I’m enamored with the quarterback position. For me, the quarterback exemplifies everything that our society values.
Quarterbacks are expected to lead a roster of 53 by example and (hopefully) back their bravado with talent, determination and precision.
Quarterbacks are expected to persevere through numerous coaching changes, adjust to their different playbooks instantaneously and undergo through intense scrutiny from the media. And Skip Bayless.
Quarterbacks are supposed to be cool. I’m referring to the rather abstract (and admittedly overused) it factor. That it factor is not tangibly there, but it’s there. Somewhere. That’s why when the NFL combine comes around and we obsess over every point of Wonderlic score it’ll be all for naught. They will be completely irrelevant by training camp
How else do you explain why Brett Favre, the man who amassed 71,838 yards, 508 touchdowns and 336 interceptions, had a measly score of 22 on the Wonderlic?
Unfortunately for general managers, you can’t possibly predict with any reliable frequency how a person will react to an actual football game. You either have the capability to adjust or you’ll crumble like everyone’s favorite draft bust, Ryan Leaf.
Their every throw is dissected; every ill-advised check down throw remembered and every misplaced ball somehow ostensibly serves as an indictment of not only their ability, but of their character.
There are so many variables that cannot possibly be quantified so many questions that I have that, for people without the requisite experience at the position, are hard to fathom.
What is the most important factor in having success in the NFL? What are the most reliable warning signs that should dissuade teams from drafting someone? How much do physical measurements matter? How much should we consider intangibles and character off the field?
In reality, the perfect quarterback probably embodies all of these qualities. And, as my beloved Washington Redskins already know, it is incredibly difficult to find an average one. There is no margin for error unless your name is Tom Brady, Drew Brees or Aaron Rodgers.
Initially (and to some extent still do), I struggled with actually defining a quarterback. Considering I’m a Redskins fan, I’m probably not qualified to evaluate what constitutes a good quarterback. Quite the contrary. I am, however, extremely qualified to know what exactly isn’t a good quarterback.
A good quarterback doesn’t throw four interceptions (including three to the same guy). A good quarterback doesn’t have fear and doesn’t check down to his running back 14 times in one game. A good quarterback can be trusted to run the two-minute drill effectively.
So, yeah, I’m not accustomed to watching a great quarterback throw for my favorite team. But this reason only strengthens the allure of dreaming of having a franchise quarterback of my own. It’s always fun to envision Peyton Manning in a Redskins jersey. Or Drew Brees, somehow, someway, leaving the comfy confines of New Orleans to join a franchise famous for lavish spending and failed promises.
Failed promises. I keep coming back to my painful tenure as a faithful Washington Redskins fan. You can’t root for this team as currently constructed and not be a legitimate fan. Unlike older generations of Redskins fans, I have no idea what I’d do with myself if my team had an above-average quarterback. I might prance around half-naked singing show tunes at random times of the day. I might not sleep at night as I meticulously remember every brilliant play, every methodical drive, every "meaningless" throw.
Might. Might. Might. The Redskins might get a franchise quarterback in the near future (hopefully next year). Then again, they might not ever be that lucky. It sounds easy: we want a tall (he doesn't have to be though), prototypical quarterback. Strong arm, accurate, confident, unparalleled acuity, determined, intelligent, cool.
Please. Wouldn’t it be really awesome if the Redskins could possibly find that guy?