Sports Outside the Beltway

NFL Quarterbacking Not Easy as it Looks

ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, noting that superstar quarterbacks Peyton Manning and Tom Brady had less-than-stellar performances in wins during this weekend’s playoff games, observes that,

Playing quarterback isn’t as easy as what you see on TV or in the stands or on the NFL game tapes that show a pristine high-angle view of what the quarterback sees or doesn’t see.

In addition, the ever-growing difficulty of making pre-snap reads against clever defensive disguises makes it even harder. A quarterback has about three seconds (four seconds on a lucky play) to take a snap, retreat from center if he’s not in the shotgun, process what he thinks he sees, then set and deliver the ball accurately to a receiver — this, with 21 other bodies flying around in front of him. And that’s if his linemen keep his pocket clean. He sees it from ground level, not from a bird’s-eye view above the fray.

It’s a point worth remembering.

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