4 Keys To Selection Of The Quarterback

by : Jimmy Cox

The Quarterback is undoubtedly the most important man on the team. He is the playing coach who directs the offense. Therefore, his selection becomes one of the most important decisions the head coach must make.

In selecting a quarterback, these considerations are ranked in order of their importance. Perhaps this ranking may cause wonderment to many. Nevertheless, if they are possible, we select the quarterbacks with the following qualifications:

1. Quarterback must be respected

The first consideration must be that the quarterback be respected by his teammates. The quarterback need not be "popular" or well-liked by his team, but it is essential that he have their respect if the offense is to be successful. If a quarterback has the respect of his teammates, his judgment will not likely be questioned in a clutch situation.

Every individual will give his absolute maximum effort instead of "second guessing" in a crucial series on the goal line. With this respect the squad will develop a feeling of confidence and assurance in the quarterback to get the job done. Respect and confidence carry the ball together.

2. Playing ability

When selecting a quarterback, the requisite of ability is almost a carbon copy of respect; you can't have one without the other. Yes, it is possible, but not likely. At one time, we made the error of selecting a signal caller who was proficient on offense, but weak on defense. As a result, the team did not completely respect this quarterback, so that they did not go all out for him.

In order for the quarterback to gain absolute respect he must be fairly proficient in other phases of team play. It would be ridiculous for a single-wing quarterback to attempt to lead his teammates on offense, if he were deficient in blocking himself. Yet, he might be a fine defensive man. The quarterback should be able to more than hold his own on both offense and defense.

3. Football sense

The third quality we look for when selecting the quarterbacks is "football sense." This is not necessarily found in the player who leads his classmates in scholastic standing. The "A" student many times does not have "football sense," especially during the stress and pressure of a crucial situation. Normally, the quarterback is academically ranked in the upper one-third of his class and possibly in the top ten per cent of the squad.

He must be capable of diagramming the offensive assignments of every player, against any defense outlined by the coach. This is the only way he can be fairly certain whether the play he has the intention of calling will succeed. Otherwise, his call becomes a hit and miss proposition. By knowing the assignments of every man he can often tell his teammates their assignment versus a certain defense. We encourage the quarterbacks to answer possible questions of assignment during the practice week rather than allowing one of the coaches to supply the information.

He must be able to call and sometimes change a given signal in a fraction of a second. This requires "football sense."

4. Leadership

Actually, leadership may be the wrong term for this fourth qualification in selecting the quarterback. Perhaps a better definition would be "personality." The quarterback must have a personality to lead his teammates and at the same time keep harmony. Usually a personality that is willing to "sacrifice everything for the benefit of the team" is one that will bring the desired type of harmony and leadership.

An ideal type of disposition is one that is cheerful. After all, football is a game and by having a cheerful leader there is a tendency for other men to be alert and happy. He must be above discouragement at all times. If he becomes discouraged all this is lost. Of course, there will be times when he will feel this way, but he must not reveal his feeling to the players around him.

All of the above qualities must all be taken into consideration when selecting your quarterback.