I know I’m going to restart the old debate with this question: “Why aren’t there any Canadian Quarterbacks in the CFL?” I’m sure you’ve heard a multitude of opinions on this issue; some you probably agree with, others just don’t ring true. I firmly believe there is more than one answer to the Canadian QB Question.
One thing I do know for sure is that we coaches need to do a better job of instructing our young Canadian Quarterbacks. I’m not just referring to high school athletes. I think good serious training can start as young as 8 to 13 years old. This is a great age, when kids are prime for both physical and mental development.
What can we do? Over the upcoming weeks this five-part series on Quarterback development will cover:
- Qualities of a good Quarterback, Part 1
- Qualities of a good Quarterback, Part 2
- Drops, drills and technique
- Throwing mechanics, Part 1
- Throwing mechanics, Part 2
Many people believe a good Quarterback is the player who can throw the furthest. Don’t laugh…I was at an all-star camp and was asked by the head coach to have the Quarterbacks just drop and throw as far as they could. They chose their starting Quarterback from this one drill!
What are some things I look for when choosing a Quarterback?
Mental and Physical Toughness
QBs often get all the glory when things are going well, but they also take most of the grief when a team is not performing up to par. I want to see a QB’s reaction after he throws an interception or after he throws a few bad balls. How does he react and how does he try to overcome this bad bout? The great Quarterbacks are able to come right back to lead their team down the field, letting go of what just happened.
Can the Quarterback stand back there waiting to throw the perfect ball knowing, that because he has to hold on to the last second, he’s going to get hit hard? Over the years I have played with some great Quarterbacks and have had the opportunity to watch numerous others. One strong characteristic that is common to all the great ones is that they will take the hit for the team. There is no better way to gain the respect of teammates than this. Let’s be honest, football is a physical game but most Quarterbacks are untouchable during practice, while everyone else is suffering full contact! Not only is this a good way to gain the respect of your team but, at the same time, you let the opponent know that whatever they do, they cannot rattle this Quarterback.