With the upcoming NFL football combine and the 2009 NFL draft I thought I would talk about the quarterback position today.
I called a friend of mine former Detriot Lions and SF Forty Niners Head Coach Steve Mariucci and I asked him some of the attributes that he looks for in a Quarterback.
Here are some of his details:
Technique- Throwing the Football related to there release, and Footwork in the pocket.
When passing, Ball Position- do they have a fundamental drop and carry the ball, not to high and not to low? Correct position is typically at the numbers or pec muscles.
Arm Strength- both with his feet set and also throwing on the run.
Accuracy- again with his feet set and on the run.
Under Pressure- The quarterbacks awareness in the pocket related to the pass rush, does the qb stair down the reciever, does the player keeps his eyes down field, can the quarterback when need tuck the ball and run for a first down?
Mental Alertness- Does the quarterback have the ability to read pass coverage and pass defenses. Does the qb have the skill set to go through there pass read progression and find the open reciever?
Intangible- Does he have leardership skills, Poise under pressures, what is his 3rd down pass completion percentage, does he take care of the ball, no fumbles or low interception rate.
Improvisational Skills- Does the quarterback have the ability to turn a bad or broken down play into a good or big play?
Recently, I created a video that has become pretty popular in the last week. It was a critique of Cam Newton’s 40 yard dash at the NFL Combine a couple weekends ago. What I wanted to do today was go over in a little more detail what I discussed in the video so that you could have a better understanding of how Cam Newton might not have maximized his full 40 yard dash potential.
The first thing I want to discuss, which I didn’t go over in the video, is running a 40 yard dash at a combine is different than breaking away and running 40 yards in a game. Speed is trained completely different in those two instances. For the combine, you are trying to learn all the tricks you need to know to get as fast a 40 as possible. It is a controlled environment. Tons of money is on the line. during a game, you are just trying to run as fast as you can so the guys don’t crush you.
I mention Cam Newton’s start first in the video. Remember, this is a start for a 40 yard dash, not a track meet. there are no starting blocks. You need to get the best start possible for this time. I think Cam did a couple things wrong with his start and that sets the stage up for the rest of his 40. first his back foot was way too far back. I understand he is a tall individual, but it needs to be a little closer. You want to explode out of that start, putting your body in an almost uncomfortable position.
The other thing with that back leg is that he barely has it touching the ground. It is twitching and tapping throughout him holding the position. he needs it down a little bit so he can explode off of both legs. Think about it. if you are standing still are you going to jump higher off of two legs or one leg. Two. the same applies to this start.
Finally, his left arm is way too high. if I had one of my high school athletes running at a collegiate combine, a lot of those timers are reacting to the first movement and I don’t want them to see that left arm moving and start the time to early. Cam should have tucked that arm into his side so the first movement was him exploding out.
The first 10 yards are key. keep your head tucked for the duration, get a good, big first step, and make the 10 yards in 5.5 to 6.5 steps. Cam did all those things pretty good. now the remaining 30 yards is getting into proper position and using your power to get down the runway.
At this point, I think his technique failed him. being a long guy, I wanted to see a little longer strides with the same turnover. I think he got upright a little too quick and his leg stride wasn’t as long as I would have liked to have seen. Surprising as it may sound, he might have needed a little strength/power development to allow his legs to get out in their fullest range of motion possible. Meaning, I don’t want him trying to extend his legs out there longer, because then he might be slowing himself down, but to have the power to allow his legs to naturally get out there longer in full stride and full stride rate, so as not to lose any speed.
Despite the few minor things he could have worked on, he still ran a 4.59. the third fastest at the quarterback position. Not too shabby. I just think with those few minor adjustments I discussed, he probably could have got the fastest time for QB’s which was a 4.52. although, I don’t think it is going to hurt his draft status too much. Lucky him.
The vertical and broad jumps are highlights at the NFL combine year in and year out and are even used in smaller amateur combines. Sure they aren’t overhyped like the 40 yard dash but let me explain to you why they are often more IMPORTANT than that 40 time. the reason is simple.
