwork and timing.  That's what is unique to the WCO in my opinion.  He did that for a few years at BC, then didn't really do it much here (we even complained about his footwork under Mularkey and Koetter).  So he's got to ingrain that again.  Then the terminology.  The same playcall under Shanahan is something completely different than what it was with Koetter.  Koetter used a lot of Mularkey's terminology as well.  

I expect him to do much better this season.  I still anticipate there will be times when he's thinking too much, but Mack and Schaub will help with that more than people think.  You saw flashes of him "getting it" last season, but when the offense is running properly, the reads are lightning fast.  This article touched on that when Roman said this:

The part about "once your back foot hits and you don't throw the No. 1 read, then you're into your set read" is what I saw Ryan struggle with last season.  He would sit on that no. 1 read instead of going through the progressions.  But there were some plays where it did go "ding, ding, ding" and bam! he hits the open man.  

He can do it.  But it's taking more time than I think anyone would like.

yeah I agree with that wholeheartedly, I think this is where so much of the malcontent and disillusionment with the offense comes from. my big issue is that it's so late in his career, sure he should have 4 or 5 more 'good' years, but man it's like changing this late on him basically wasted last year after the first what, third? of the season. Tie that together with my opinion that there were much better options than who DQ chose for OC even if he wanted specifically to go to the WCO.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, JerseyNo12 said:

I can't imagine, if there are many variations of the WCO, that they are radically different from one another. I've seen Kyle call plays that Aaron Rodgers has routinely killed defenses with. The cadences and the names may be different but the design and concepts remain constant.

It's not necessarily the concepts that cause the brain freezes.  It's the translation.  A 7 route in one system is now called a Sail in another.  Then there's the whole process of learning protections, which are always different system to system.  Where once the scheme was to slide the line to the overload side and have the halfback take the potential backside linebacker if he blitzes, well now maybe that back releases right away and the quarterback is responsible for the backside linebacker.  That means his eyes have to go in a completely different direction that before.

There there's sight adjustments.  Some offensive coordinators like Martz built their whole system on the quarterback and receiver being able to adjust routes on the fly based on coverage instead of audibles.  That takes time to learn.

It's not just the stock plays the quarterback has to learn, it's the intricate spin that the coordinator puts on them that has to be learned also.  The fractions of seconds you need to translate that now means you aren't functioning from muscle memory anymore.  That adds up to being a step slow and in this game that's all the defense needs to get the advantage.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, JDaveG said:

Correct.  It's more the style that changes.  Kyle likes a more vertical passing game.  His dad did too, but his dad was more about hitting the long ball on play action.  Kyle likes to run 1 or 2 vertical options to clear the field out.  We might throw the out or the dig, but he's going to send someone deep to get the safety off the play, etc.  And if the safety starts to bite on the underneath stuff, then you take the top off.

I prefer his style personally.  The only other guy I think does things differently that I like a whole lot is Andy Reid.  Reid also likes to mix in a lot of vertical passing, but the thing I like about him is he takes the old school WCO concept of passing to set up the run to another level.  He will kill you with the pass game early to get a lead and then run the ball down your throat late.  It's a very smart way to approach games.  Get the lead, then pound the rock to seal the win.

Mike didn't really do a whole lot after Elway though did he?  I have to agree with what you said on Andy Reid. I also think that may be why shanny didn't really want mcnabb, but was overrulled by daddy mike. Yeah mcnabb was just about done, but the systems were different enough he didn't think donovan would be able to make the switch. Kind of like me,  that old "you can't teach an old dog new tricks" thing......LOL

 

 I would have loved to seen someone with more of the 'old school' Andy Reid philosophy come in here. He sure had our number for several years in a row coaching against us, and has done well in KC

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, PeytonMannings Forehead said:

It's not necessarily the concepts that cause the brain freezes.  It's the translation.  A 7 route in one system is now called a Sail in another.  Then there's the whole process of learning protections, which are always different system to system.  Where once the scheme was to slide the line to the overload side and have the halfback take the potential backside linebacker if he blitzes, well now maybe that back releases right away and the quarterback is responsible for the backside linebacker.  That means his eyes have to go in a completely different direction that before.

There there's sight adjustments.  Some offensive coordinators like Martz built their whole system on the quarterback and receiver being able to adjust routes on the fly based on coverage instead of audibles.  That takes time to learn.

It's not just the stock plays the quarterback has to learn, it's the intricate spin that the coordinator puts on them that has to be learned also.  The fractions of seconds you need to translate that now means you aren't functioning from muscle memory anymore.  That adds up to being a step slow and in this game that's all the defense needs to get the advantage.

great post, great explanation, thanks!

