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Thread: Attributes of an elite QB

  1. #1

    Attributes of an elite QB

    I was thinking this past weekend about what makes an "elite" QB. So many people on this forum strongly support Derek Carr or believe he is the problem wit the Raiders. I've been a fan of the Raiders since 1967 and have watched every QB during that time period. I have also played a lot of football and have done some coaching. I don't claim to know everything about football, but I do believe I have seen enough football to know what makes an elite QB and what doesn't. So, what are the attributes of an elite quarterback.

    Arm strength
    This is probably the least important attribute of an elite QB. An elite NFL QB needs to have a certain level of arm strength, but doesn't need to have an Elway-like arm to be successful in the league.

    On a scale of 1-10, with 1 being the weakest arm in the NFL and 10 being the strongest, Carr is likely a 8 or 9. He has more than adequate arm strength and can make all of the throws. For the most part, Carr's throws are tight spirals with good velocity.

    Accuracy
    This is much more important than pure arm strength. An NFL quarterback must be extremely accurate. He must place passes in a small area where players can not only catch the ball but also have the opportunity to make the most yards after the catch. If you see players reaching for a pass behind them or having to reach high for a pass that doesn't require them to elevate, this means the quarterback hasn't placed the ball in the right place for the best results. Quarterbacks can also "throw receivers open" by placing a ball where only the receiver can catch it, but the defender doesn't have a chance at the interception. Quarterbacks who don't have the strongest arm and are elite are much better at anticipating where receivers will be at any given time and can compensate for their lack of elite arm strength by being elite at ball placement.

    Again, on a scale of 1-10, Carr is about a 6 or 7. While very accurate at times, he also tends to overthrow receivers or to place the ball slightly behind his receivers. His throws often result in very short gains. Consistently better ball placement would result in more yards gained after catch. Carr also seems to be average at best at anticipating where receivers will be, when compared to the truly elite quarterbacks in the league. Carr may be above average overall in this area of accuracy, but definitely not elite.

    Play/game management
    An NFL quarterback needs to be able to change plays at the line of scrimmage after reading the defense. He has to quickly get his players in the right position once a play is called and ensure every player is on the same page in terms of play calling. The best quarterbacks in the league know the down, distance and time on the clock and use all of these data points to their greatest advantage. The top quarterbacks in the NFL also are also able to get one or two offsides per game because they vary their snap counts to draw defenses offside. It may seem to be a little thing -- getting one or two five yard penalties per game against the defense -- but at the right time, it can result in easy first downs to keep drives alive.

    In this area, I would give Carr about a 5 or 6. While he seems to know the offense very well, he often does not consistently change into successful plays. He also rarely draws defenses offside, which means that he allows the defensive line to get a great start on their pass rush. Defenses learn Carr's cadence and take advantage of it as the game progresses. With a little more attention in this area, Carr could help his offensive line tremendously. Carr has also made some terrible decisions about when to throw the ball away, based on time, down and distance, as well as even his remaining time to throw before being sacked.

    Ability to extend plays
    Elite NFL quarterbacks seemingly have eyes in the back of their head. They know when the rush is close. They see the rush caving in around them and can somehow, someway escape, even if it's just to take one step to the left, right, forward or backward to buy that extra split second to extend a play and to give a wide receiver a chance to break open. While some elite quarterbacks in the league are also elite runners, like Kyler Murray, others, like Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady have this innate ability to sense the rush and can move to just the right spot to escape a sack and to create a big play.

    Derek Carr simply does not have this ability. He lacks the instinct to sense the rush and rarely extends plays with his legs or movement in the pocket. Compared to elite NFL quarterbacks, Carr is severely lacking in this area. I'd give him about a 2 or 3 out of 10. He's not the worst in the league, but he's near the bottom.

    Intangibles
    A quarterback is the team leader. The elite NFL quarterbacks command their huddles and emit confidence in all teammates. They also seem to get the best performance out of all of their teammates. They are respected by offensive and defensive players alike. Elite NFL quarterbacks demand perfection from all teammates and don't accept mediocrity from anyone on the team. Elite NFL quarterbacks are viewed by their teammates as the hardest workers on the team and set the tone for the offense and defense.

