Being a QB isn't easy, but the very best share some common traits
By Steve Wyche NFL.com
Reporter, NFL.com and NFL Network
Published: Aug. 28, 2009
Good quarterbacks share common traits, according to several current and former players, coaches and personnel evaluators. Decision-making skills and accuracy rank at the top. Poise, leadership and guile rated highly. Rarely was arm strength or physical size mentioned.
"They do have to be accurate," Saints coach Sean Payton said. "They have to be guys who can make solid decisions, week after week, season after season. .... Some guys, they throw it well, they do it well, but they're a half-second too late constantly, so they struggle."
Added former NFL coach Dick Vermeil: "First, he's got to be able to throw the ball accurately. Some guys can throw, throw, throw, and they'll miss two or three passes in the ball game that can mean the difference in winning and losing, and if they miss them, they lose. They hit them, they win. Can you throw the ball accurately -- under pressure? Are you distracted by the things that happen in front of you? Are you distracted by coverages?"
The slightest flaw can unseat a career. The slightest strength can prolong one. No quarterback is perfect, but as long as he strives to be, he has a chance.
"When you get thrown into the fray and stuff is just flying around you at 100 miles per hour, it's your ability to take a deep breath and slow everything down and make sure guys in the huddle see that," Brees said. "In the end, they're going to react the way that you do. If you get flustered, that shows to them. If you show composure, it puts them at ease. The great ones put everyone at ease."