 

also, I wanted to get in before the Ryan haters and the 'you have to have muscle to have muscle memory'  comments 

 

:lol:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, papachaz said:

yeah I agree with that wholeheartedly, I think this is where so much of the malcontent and disillusionment with the offense comes from. my big issue is that it's so late in his career, sure he should have 4 or 5 more 'good' years, but man it's like changing this late on him basically wasted last year after the first what, third? of the season. Tie that together with my opinion that there were much better options than who DQ chose for OC even if he wanted specifically to go to the WCO.

I'm fine with it for several reasons.  First and foremost, if Ryan can get it, he is tailor made for this offense.  It fits his strengths and minimizes his weaknesses.  I know a lot of people here are saying otherwise, but when you drill down on why, it always boils down to "offense isn't working, OC is bad."  That's poor reasoning (same with "offense isn't working, QB is bad," by the way).  Second, I think Ryan could have more than 5 good years left.  QBs play longer now.  He's only 31, and he just turned 31 in May.  He's in his prime right now and those next 5 years ought to be the best of his career.  Third, even if Ryan doesn't do well, this is a proven system that is not nearly as QB dependent as other systems.  You don't have to have a Hall of Famer to run it.  You can't have a scrub, and you certainly can't have an idiot, but Reid proved in Philly that he could plug in guys when McNabb went down and keep right on going.  So you can concentrate more on getting a guy with great intangibles and maybe lacking in elite arm strength, or even get a guy with great mobility and escapability, and still run it.

This offense is built for the long haul.  It won a Super Bowl last season.  It won one in 2010.  Seattle runs a version of it, so there's another in 2013.  That's 3 of the last 6. 1 of those 3 had an elite QB.  The 2nd had a guy who is really, really good (but that could be system fit), and the 3rd had a guy who used to be great but was clearly sub-par even in last year's Super Bowl.  They're constantly changing things up, so this isn't the same scheme Walsh was running in the 80s, but it's conceptually the same. I'm a believer in it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, papachaz said:

Mike didn't really do a whole lot after Elway though did he?  I have to agree with what you said on Andy Reid. I also think that may be why shanny didn't really want mcnabb, but was overrulled by daddy mike. Yeah mcnabb was just about done, but the systems were different enough he didn't think donovan would be able to make the switch. Kind of like me,  that old "you can't teach an old dog new tricks" thing......LOL

 I would have loved to seen someone with more of the 'old school' Andy Reid philosophy come in here. He sure had our number for several years in a row coaching against us, and has done well in KC

Nah, McNabb was just straight washed up and a malcontent to boot.  There's a reason Philly traded him.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, JDaveG said:

I'm fine with it for several reasons.  First and foremost, if Ryan can get it, he is tailor made for this offense.  It fits his strengths and minimizes his weaknesses.  I know a lot of people here are saying otherwise, but when you drill down on why, it always boils down to "offense isn't working, OC is bad."  That's poor reasoning (same with "offense isn't working, QB is bad," by the way).  Second, I think Ryan could have more than 5 good years left.  QBs play longer now.  He's only 31, and he just turned 31 in May.  He's in his prime right now and those next 5 years ought to be the best of his career.  Third, even if Ryan doesn't do well, this is a proven system that is not nearly as QB dependent as other systems.  You don't have to have a Hall of Famer to run it.  You can't have a scrub, and you certainly can't have an idiot, but Reid proved in Philly that he could plug in guys when McNabb went down and keep right on going.  So you can concentrate more on getting a guy with great intangibles and maybe lacking in elite arm strength, or even get a guy with great mobility and escapability, and still run it.

This offense is built for the long haul.  It won a Super Bowl last season.  It won one in 2010.  Seattle runs a version of it, so there's another in 2013.  That's 3 of the last 6. 1 of those 3 had an elite QB.  The 2nd had a guy who is really, really good (but that could be system fit), and the 3rd had a guy who used to be great but was clearly sub-par even in last year's Super Bowl.  They're constantly changing things up, so this isn't the same scheme Walsh was running in the 80s, but it's conceptually the same. I'm a believer in it.

the only part of that I have an issue with, is with the beatings Ryan's taken the last few years he might NOT have 4 or 5 more years. LOL

 

but I certainly won't argue against the WCO, I grew up watching it do nothing but win win win and I know it can be potent. I don't hate the scheme at all

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, papachaz said:

the only part of that I have an issue with, is with the beatings Ryan's taken the last few years he might NOT have 4 or 5 more years. LOL

but I certainly won't argue against the WCO, I grew up watching it do nothing but win win win and I know it can be potent. I don't hate the scheme at all

I worry about the hits too. But he's a pro, and he's tough.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, JDaveG said:

Nah, McNabb was just straight washed up and a malcontent to boot.  There's a reason Philly traded him.

