The Death of the Modern Day QB?

The Death of the Modern Day QB………. What?

I just finished watching film of Peyton Manning break 70,000 all-time yards and win on a miraculous play on Thursday night football. For every Peyton, Tom Brady, Big Ben and Andrew Luck there are Jamarcus Russell’s, Akili Smiths, Tim Couches, Ryan Leafs, and the list goes on of highly drafted NFL “busts”. Unfortunately these QB’s did not have illustrious careers for a multitude of reasons, and to pinpoint accurately after the fact is still a challenge, even with the advantage of hindsight. But one reason that might have been characteristic of all of them is their being “system” QB’s.

What does this mean and what is happening?

What are some of the issues and challenges in developing NFL QB’s?

1. QB’s do not play under center- unlike the NFL where QB’s go under center frequently, high school and college spread QB’s seldom take a snap from center. Why is this a concern? QB’s do not learn how to play with their backs to the defense for that split second. They do not learn how to properly drop. Personally, as a former QB I hated being in the gun as I got lazy with my drop mechanics and I see the same thing now when watching high school and college spread QB’S

QB’s and offences are about timing-drop 1 2 3 and throw- or set up and go through your progressions. Spread QBs’ legs sometimes get what I call “cement feet” – feet that don’t move because they simply don’t have to

2. Spread QB’s don’t have to think at the line of scrimmage…..what’s occurring is that the offence sets on the ball in a no huddle attack. Defense sets and then the offence all looks over to the coach for the proper play he has devised versus that particular defense. This has taken away the post-snap decision making of QB’s that is essential to becoming an NFL QB.

3. NFL defenses are way too fast for the spread- unlike college and high school – in the pros QB’s are playing against the best of the best…one thing NFL manager’s look for is team speed.

Remember a few years back when Colin Kaepernick took the league by storm running the spread and zone read….NFL Defensive coordinators have figured it out and as result Colin and the 49ers have struggled. In fact last Monday night the 49ers player with 3 TE’s a majority of the time and pounded the rock with Carlos Hyde…outcome- they controlled the clock…managed Colin’s mistakes and the 49ers were victorious.

Another reason – the “Robo” QB

As a QB coach I have fallen into this trap over the years but have changed my philosophy over the past few years. What do I mean with Robo QB? We try and make each QB have the most perfect mechanics and harp on this so much that we sometimes forget to let the kids play and react. Don’t get me wrong, all great QB’s have superlative mechanics to ensure the most important quality a qb must possess: ACCURACY- This is to me is the difference between good and great. Great QB’s with accuracy are able to place a ball on what I call a dime!

The issue is that we as QB coaches are paralyzing some of these young kids. Look at Phillip Rivers- his throwing mechanics are unorthodox but he makes it work. If it works at an age past puberty, refine their technique somewhat but don’t overburden the athlete. Remember it takes 3000 perfect reps to change the hardwiring in someone’s body. The problem arises with QB’s and other positions in sports in that the athlete will revert back to their mechanics taught at a young age. Thus it is imperative as coaches that we stress and teach proper mechanics BEFORE PUBERTY. But once it sets in, let “perfection” go and now change your approach to working with what the QB has – they can still get better. Look at MLB pitchers – MANY of them have unorthodox mechanics or at least what people would say are not “perfect” ones, but they are in the big leagues while tens of thousands with “better looking” mechanics are on the outside looking in at being a pro. Why? They have figured out how to use what they have such that they have bridged the gap and zoomed past those with “prettier” deliveries. This can be done in football too, so beware of taking too much time trying to create the next Robo-QB – you may be better off working on other areas with them. I use this saying to teach…before puberty there are many highway lanes and they are all open but the further we age from puberty the less lanes and more congestion there is within the nervous system of the body. Find the paved, clear highway and take it.

As stated above, I myself am a spread offensive coach and one of the reasons is that it is easier for a QB to determine reads and play at a high speed. Why do I do this? We at the younger level of football do not have the ability to teach/practice with kids 8 hours per day like we do in the pro ranks. We just don’t. And fluffing it for 10-20 minutes a week in practice doesn’t do too much good unless the kid is going to take it himself and work the other 1200 minutes on it on his own. If he does, great. But if not, more and more as time goes on, the chances of making them better mechanically shrinks and shrinks.

Hey don’t get me wrong. Mechanics can be improved later in life but progress will be slower and minimal. But what has happened with me and definitely with high school and college coaches across North America is less time is being spent on developing prototypical pro QB’s and more has been put into developing them to run an incredibly successful system. The thing is, this system does not always translate to the NFL, so the question is, what is the long term outlook on developing prototypical QB’s for the league? I don’t know, but it will be interesting to see what develops over the next ten years or so. History tells us that the future doesn’t always quite work out the way we think it will, but only time will tell.

Agree or disagree- I would love to hear it as I am open to all learning experiences!

