On ESPN I just read a peice on mobile quarterbacks and the "Vick Revolution" never occuring and for thier example of a common modern mobile quarterback they chose Ben Rothlisberger. Not that Big Ben is a horrible choice but with obvious choices like Romo, Favre, McNaBB, and of course Jay Cutler who has a QB Rating jump outside the pocket large enough to more than seperate a Pro-bowler from Tarvaris Jackson, I was driven to write an article that focused more on the mobile QB point rather than one that focused on Vick and Ben.
When Warren Moon and Elway started the movement to mobile QB everyone knew something was on the rise, but noone knew exactly what or how long it would take. Well it took a little while but the movement was getting there.
Next came Steve Young, not only a QB that could Pass and Rush and just found a way to get down field but he was a game manager, a master of the West-Coast offense in San Fran, constantly riddling the Defense with high percentage passes and being able to go get the first down himself if noone is open. This was a huge step in the progression of the moblie QB, but it wasn't quite there yet.
Then along came the Gunslinger. A lot of people know that Favre can gun it 50 yards and everyone knows that he will throw into triple coverage, from his back foot, mid-sack but what most people don't realize is that what makes Favre really special is the way he avoids the rush. Favre is as mobile as many of the classic mobile Quarterbacks but unlike these quarterback he doesn't avoid pressure and take off down field, he just buys time, and buys time, and buys time. Don't get me wrong he has rushed for a few TD's and other QB's have bought time, but he was the first to build his career on buying time.
Then finally, the modern mobile QB, McNabb and Garcia were the first wave, QB's that buy time like Favre and manage games with high percentage-low risk/turnover passes like Young. But this quarterback persona was quickly hidden.
The lie of what the modern QB would be came like a hurricane, he came in loud and left nothing but ravage behind. People saw Vick and saw nothing but what was to them the future. Yet there have been rush first QB's for years, the ealry days of the NFL had many rush first QB's, and even in modern times many colleges had rush fisrt QB's that just couldn't make the leap(ex. Eric Crouch) to the NFL, Vick was just the First ultra-talented rush first QB and the first rush first QB since Unitas revolutionized the QB position that was capable of succeeding in the NFL(on the field), but today Vick allowed off the field issues to drive him to an early exit and there is a whole one rush first QB. That QB is of course Vince Young, who is actually more of a modern Elway(maybe that's why people love to say "he doesn't look impressive, but he just wins") and is simply coached to play more like Vick or has to use his talents in a Vick-like fashion late in games to "just win".
There will always be medoicre QB's trying not to lose thier jobs every week like Joey harrington or Rex Grossman, and there will always be successful pocket-passer like Brady and Manning, but the QB's you turn on the TV and watch are becoming the Garcias, and McNabbs, and Romos, and Rothlisbergers, and Culters, game managers that can play well in the pocket and win games when they are flushed outside of it. It began with Elway and Moon, it was revolutionized by Favre and Young, and now it is becoming the standard. This is the modern mobile QB, and as this is the pinnacle of what a QB can be developed into, not needing to find the gold-mine of a rocket armed genius, but develop someone who can move a little and throw servicably to avoid the rush and win, the most effective combo of game manager, pocket passer, and mobile QB, this trend will only grow.
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