I do seem to remember that even SF let good ole Joe walk away too. It's going to happen to them (us) all, the only person who's 100% undefeated is Father Time

Link to comment
Share on other sites

59 minutes ago, JDaveG said:

Correct.  It's more the style that changes.  Kyle likes a more vertical passing game.  His dad did too, but his dad was more about hitting the long ball on play action.  Kyle likes to run 1 or 2 vertical options to clear the field out.  We might throw the out or the dig, but he's going to send someone deep to get the safety off the play, etc.  And if the safety starts to bite on the underneath stuff, then you take the top off.

I prefer his style personally.  The only other guy I think does things differently that I like a whole lot is Andy Reid.  Reid also likes to mix in a lot of vertical passing, but the thing I like about him is he takes the old school WCO concept of passing to set up the run to another level.  He will kill you with the pass game early to get a lead and then run the ball down your throat late.  It's a very smart way to approach games.  Get the lead, then pound the rock to seal the win.

Between him and Ryan, they need to figure out a better way to utilize outlet reads because what they're doing right now is causing problems. It seems the default is to have the back either run a circle/angle around the tackle or run through the A gap and turn to receive the ball. The problem with this is that it incentivizes the defense to simply a plant a MLB right there in the tight middle zone. Which IMO led to a number of the worst of the '15 INTS and was a source of difficulty in the preseason game against Miami. 

Its only one play type but it seems to be the play type that is causing issues enough that it might need to be adjusted. If not, we're going to see more of those "check down picks" which were never a problem before and really arent problems in many/any offenses in the league.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What i remember about the wco...is that it's predicated on getting the ball out fast...slant routes..crossing routes and letting the receiver use there speed and skills to get Yac...swing routes and flares out of the backfield to the rb's..it's a simple but hard scheme to defense if you have the right people at the positions. .we got Julio..we got Freeman..who had 73 catches last year..we have the line (I hope)..from what I see..all we're missing is a number 2 and 3 receiver (which I hope we fixed this offseason).....and Ryan to stop holding on the ball to long...this could be a very good offense. ..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 minutes ago, DoYouSeeWhatHappensLarry said:

Between him and Ryan, they need to figure out a better way to utilize outlet reads because what they're doing right now is causing problems. It seems the default is to have the back either run a circle/angle around the tackle or run through the A gap and turn to receive the ball. The problem with this is that it incentivizes the defense to simply a plant a MLB right there in the tight middle zone. Which IMO led to a number of the worst of the 15 INTS and was a source of difficulty in the preseason game against Miami. 

Its only one play type but it seems to be the play type that is causing issues enough that it might need to be adjusted. If not, we're going to see more of those "check down picks" which were never a problem before and really arent problems in many/any offenses in the league.  

thank you, finally someone who has explained what I was seeing last year. The DC's watch film and plan accordingly. No Shanny didn't 'throw the ball that was an INT' but he used this type play over and over. A point I have tried to make but lacked the ability to explain it. So thanks

Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 minutes ago, papachaz said:

thank you, finally someone who has explained what I was seeing last year. The DC's watch film and plan accordingly. No Shanny didn't 'throw the ball that was an INT' but he used this type play over and over. A point I have tried to make but lacked the ability to explain it. So thanks

I saw it last year but I didn't "see it" until I rewatched the Dolphins game last night. He completed a pass to Free early in the game (1st series maybe?) that barely got there in time and it looked a lot like some of the other INTs/dropped INTs he threw last year. Though he's had a tendency to lose zone LBs playing underneath this WRs, these picks were different. I find it hard to believe that a QB who has historically not thrown many "yikes" INTs would all of a sudden start throwing the ball right to LBs standing 3 yards off the LOS. So clearly something is amiss. Whether thats play design or something in Ryan is something we don't really know. Either way its the single biggest offensive concern I have. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, JDaveG said:

I do, but he isn't a rookie, so I don't think it's a permanent thing. He knows he can play at this level. That alone helps his confidence. 

Agree. His inconsistent play last season was not in any way due to self-doubt. I know he didn't look all that much better in the preseason games, but I just can't make myself believe he'll struggle like he did last season.

As you said, he knows he can play at this level, knows he has a better OL to give him an extra second or two, and he knows he finally has a viable running game to keep the defense off him. I expect Matt to have a great game vs the Bucs and then keep it going throughout the season.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share


×
×
  • Create New...