Larry Jusdanis is the proud owner of Sports Specific Training (the largest sports training company in Canada) and QB Canada- Ranked as the #1 QB Academy in Canada

Coach Mike and Will Finch will be holding a Qb mechanics class every Monday- starting in June

Click here for Mike’s 101 Mechanics

Thank you for 20 Years!

2016 marks the 20 year anniversary of SST. 20 years in business is a long time, not only for a business to survive but flourish and expand, when so many other seemingly successful business models have failed along the way.

There are many contributing factors to the success of SST and I am taking this opportunity to share them with you. For that, we need to start at the beginning.

For anyone who is not familiar with my “back story”, in 1989  I was fortunate to receive a full athletic scholarship to UCF, one of the highest points in my life, only to have that very scholarship revoked due to an injury.  That injury was a direct result of improper training.

It was a result of this injury and subsequent loss of my athletic scholarship that the conception of SST came to be.  I believed that if athletes were trained properly, they would be stronger and faster in their field and less injuries would result, saving them from the disappointment of lost opportunity.

This was the conception of SST.  What started as an idea to help others, grew into a successful long term franchise, providing me with not only a long term career but also an outlet for my greatest passions, football and training.

SST had a humble beginning, starting off in a small gym in what was then Lord Elgin High School (now Robert Bateman).  A huge debt of gratitude must be paid to Tam Morrison, a teacher who shared the same vision as myself and helped get SST off the ground.

Lord Elgin was where teams like the Burlington Eagles came to train for hockey.  I have many fond memories of training future star athletes such as Tim Brent and Andrew Campbell on the back field of Lord Elgin in over 40 degree weather, pushing my Nissan truck around a dirt field. I am sure it is still a fond memory for the athletes too!

In 1999 I was fortunate to meet Steve Bodanis at a seminar and saw his enthusiasm and passion for athletes.  Steve quickly became my right hand man and one of my greatest friends.  Steve is now the owner of SST Hamilton, our very first franchise.

Eventually SST’s popularity began to grow and we outgrew the space provided by Lord Elgin.  In 2001 SST moved its location to Harrington Court.  This was an important move, it was at this location that SST became a household name in Boot Camp style workouts, with the launch of Fit and Lean and MaxFit44.

Harrington Court is also where I had the privilege of training many pro football players such as Mike O’Shea, Jeff Johnson, Jeff Keeping, Chad Remple and many others.

Over the years I have had the opportunity to train many fine young quarterbacks like Danny Brannagan (Vanier cup champ), Will Finch, Kyle Williams, Nathan Rourke and countless others. My passion is teaching and coaching, these athletes make it worthwhile.

SST has also enabled me to coach football with the BMFA for the last 8 years and thru this I have made great friends and relationships with so many terrific people. 20 years in business has allowed me to train and meet so many great student athletes.  It has been my pleasure getting to know these young people and watch them develop into successful adults. Rob Legate, Drew Collins, CJ Morrison, Stephanie Dwyer, Karla Leong to name a few, plus so many more wonderful people have been my absolute pleasure and privilege to know.

In 2010 SST Burlington moved locations again to its current New St. location.  This moved allowed again for expansion as we grew with our fast growing adult memberships.  This location also allowed for the addition of a sports therapy clinic. Peter Kissel and David Schenkel are outstanding at their crafts and have helped many clients.  We are grateful to have them and their staff as part of SST.

No training facility is complete without a special group of coaches and SST prides itself on our exceptional training staff. Over the years SST has been fortunate to recruit amazing trainers such as: John Blair, Dave Scott MacDowell and Sean Stewart. Each of our trainers have specific qualities and strengths and bring a unique flavor to SST.

A huge part of the ongoing success of SST has been our ability to franchise and grow.  Increasing our brand awareness and our place in the market.

I want to thank and express my appreciation to all SST franchise owners who have built SST in their own community. Each of them have added to the overall success of SST and I can’t thank them enough.

SST Hamilton: Our first Franchisee. Owner Steve Bodanis

SST Mississauga: Owner Rick Johnstone and Mike/ Nicole Tevlin. Former owner and good friend Mike Mc Carthy who helped build the Baseball Zone in conjunction with SST.

SST Waterloo: Owner Ajay Nagy who has won numerous Franchisee of the year awards.

SST Milton: Owner Jeff Jensen, who I met in a gym one day doing warmups- a terrific OLYMPIC lifting coach.

SST Oakville: Owner Delroy, a good friend and a tireless owner, we have shared a lot over the years and look forward to the next 20 with him.

SST Laval: Owner Antoine H, our first franchisee outside of Ontario, yet another owner who I have become great friends with. SST Laval was the winner of franchise of the year in 2015!

20 years in business has allowed me to train and meet some amazing people.  Clients have become friends and friends have become clients, contributing to the success of SST and for this I am both grateful and thankful.

Lastly and most importantly, I want to THANK YOU, my friends, clients and ambassadors of SST. You have meant more to me over the last 20 years than you could possibly know.  The success of SST would not be possible without you and your continued support. I would love to name everyone but there are literally thousands of you who have touched my life in one way or another.  I look forward to the next 20 years with my SST Family!