    In this area, I give Carr about a 5. He's average, but definitely not elite. An elite quarterback simply would not accept losing 5 out of their last seven games. Never. An elite NFL quarterback would be cheering on his defense in key situations and would be rallying players -- both offense and defense -- during adversity. I just don't see Carr doing this. Sure, he works hard and is a good teammate. He's just a "nice guy," not a mean son of a bitch like George Blanda or a demanding leader like Tom Brady.


    The ability to make clutch throws.
    An elite NFL quarterback seems to be able to make the clutch throw at the right time. The window may be small to complete a pass, but an elite NFL quarterback can fit the ball into tight spots at the most crucial time of the game. When the game is on the line, an elite quarterback will more often than not complete passes to keep drives alive, without taking a sack or fumbling the ball away. "Clutch" seems to be their middle name.

    I give Derek Carr about a 5 or 6 in this area. For every game winning fourth quarter drive, Carr has throw the ball away, thrown the ball to a defender or fumbled the ball when sacked. He may be above average, but I just don't seem him anywhere close to elite in this area. Part of the reason Carr has so many fourth quarter drives is that lackluster play by him and other teammates resulted in the loss of a lead. ​

    Here's are two other attributes that I think most people overlook:

    The ability to get "hot" at the right time of the year.
    An elite NFL quarterback always seems to play his best ball in November and December, not September and October. Elite NFL quarterbacks that lead their teams to Super Bowls get hot in the last half of the season, not the first half. As the season closes, these quarterbacks are playing their best ball to create momentum for the the offseason. It's almost as if they know the first half of the season is a practice for the "real" games. It's almost as if a "switch" is turned on and they take their game to another level when the games mean the most.

    As for Derek Carr, I would give him a 2 or 3 -- at best. Carr seemingly starts most seasons hot, but cools down as the season progresses. How many late season losing streaks has this team experienced in recent years? When the games mean the most, Carr plays his worst ball.

    The ability to "tear the heart out" of the other team.
    Elite quarterbacks enjoy "stepping on the throat" of the other team when they get them down. They truly enjoy taking the "fight" out of other teams by adding a touchdown on the board after getting a field goal or touchdown lead. Not only does this demoralize the other team, but it also allows his team's defense to pin their ears back and rush the passer with greater success. Elite quarterbacks don't let up because they know that the NFL is not a "gentleman's league," but a league of warriors. Elite NFL quarterbacks will pour it on when they get ahead, because they know the other team would do the same thing if they had a chance. If you allow any professional team the opportunity to get back into the game, they will.

    In this area, I give Carr a 1 or 2. Period. Carr is not a "killer." He's a nice guy. He doesn't seem to want to pour it on. How many times have you seen us have a touchdown lead at the half result in two or three three and outs to start the second half? How many times have you felt we had a chance to put the game away, only to watch the other team come back after our offense stalled again and again? How many times have we played the fourth quarter knowing that the other team had to pass because we had an overwhelming lead? How many times have you seen our defense be able to just rush the passer because they know the other team won't run? Could this help to explain our lack of pass rush in recent years -- we have fewer chances to just pin our ears back compared to other teams? I can count all of those times we had a huge lead going into the fourth quarter over the past 8 years probably on one hand. This is Carr's greatest weakness as a pro, I believe. He just can't seem to put teams away. He's too nice of a guy.


    Well, there you have it, my assessment of what makes an elite quarterback and how Carr stacks up. Maybe I'm completely wrong, but I think I'm a helluva lot closer to being right than what a few may believe.
    Last edited by raiderman41; 11-22-2021 at 06:07 AM.

