By Coach Ron Raymond
Playing quarterback is one of the toughest positions to play in sports. The only player who touches the ball more than the quarterback is the center! Quarterbacks have the task of moving the offense and making sure those 1st downs convert into points.
One of the top qualities I look for when training quarterback is their attitude and poise. You can’t have a quarterback leading your offense if he’s worried about the littles things and gets rattled when the heat gets hot in the kitchen.
If there’s one word to describe your quarterback, you want it to be “tough”! When you get a tough player playing the quarterback position, he will then breathe confidence in the offense, especially to the offensive line. The oline doesn’t want to block for a quarterback who is melodramatic or has a big ego.
Quarterbacks need to be calm cool and collective and ready to analyze situations and convey them back to the offensive coordinator or his position coach.
The Quarterback-Offensive Coordinator relationship needs to be one of communication. The quarterback is the eyes on the field for the OC and he must be able to speak the terminology of offense and recognize coverages and fronts.
As a quarterback coach or offensive coordinator, you must know what are your quarterbacks strengths and weaknesses and don’t ask him to run a system that doesn’t fit his skills. One of the toughest things conversations you might have with your quarterback is telling him he’s not what he wants to be! For example, he might think he’s a Tom Brady pocket type passer, but he’s more of a RG3 or Kordell Stewart option style runner who can also throw.
As a coordinator, you should sit down with your quarterback at times and explain to him your method of madness and why you are running this style of offense. Especially at the high school level, as they might not understand the “team” goals, as some players are trying to get seen for University or College and they might lose focus of the team goals.
Another quality of a good quarterback is the ability to lead without having to be told what needs to be done in practice and on the field. Quarterbacks who have the instincts to put out fires while there’s smoke, is like having another coach on the field. Coaches can’t be everywhere and do everything, that’s where an experienced older quarterback becomes a great asset to the team.
If you’re not having a great season as a quarterback, ask yourself if you are putting in the time and dedication of your craft? Are you looking at the new installs on Hudl, are you watching film, are you out 15 minutes before practice doing early outs with the running backs or receivers. Or, are you that quarterback who shows up late and not eager to get your reps.
What is your blue print for education and football? Before each season, quarterbacks should sit down with their head coach and talk about their future. Tell your coach, here are my goals and what are the steps I need to achieve these goals? Can you help me achieve these goals? Don’t be scared to ask for guidance or assistance in looking for the right school or football program for you down the road.
Lastly, if you want to excel at the quarterback levels take part in lower level practices and go help minor quarterbacks. Take the time to go to a Mosquito or Pee Wee practice and help a younger quarterback with his fundamentals. This will make you a better quarterback, as you will see the mistakes the younger quarterback makes and it will force you to go back to your fundamentals and teach it the right way.
About Coach Ron Raymond
Coach Raymond is the Head Coach of the Cumberland Panthers Senior Varsity Football Club and the Offensive Coordinator of the Franco Cité High School team. During the off season, Coach Raymond operates his Quarterback School, Capital QB’s.