I've been meaning to ask this question on MHR for awhile. I think it's a great discussion and one that really has a lot of significance not only for the Broncos but the NFL in general. Like all sports, the NFL is an evolving game. One that has seen a defense oriented league, to a run league, and now a pass league. It's constantly evolving and my question to you is where is the most important position in sports headed next?
Currently I believe that the general consensus among sports thinkers and gurus is that the franchise pocket passer is the most sought after commodity on the market. In fact, until Michael Vick stole the show this season I would go so far as to say that it was the only type of QB considered to be successful in the NFL, and for good reason. Pocket passers were efficient, they were accurate, and they stayed healthy. Every team is looking for that elite QB that will play every down for years on end. If only every position had a player that could be like that. You can take it to the bank that an elite pocket passer has the ability to take a team on his shoulders and get you to the playoffs year after year.
Interestingly, I heard an argument that I absolutely agree with. The pocket passers of this generation would not have survived at their positions thirty years ago. The Manning's and Brady's of our generation benefit greatly from the new rules in the NFL designed to protect QB's and encourage them to hand the ball off less and pass it down the field more. This league has positioned itself to almost force teams to find a great pocket passer to be successful. Gone are the days of dominating defenses that terrorized QB's and forced us to develop amazing RB's. We have become a pass happy league, for good or bad. It's not hard to believe that the elite pocket QB has become the benchmark of a teams success in the past years.
I think the introduction of the Wildcat offense in the NFL has begun to create a crack in that mentality. Combine that with the introduction of elite QB's like Michael Vick and that crack has become a serious question. A team willing to take a risk on a dual threat QB has introduced a new type of player in the realm of football.
College football has obviously used dual threat QB's for years. Historically, a dual threat QB's success in college simply cannot be matched in the NFL due to the speed, skill, and size differences of NFL defensemen. Old news, we all know this. Hence, the ability to use your legs to extend plays by moving up the field is not nearly as valuable as the ability to use your legs to extend plays side-to-side to create opportunities to throw the ball down the field. This creates an important distinction between a "mobile QB" and "dual threat QB". A mobile QB can make plays by running behind the line of scrimmage while retaining his accuracy. A dual threat QB is one that can simply tuck the ball like a RB and gain yardage by moving UP the field. I consider mobile QB's to be a segment of pocket passers.
So, when I talk about dual threat QB's I'm not talking about classically mobile QB's like Jay Cutler. In my estimation we really have only two truly dual threat QB's in the NFL, and that's Michael Vick and Tim Tebow. I think Vince Young has the potential to be dual threat but it seems very obvious to me that the Titans had every intention of downplaying his running ability and showcasing his pocket and mobile passing ability. Young was essentially molded into a hybrid pocket passer that could run the ball if the play broke down... as opposed to taking the sack or throwing it away ala Tom Brady or Peyton Manning.
In regards to Tim Tebow. I believe he is a different kind of dual threat QB than Michael Vick. Vick's value is in his speed and athleticism. I don't think Tebow is neither as fast nor as athletic as Vick is but his running style is significantly more brutal and powerful. My biggest concern with Tebow is that a coach will attempt to take away the very thing that makes Tebow such an effective dual threat QB, his ability to use his brutal running style, and turn it into a position that requires him to be more nimble. Tim sheds tackles not necessarily because he is so nimble (ala Vick) but because he is so strong. Two dual threat QB's in the NFL, two different styles. I love it.
My question to you, MHR contributors, is this. In your own personal opinion, which type of QB has more future in the NFL. Are pocket passers destined to continue to be the most important commodities in the NFL? Or are dual threat QB's beginning to see their value rise? Keep in mind that I don't believe a vote for a pocket QB is a vote against Tebow. If Tebow is asked to be a mobile pocket passer, Tim will make himself a mobile pocket passer and he will be a very good one. My question is simply this, do you turn your dual threat QB into a mobile, pocket passing QB or do you unleash a dual threat RB/QB combo?
For the sake of this argument let's assume that a pocket passing QB sacrifices mobility for accuracy and a dual threat QB sacrifices accuracy for up the field mobility. Please Vote and Discuss.