Franchise QB…Do You Need One to Win it All
Some friends and I were discussing some of the issues the Washington Redskins, Miami Dolphins, Arizona Cardinals and other teams are having. The common theme was those teams don’t have a legitimate/franchise quarterback leading the team. I have come to the conclusion there is a level of importance in having, via draft, trade or free agency, a franchise or legitimate QB in the NFL is a team wants to win a championship.
Many people say that defense wins championships and offense sells tickets. I would have to slightly disagree with that statement and say a sound team wins championships. In order to win the game you have to score points and stop the other team; hence everyone is important. But a lot of folks feel the QB is the most important position because they are the leaders of the team. In some cases the franchise QB is not even the best player on the team.
After an hour or so of discussion, we agreed that a franchise QB should be tough, poised, skilled and a leader.
Toughness: The QB must be able to play through pain. No bones about it. He cannot be afraid to stand in the pocket and take a hit. There are several QBs who display this characteristic, but two come to mind….Steve McNair (RIP) and Big Ben come to mind. Both of these men played through painful injuries and earned the respect of the men playing with him.
Poise: The QB must be poised at all times. He has to stay cool and leveled headed despite what is happening on the field. He has to be able to shake off bad plays and continue to play at a high level and try to won the game. I would say Brett Farve, in his Green Bay days, displayed poise most of the time. Despite throwing interceptions, he would bounce back and lead his team to victory.
Skill: This is VERY important!!! Every QB should have good footwork, a strong arm, and accuracy. These are the traits which got him the job anyway! Packers QB Aaron Rodgers has these things and he is a GREAT QB!
Leadership: The QB is the leader of the team, an extension of the coach if you will. His job is to LEAD the offense, lol. The players should rally around him and most times look to the QB when things are going array. When the QB is not a leader, more often than not rumors will surface saying the team does not trust him, etc. You cannot have those types of distractions on a team. It rips them apart. Patriots QB Tom Brady is a leader and has the respect of the entire organization. Even on his bad days he finds a way to win.
I found an interesting analysis here on why having a franchise QB is important:
Super Bowl XXXVI: Winner- Tom Brady Loser- Kurt Warner
Super Bowl XXXVII: Winner- Brad Johnson Loser- Rich Gannon
Super Bowl XXXVIII: Winner- Tom Brady Loser- Jake Delhomme
Super Bowl XXXVIX: Winner- Tom Brady Loser- Donovan McNabb
Super Bowl XL: Winner- Ben Roethlisberger Loser- Matt Hasselbeck
Super Bowl XLI: Winner- Peyton Manning Loser- Rex Grossman
Super Bowl XLII: Winner- Eli Manning Loser- Tom Brady
Super Bowl XLIII: Winner- Ben Roethlisberger Loser- Kurt Warner
Super Bowl XLIV: Winner- Drew Brees Loser- Peyton Manning
Super Bowl XLV: Winner- Aaron Rodgers Loser- Ben Roethlisberger
He crossed out the names of the ones who he believed were not franchise quarterbacks. That leaves 17. 17 of 20 quarterbacks from the past 10 Super Bowl’s. Out of the three who weren’t franchise quarterbacks, only Brad Johnson was actually able to lead their team to the victory.
Now don’t get me wrong, there have been few teams who have won it all with a serviceable QB, the Ravens come to mind. Those teams are far and in between. Just look at the teams who don’t have a franchise QB and their playoff records. Majority of the teams that don’t have a QB suck! My suggestion for the Redskins, Dolphins, Colts, Cardinals, Seahawks, Browns, and Titians is to get a franchise ASAP if they ever want to win a championship!