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Nature vs. Nurture


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In another thread, there was some discussion about "being raised to be a QB" vs. "being born to ba a QB".

With the physical traits being equal (height, weight, quickness, agility, etc.) what is more important for determining QB success in the NFL - the intangibles that can't be learned and are more inherent(intelligence, leadership, personality, attitude, etc.) or the tangibles (throwing mechanics, learning game plans, film study, etc.)?

I know these lines are not very distinct - but you get the gist of the question.

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OOPs, I started one too, 20/20. I'll merge mine with yours, ok.

Are QB's born or made.

Joe Theismann was very good athlete, that could play QB, with a heart for other positions, though sometimes with hilarious results (the infamous 15 -20 yard punt, etc.).

Randall Cunningham, also a better athlete than QB, that killed you with his heart stopping scrambles.

John Elway, always looking for the crease, the edge, whether to pull it down or fire a rocket. Ditto with Roger Staubach.

Joe Montana, the tactician that surgically rendered your DB's to spectators.

Sammy Baugh, an athlete, who killed you with the forward pass, then stole one from your QB. When he couldn't get a 1st he'd punt.

Troy Aikman spreading the wealth with a system that fit like a hand in glove. Ditto for Steve Young who went deep often with the best WR of our time and perhaps ever. When the top notch receivers aren't there could they still do it???

Then there are others, with Montana to be included in the group. The pure passer, Dan Fouts, Y. A. Title, Johnny Unitas, Sonny Jurgenson, Dan Marino, John Hadl, Jack Kemp,Otto Graham, Bernie Kosar, Sid Luckman, Ken Stabler, Kurt Warner or Norm Van Brocklin. There are others, but just wanted to show examples of what I mean.

An interesting case can be made of the current group, with Kurt Warner having the pure passer's touch and other intangibles for his position. Scrambling is not their forte' but beating you with their brain and arm is. Peyton Manning is an example of the QB with the mechanics, training and grooming for QB. As much as Archie Manning states about what Peyton's choice was, it is clear who the "first" coach was, even if his son wasn't ever going to be that good. Peyton works extremely hard to be at his level, often putting in time for practices, that I have to scratch my head on.

Is Terry Bradshaw, Warren Moon or Jim Kelly a "pure" passer?

Is this based on if they could handle the square out on a rope, timing, clock control, 2 minute drill?

I have seen Sonny Jurgenson (even after a bad night ) and Dan Marino throw ropes, with one good leg, one good arm, banged thumbs, bruised ribbs, bad feet, and a rag tag crew for receivers, and STILL beat you! I have seen Manning against average sets of DB's struggle when all else was clicking on all cylinders. Why?

At times he made Brad Johnson's natural QB abilities seem flawless. Other times I see him confound a defense so bad, I could swear a DB wants to go to his SUV and get out the Glock to shoot the QB.

Are we seeing the "mechanics", the coaching insertions for what they want and the pure passer's hand's tied with Manning. I think not. I believe that with Manning as with Johnson, it's WYSIWIG (What-You-Is-What-You-Get). Rich Gannon can post his numbers like Manning, because he also has a markee WR in Tim Brown and a passing system that allows him to get those numbers. Manning also benefitted with the #1 RB in the NFL and the NFL Rookie of the Year. Add in the dangerous WR in Harrison, and the breathing room gets better. It isn't fair to say the only reason he posted good numbers is because of them, but likewise, is it their fault when he flounders?

Why does a QB like Dilfer walk away a SB winner and can't buy a QB job???

Is Greise a pure passer or another "Mechanic" with analysts, tacticians and the like on the sideline, grooming him for certain tasks, taking advantage of his "athleticism"?

Joe Namath is another good question, but I lean to his abilities with Len Dawson that they both were closer to being pure passers, whereas Billy Kilmer and Fran Tarkenton were gunslingers, but definitely not pure passers, and yes Joe King of Philly wasn't smile.gifbut Norm Snead was.

[<IMG SRC="http://www.extremeskins.com/ubb/edited.gif" border=0> by indyskinsfan on July 06, 2001.]

[<IMG SRC="http://www.extremeskins.com/ubb/edited.gif" border=0> by indyskinsfan on July 06, 2001.]

[edited.gif by indyskinsfan on July 06, 2001.]

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I beg to differ on one accord: Should a QB have a rating with the Starters or should official records be kept like that of "relief pitchers". Why?

Look at Trent Dilfer, Jeff George, Randall Cunningham, etc.

There is a lot of relief QBing with that crew and the stats in relief are quite different. Take the relief period for Jeff George for instance while in Minnesota and in Washington. You just can't stake that against a consistant starter, ok, maybe Tony Banks.

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What you called 'the intangibles that can't be learned', are all learned traits albiet they may be learned very early in life. They are intangible and subjective. Pysical traits are the only things not learned.

Mechanics can be taught but usually take a lot of reps to make them instinctive and at the pro-level you may not have the time.

I also feel that for most QBs, not being in a situation where you must be the MAN is important. For example, I believe you could have switched Bob Griese for any one of several good but not HOF QBs and get the same result.


There are two kinds of opinions, mine and the wrong one!

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I look at Marino and Elway as being born QBs because they could play in any system and succeed, however Montana would excel only in a WCO.

Marino and Elway could make subpar receivers look good ie the 3 Amigos and the Marks brothers



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