  2. #2
    Your right on point
    Fu#k The Rest

  3. #3
    I think you are pretty much on the money. I think he is elite when his head is 100% in the game. With that said, he is easily distracted and only plays at times on an elite level. He also lack pocket presence and even though he is somewhat quick running, it never shows on the field. I cant tell you how many times that even a slow QB could have gained 10-20 yards on a scramble but he just forces it or throws it away. he is also pretty vocal about religion and I think a lot of the younger guys dont buy into that as well and it puts them off, so they cant see him as a leader. I dont have a problem with it, but can see where some people would not like it. In the end, an elite QB does not drive 75 yards, score an easy TD and then follow that up with a very bad interception.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by ILRaidersfan23 View Post
    I think you are pretty much on the money. I think he is elite when his head is 100% in the game. With that said, he is easily distracted and only plays at times on an elite level. He also lack pocket presence and even though he is somewhat quick running, it never shows on the field. I cant tell you how many times that even a slow QB could have gained 10-20 yards on a scramble but he just forces it or throws it away. he is also pretty vocal about religion and I think a lot of the younger guys dont buy into that as well and it puts them off, so they cant see him as a leader. I dont have a problem with it, but can see where some people would not like it. In the end, an elite QB does not drive 75 yards, score an easy TD and then follow that up with a very bad interception.
    I look at it like this. An elite QB will make mistakes, too, but not too often. When the game is on the line, an elite QB will make the right decision, the right throw 9 out of 10 times. Carr will make the right throw, the right decision 4, 5 or 6 times out of 10, depending on how well his head is in the game. He does enough good things to tease, but not enough to create a consistent winner. That's why we see him throw the ball on fourth down with the game on the line, not even giving one of his teammates a chance. This is why we see him fumble in key parts of the game. This is why we see him slide for two yards when he could have gained 7 with a couple more steps. Carr plays scared. Carr is too nice of a guy. He is the type of guy you would enjoy sitting down and watching a ball game with, but not the type of guy you want leading your ball team.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by raiderman41 View Post
    I was thinking this past weekend about what makes an "elite" QB. So many people on this forum strongly support Derek Carr or believe he is the problem wit the Raiders. I've been a fan of the Raiders since 1967 and have watched every QB during that time period. I have also played a lot of football and have done some coaching. I don't claim to know everything about football, but I do believe I have seen enough football to know what makes an elite QB and what doesn't. So, what are the attributes of an elite quarterback.

    Arm strength
    This is probably the least important attribute of an elite QB. An elite NFL QB needs to have a certain level of arm strength, but doesn't need to have an Elway-like arm to be successful in the league.

    On a scale of 1-10, with 1 being the weakest arm in the NFL and 10 being the strongest, Carr is likely a 8 or 9. He has more than adequate arm strength and can make all of the throws. For the most part, Carr's throws are tight spirals with good velocity.

    Accuracy
    This is much more important than pure arm strength. An NFL quarterback must be extremely accurate. He must place passes in a small area where players can not only catch the ball but also have the opportunity to make the most yards after the catch. If you see players reaching for a pass behind them or having to reach high for a pass that doesn't require them to elevate, this means the quarterback hasn't placed the ball in the right place for the best results. Quarterbacks can also "throw receivers open" by placing a ball where only the receiver can catch it, but the defender doesn't have a chance at the interception. Quarterbacks who don't have the strongest arm and are elite are much better at anticipating where receivers will be at any given time and can compensate for their lack of elite arm strength by being elite at ball placement.

    Again, on a scale of 1-10, Carr is about a 6 or 7. While very accurate at times, he also tends to overthrow receivers or to place the ball slightly behind his receivers. His throws often result in very short gains. Consistently better ball placement would result in more yards gained after catch. Carr also seems to be average at best at anticipating where receivers will be, when compared to the truly elite quarterbacks in the league. Carr may be above average overall in this area of accuracy, but definitely not elite.

    Play/game management
    An NFL quarterback needs to be able to change plays at the line of scrimmage after reading the defense. He has to quickly get his players in the right position once a play is called and ensure every player is on the same page in terms of play calling. The best quarterbacks in the league know the down, distance and time on the clock and use all of these data points to their greatest advantage. The top quarterbacks in the NFL also are also able to get one or two offsides per game because they vary their snap counts to draw defenses offside. It may seem to be a little thing -- getting one or two five yard penalties per game against the defense -- but at the right time, it can result in easy first downs to keep drives alive.