- the vertical and broad jumps measure an athletes hip and lower body explosiveness, which is key in sports like football for the quickest, most powerful quality movements. Quick bursts of speed through the hole, the extra grit it takes for a runner to make his own hole on the goal line, crushing road grader run blocks, and the power to take on those blocks, all come from lower body explosion and the ability of the athlete to extend his hips.
- there is almost always a correlation between speed and the broad jump or vertical leap. why? Simple. Sports performance is dependent on two things from a strength standpoint.
A) how much can ya bring? (as in how much strength)
B) how fast can ya bring it (how fast can you exert that force, explosively)
The point B makes is the key. there are plenty of guys that can squat hundreds of pounds, or win a bench contest, but those lifts after they get so heavy, take forever to exert the force the name of the game in sports is how fast can you bring it. Take this into account when training for sports that require this kind of movement (which would be most sports)
Explosion = strength + fast twitch muscles
With that in mind, do the following to increase your vertical and broad jumps.
1. Develop a great BOS (base of strength). Accomplish this by strengthening your lower body, and adding resistance to strength training movements. doing heavy squats and other lower body movements with added resistance (in a safe and practical manner of course) will do wonders for your lower body strength.
2. Add explosion as I said previously, in sports it’s all about how fast can you bring it. Train this factor by adding explosive movements to your training. doing nothing but strength training during the off season won’t do a single thing for your ability to MOVE, which is the key. So add jumps Add bounds. Quick explosive jumps and bounds are plyometrics. you can further add to the effectiveness of jumps and bounds by adding resistance to these movements as well. think ankle weights or resistance bands/cords.
Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III arrived in Indianapolis on Thursday, along with the other quarterbacks who were invited to the 2012 NFL Combine. Their first day at the event consisted mostly of registration and pre-screenings, but on Friday morning they got down to brass tacks. the second batch of groups will have their measurements taken and undergo medical and psychological testing throughout the day on Friday.
Alex Marvez of FOX Sports sent out a tweet on Friday morning to relay the information that Griffin had measured in at 6’2 and 3/8 inches. Marvez further stated that the additional height will only add to Griffin’s stock value. the prevailing belief is that the taller the quarterback, the better-suited he is to the NFL. Griffin had previously always been listed as 6’2.
The gap between Griffin and projected no. 1 overall pick, Andrew Luck, has just narrowed by the slimmest of margins. Luck is billed at 6’4.
For news and information regarding the 2012 NFL Scouting Combine, please stay tuned to this StoryStream. For more on the 2012 NFL Draft, check out SB Nation’s dedicated section and Mocking the Draft.
By Andy Bitter the Virginian-Pilot© February 23, 2012
The days are long for former Virginia Tech receivers Danny Coale and Jarrett Boykin, who are working out at Competitive Edge Sports in Atlanta in advance of this week’s NFL combine.
The average day includes three two-hour workouts, rotating between receiver exercises, combine-specific drills and weightlifting with a unique – and grueling – resistance workout in the pool once a week.
Still, finding motivation is not difficult.
"You also have to remind yourself that you are unemployed and you are looking for work," Coale said.
With that in mind, four former Virginia Tech players – Coale, Boykin, running back David Wilson and cornerback Jayron Hosley – head to Indianapolis for a week of onfield drills, interviews and psychological tests in front of general managers, coaches and scouts.
"There’s going to be a lot of chances to shock people at the combine," Wilson said. "I want to be in that category."
It officially began Wednesday, although running backs and wide receivers travel to Indianapolis today, taking measurements Friday, doing psychological testing and interviews Saturday and participating in onfield drills Sunday.
For Hosley and the defensive backs, the final group, that four-day schedule doesn’t begin until Saturday.
Wilson has worked out at ESPN Wide World of Sports in Orlando with Tom Shaw, who trained former Hokies running back Kevin Jones.
