Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

06 Mar 2013

Cosell's Take: You Say You Want a Revolution?

This article isn't explaining too much that we didn't already know, but it's great to see Greg plying his trade over at Shutdown Corner. How much of Cam Newton's "slump" this past year was him, and how much was play calling?

Posted by: Rivers McCown on 06 Mar 2013

15 comments, Last at 10 Mar 2013, 6:55pm by LionInAZ


by moore2012 (not verified) :: Thu, 03/07/2013 - 2:14am

the rollover ads at the top are getting out of hand.

by Jim W. (not verified) :: Thu, 03/07/2013 - 7:16pm

Things like adblock are available to handle that kind of inconvenience.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Thu, 03/07/2013 - 10:12am

"The overriding point was this: After the 2011 season, we heard much dialogue about the quarterback position being transformed. It may seem a little preposterous now, but that was the talk only one short year ago."

This whole thing was a very long article that smacks into the existence of Cam Newton, Russell Wilson, RG3, Colin Kaepernick -- and taking it out further -- Steve Young, Donovan McNabb, Rich Gannon, etc.

Yes, you still need to be able to pass. But conversely, even Andy Reid admired the ability to run. But as an argument against running QBs, or even the read-option (are play-action passes or draw plays on 3rd down so different?), it's all strawman.

by stinky (not verified) :: Thu, 03/07/2013 - 10:43am

This article is fairly awful. It's just a long winded rant against running QBs (not that I disagree with hating running QBs) but without any real point. He keeps mentioning "tangible, identifiable and measurable" traits a QB must have, but fails to mention what any of them are in any meaningful way. A QB needs to be poised and accurate? No kidding! So show me the "tangible, identifiable and measurable" way we judge this, and the answer better contain an actual stat rather than some sort of scout-speak nonsense, otherwise it really isn't measurable.

by sundown (not verified) :: Thu, 03/07/2013 - 11:49am

Not to mention that the ability to run is also a tangible trait that can be very useful for a QB. And I'm lost on why anybody would "hate" a running QB. You might be against the idea because they end up hurt quite often, or you might not like the decisions a particular one makes, but having a QB who can keep the defense honest is a powerful tool to have. A guy who stands there like a statue allows everybody to take off with their back to him in man coverage without a single care that he might burn them with a run.

by Dean :: Thu, 03/07/2013 - 12:06pm

Running is a nice complementary skill, but it is not essential for a QB. If you can't run, you can conceivably still play QB. If you can't pass, you can't play QB no matter how good your running might be.

by sundown (not verified) :: Thu, 03/07/2013 - 12:38pm

Who said it was an essential skill? And who ever said a QB didn't need to pass? You're going after the same strawman that Cosell was.

by stinky (not verified) :: Thu, 03/07/2013 - 12:15pm

To say that I hate running QBs was probably inaccurate. I am more in line with what Dean said above me. I mostly just dislike the short-lived hype that comes around every time a QB accumulates a lot of rushing yards, while people ignore their passing deficiencies. Mobile QBs are good, scrambling sprayers of the ball not so much. Hearing ESPN rave about overly hyped scramblers makes me nauseous.

by sundown (not verified) :: Thu, 03/07/2013 - 12:43pm

Agreed with the short-lived hype we're seeing now. (Terrelle Pryor is going to get a shot at QB for the Raiders? That one just blows me away.) But mobile QBs who can run have been seen as great assets forever: Tarkenton, Steve Young, Elway could hurt you with his legs... Doesn't mean that's the only way to play QB, but it's a proven effective way that can really open up an offense.

by DEW (not verified) :: Thu, 03/07/2013 - 3:19pm

Seems to me more like a rant not against quarterbacks who are runners (in the Tarkenton/Young/Elway/McNabb/Rodgers mode) but the hype over how this player or that player will transform the very nature of quarterbacking in the NFL. You notice that when Elway was drafted, and later when he was playing, no one ever said that here was a player who was going to redefine the very nature of quarterbacking in the league. Yet Vick, Newton, Tebow, Griffin, etc., etc. have all been accompanied by such hype, the repeated assertions by the sports media that we are seeing the beginning of a sea change almost as significant as the way the game was played as the invention of the forward pass itself. That instead of treating running ability as a skill that can be useful to a quarterback who already possesses the necessary skills at passing, it is going to become a core element of the position. And it's that which the rant seems directed at.

by Kyle D. (not verified) :: Thu, 03/07/2013 - 9:03pm

I think that is what he's saying, too. He just does a poor job with his examples. He seems to think the jury is in on Newton and he's already failed. A bit soon to tell on that. And I never heard a ton of football guys claiming Tebow was going to change the game--McDaniels was ridiculed for drafting him as high as he did, he became a starter only because they were going nowhere with Orton, they scrapped their entire offense and ran the ball almost every down when he was starter, and there was minimal interest in him even though he'd won a playoff game. Vick is a valid example, but you can argue that Griffin and Kaepernick really did redefine the position for much of last year. Doesn't mean that new definition will stick long term, but it did happen.

by commissionerleaf :: Fri, 03/08/2013 - 1:27pm

The difference is not that running quarterbacks are new. It is that the prospects coming out of college today are running quarterbacks - or rather are quarterbacks capable of running - as the rule rather than as the exception.

by LionInAZ :: Sun, 03/10/2013 - 6:55pm

For sure there's nothing new about running QBs. I'm old enough to.remember Bobby Douglass and the misbegotten attempts to run the wishbone offense in the NFL.

by Cliff Claven (not verified) :: Thu, 03/07/2013 - 11:34am

I think this article has a different subject: the lack of importance of a QB's ability to run in a proper analysis of his ability to play QB effectively in the NFL. If he can run, great. If he can't pass, this should be a non-starter.

by JonFrum :: Thu, 03/07/2013 - 9:35pm

As a passer, FO ranked Newton ahead of Flacco last year. Cosell knows something FO doesn't.