    In this area, I would give Carr about a 5 or 6. While he seems to know the offense very well, he often does not consistently change into successful plays. He also rarely draws defenses offside, which means that he allows the defensive line to get a great start on their pass rush. Defenses learn Carr's cadence and take advantage of it as the game progresses. With a little more attention in this area, Carr could help his offensive line tremendously. Carr has also made some terrible decisions about when to throw the ball away, based on time, down and distance, as well as even his remaining time to throw before being sacked.

    Ability to extend plays
    Elite NFL quarterbacks seemingly have eyes in the back of their head. They know when the rush is close. They see the rush caving in around them and can somehow, someway escape, even if it's just to take one step to the left, right, forward or backward to buy that extra split second to extend a play and to give a wide receiver a chance to break open. While some elite quarterbacks in the league are also elite runners, like Kyler Murray, others, like Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady have this innate ability to sense the rush and can move to just the right spot to escape a sack and to create a big play.

    Derek Carr simply does not have this ability. He lacks the instinct to sense the rush and rarely extends plays with his legs or movement in the pocket. Compared to elite NFL quarterbacks, Carr is severely lacking in this area. I'd give him about a 2 or 3 out of 10. He's not the worst in the league, but he's near the bottom.

    Intangibles
    A quarterback is the team leader. The elite NFL quarterbacks command their huddles and emit confidence in all teammates. They also seem to get the best performance out of all of their teammates. They are respected by offensive and defensive players alike. Elite NFL quarterbacks demand perfection from all teammates and don't accept mediocrity from anyone on the team. Elite NFL quarterbacks are viewed by their teammates as the hardest workers on the team and set the tone for the offense and defense.

    In this area, I give Carr about a 5. He's average, but definitely not elite. An elite quarterback simply would not accept losing 5 out of their last seven games. Never. An elite NFL quarterback would be cheering on his defense in key situations and would be rallying players -- both offense and defense -- during adversity. I just don't see Carr doing this. Sure, he works hard and is a good teammate. He's just a "nice guy," not a mean son of a bitch like George Blanda or a demanding leader like Tom Brady.


    The ability to make clutch throws.
    An elite NFL quarterback seems to be able to make the clutch throw at the right time. The window may be small to complete a pass, but an elite NFL quarterback can fit the ball into tight spots at the most crucial time of the game. When the game is on the line, an elite quarterback will more often than not complete passes to keep drives alive, without taking a sack or fumbling the ball away. "Clutch" seems to be their middle name.

    I give Derek Carr about a 5 or 6 in this area. For every game winning fourth quarter drive, Carr has throw the ball away, thrown the ball to a defender or fumbled the ball when sacked. He may be above average, but I just don't seem him anywhere close to elite in this area. Part of the reason Carr has so many fourth quarter drives is that lackluster play by him and other teammates resulted in the loss of a lead. ​

    Here's are two other attributes that I think most people overlook:

    The ability to get "hot" at the right time of the year.
    An elite NFL quarterback always seems to play his best ball in November and December, not September and October. Elite NFL quarterbacks that lead their teams to Super Bowls get hot in the last half of the season, not the first half. As the season closes, these quarterbacks are playing their best ball to create momentum for the the offseason. It's almost as if they know the first half of the season is a practice for the "real" games. It's almost as if a "switch" is turned on and they take their game to another level when the games mean the most.

    As for Derek Carr, I would give him a 2 or 3 -- at best. Carr seemingly starts most seasons hot, but cools down as the season progresses. How many late season losing streaks has this team experienced in recent years? When the games mean the most, Carr plays his worst ball.

    The ability to "tear the heart out" of the other team.
    Elite quarterbacks enjoy "stepping on the throat" of the other team when they get them down. They truly enjoy taking the "fight" out of other teams by adding a touchdown on the board after getting a field goal or touchdown lead. Not only does this demoralize the other team, but it also allows his team's defense to pin their ears back and rush the passer with greater success. Elite quarterbacks don't let up because they know that the NFL is not a "gentleman's league," but a league of warriors. Elite NFL quarterbacks will pour it on when they get ahead, because they know the other team would do the same thing if they had a chance. If you allow any professional team the opportunity to get back into the game, they will.