The All-American track star’s goal is to turn in the fastest 40-yard time of the running backs at the combine or, failing that, the fastest of the top tier of backs that include Alabama’s Trent Richardson, Miami’s Lamar Miller, Boise State’s Doug Martin and Washington’s Chris Polk.
"I feel like I can definitely run in the 4.3s, but sub-4.3 is my real goal," said Wilson, who said he ran a 40 in 4.4 seconds at 70 percent recently.
Questions remain about Wilson’s ability to be a physical runner in the NFL, which might keep him out of the first round. He’s up to 208 pounds, a 4-pound increase from last year at Virginia Tech, but he doesn’t want to add so much weight that it takes away from his trademark speed.
The combine only provides so many opportunities to show scouts what he can do.
"There’s no contact, so you can’t show them you’re a physical runner or anything," Wilson said. "I’m going to go in and catch the football when they throw them and run my routes sharp, cut sharp, run fast, jump high, jump far and they’ll take it from there."
Hosley will have an opportunity to improve his draft stock, which has slipped since the start of the year.
NFLDraftScout.com has Hosley as the no. 10 cornerback in the draft, projecting him to go in the second or third round. ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay questioned Hosley’s size (5-10, 172) and physicality against the run, putting him as a potential third- or fourth-round pick.
"I think that he’s just a few notches away from being where he needs to be…" McShay said. "And I thought he could easily use another year at Virginia Tech."
Coale spent the past month recovering from a pulled muscle near his rib that forced him to pull out of the East-West Shrine Game in January. he says he’s at full strength now.
He’s NFLDraftScout’s no. 36 receiver (Boykin is 34th), although McShay loves Coale’s sleeper potential, touting his toughness and ability to catch the ball in traffic.
"I’m not saying he’s going to be a no. 2 (receiver)," McShay said. "but I am saying that he can be a very productive no. 3 in the NFL and be in the league for a long time, the type of guy who can bring versatility."
Coale spoke with a pair of former Virginia Tech players in the NFL – quarterback Tyrod Taylor and safety Cody Grimm – about what to expect in Indianapolis.
"they remind you that you prepared not just the last six weeks for the combine, but you’ve been preparing for a while," Coale said. "You have to just let your athletic ability show and just give it your best. then whatever happens happens.
"And be prepared in the interviews to show who you really are. That’s what teams really want to see is just who is Danny Coale and what is he about?… So I’m just going to take it moment by moment and stride by stride. It’ll turn out all right."
Andy Bitter, 757-446-2374, firstname.lastname@example.org, Twitter @AndyBitterVT
COMMENTS ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here; comments do not reflect the views of the Virginian-Pilot or its websites. Users must follow agreed-upon rules: Be civil, be clean, be on topic; don’t attack private individuals, other users or classes of people. Read the full rules here. – Comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the report violation link below it.
Football camps & combines are a good bet for several different reasons. A football athlete gets a chance to showcase his talents to college coaches at a particular college. as long as you know at what level you are going to play you can schedule one or two camps/combines per year starting in the summer before your sophomore year in high school. Make sure you do your research. if you are a liberal arts major for example, look for a college or university that offers that major before you attend their camp/combine.
Try to narrow your search to your top 20-25 schools when considering a camp to attend. Another reason to attend a camp/combine is that you get to check out the competition. Asking the coaches how you rated is excellent feedback for you to see where you stand. you may have underestimated or overestimated your abilities. you will have a good idea what your next move might be. by attending a camp on a college campus you get an opportunity to get a feel for the coaches and the school. maybe you can ask athletes already on team question about the team, coaches, campus, and the community the college is located in.
How about the ever valuable test scores. At a camp/combine you will be tested on your speed, agility, strength, and over-all athletic ability. you will be put through a variety of skills, such as the L-drill, Pro Shuttle, Vertical Jump, Reps x 185lbs, and 40 YD Dash, for example. this information may be listed on a recruiting service web-site or appear in a magazine or be put on a Player Profile for mailing or e-mailing. Varsity Sporting Group puts on a number of very well run camps/combines every year starting in January.