    In this area, I give Carr a 1 or 2. Period. Carr is not a "killer." He's a nice guy. He doesn't seem to want to pour it on. How many times have you seen us have a touchdown lead at the half result in two or three three and outs to start the second half? How many times have you felt we had a chance to put the game away, only to watch the other team come back after our offense stalled again and again? How many times have we played the fourth quarter knowing that the other team had to pass because we had an overwhelming lead? How many times have you seen our defense be able to just rush the passer because they know the other team won't run? Could this help to explain our lack of pass rush in recent years -- we have fewer chances to just pin our ears back compared to other teams? I can count all of those times we had a huge lead going into the fourth quarter over the past 8 years probably on one hand. This is Carr's greatest weakness as a pro, I believe. He just can't seem to put teams away. He's too nice of a guy.


    Well, there you have it, my assessment of what makes an elite quarterback and how Carr stacks up. Maybe I'm completely wrong, but I think I'm a helluva lot closer to being right than what a few may believe.
    Spot on. You, Raiderman818, myself and a few others have been clamoring on about this for years now.

    What do you reckon the excuse will be this off-season?

    I’ve got my money on the Ruggs and Gruden situations being the reason our offense was abysmal ..

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by DoctorRaider View Post
    Spot on. You, Raiderman818, myself and a few others have been clamoring on about this for years now.

    What do you reckon the excuse will be this off-season?

    I’ve got my money on the Ruggs and Gruden situations being the reason our offense was abysmal ..
    Yep, that would be it....but you look at body language and play, he should be done here. System after system, he's failed at. He has the same habits that eats him up, that underthrown pick to Waller. Someone has mentioned many times, we need the perfect players around him, offensively AND defensively to put together a winning season....sometimes pieces don't mesh, but as the leader you make it work. I'm looking at the Bengals and Burrows, this is a 2nd year QB coming off an ACL, horrific offensive line, he was abused early on, but still stood up, found the open guys, he didn't curl up like a b!tch and give up, he played to win. He banged his ACL knee, and still stood up 2nd half.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Raiderjohn622 View Post
    Yep, that would be it....but you look at body language and play, he should be done here. System after system, he's failed at. He has the same habits that eats him up, that underthrown pick to Waller. Someone has mentioned many times, we need the perfect players around him, offensively AND defensively to put together a winning season....sometimes pieces don't mesh, but as the leader you make it work. I'm looking at the Bengals and Burrows, this is a 2nd year QB coming off an ACL, horrific offensive line, he was abused early on, but still stood up, found the open guys, he didn't curl up like a b!tch and give up, he played to win. He banged his ACL knee, and still stood up 2nd half.
    And we lost to a terrible first year QB, Justin Fields. Carr just can't get it done. So much hope when this season started. Dashed again. Year after year after year with Carr.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by DoctorRaider View Post
    Spot on. You, Raiderman818, myself and a few others have been clamoring on about this for years now.

    What do you reckon the excuse will be this off-season?

    I’ve got my money on the Ruggs and Gruden situations being the reason our offense was abysmal ..
    There are always excuses. We have lost 5 of the last seven. Carr has played in the same season. With Waller, Jacobs, Renfrow and Foster Moreau, surely we should put up more than 13 points AGAINST THE FREAKIN BENGALS! This one and the last couple are on Carr.

  9. #9
    The thing is, unless Deshaun Watson somehow gets out of legal trouble I don't think there's any FA QB out there that is better than Carr. Unless we just want to get rid of him and sign a guy like Sam Darnold, there's really no upgrade over him. Rookie QB class is very weak.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by LA R8R View Post
    The thing is, unless Deshaun Watson somehow gets out of legal trouble I don't think there's any FA QB out there that is better than Carr. Unless we just want to get rid of him and sign a guy like Sam Darnold, there's really no upgrade over him. Rookie QB class is very weak.

    Agree there. We dont want to draft a QB this year, that is for sure. Newton, Winston, Fitz, are no better as FA's. I would think we stick with Carr 1 more year or let him walk and go with Mariota who is also a FA. My bet is Mariota would want a raise if he were the starter so it probably just makes sense to stay with Carr for 1 more and hope for the best.

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