TRMMQB: Random thoughts on QB play in the NFL

Street Talk TRMMQB: Random thoughts on QB play in the NFL

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AFC East

In Miami, Chad Henne is not yet what the Dolphins need at the position.  Although capable of big plays at times, Henne’s game-by-game stats in 2010 tell a clear story, thus far. In the Dolphins’ 4 wins this season, Henne has averaged 6.2 yards per attempt and only 0.5 INTs per game. In their 4 losses, Henne has averaged 7.8 yards per attempt and nearly 2 INTs per game. Translation: The Dolphins find their success in running the football and asking Henne to complete short and intermediate-range throws –  a sign of a QB not yet ready to take over games consistently.

AFC West

The Chargers are reminding us the game changes in the red zone (and that pass defense also matters!)……Philip Rivers is on pace for an all-time record for passing yardage in a season, the Chargers average 4.2 yards per rush, and the defense has given up an average of less than 20 points in 4 of SD’s losses – but San Diego is 3-5. The most interesting stat – the Chargers are ranked 15th in the league in red zone scoring percentage  – proves the only Offensive stat we should truly care about is…….total points scored.

AFC North

Carson Palmer is in the midst of his most inconsistent season to date. In the Bengals’ 4 losses, Palmer has been uneven and has looked uncharacteristically unsure of himself on deeper routes, despite relatively good pass protection. Things will not get any easier in ’10. Still remaining on Cincinnati’s schedule are the pass defenses of the Steelers (twice), Indy, the Jets, and the Ravens. Ouch.

AFC South

I have to confess a soft spot for Quarterbacks that just do not look like Quarterbacks (Rohan Davey comes to mind), and David Garrard fits that description at 6’1” and 236 lbs. From his days at East Carolina (the school the Jaguars drafted him from on the 4th round in 2002), Garrard has had a knack for big plays and streaks of amazing Quarterback play, while serving as the perfectly efficient compliment to the run game. 2010 is no different. In all 4 of Jacksonville’s wins this season, Garrard has completed >75% of his passes, with a TD-INT ratio of 12-1. If you do not have one of the league’s premier QBs under center for your team, Garrard-type efficiency is the next best thing.

NFC East

Donovan McNabb is not the guy Mike Shanahan wants at the wheel in Washington. First citing McNabb’s lack of familiarity with the two-minute offense, then asserting that McNabb was not physically fit enough to be on the field late in Sunday’s loss at Detroit indicate a serious desire on the part of Shanahan to turn the page on the McNabb era at the end of 2010.

NFC West

Is the NFC West the division that boasts the NFL’s worst collective Quarterback play in 2010?…..Yes! Matt Hassellbeck has played below his standard in Seattle. The roof fell in during the offseason for Arizona, leaving the Cardinals with a Max Hall-Derek Anderson duo that is just not the answer. Alex Smith has played to an average-at-best level over six seasons, and that continues in 2010. St. Louis’ Sam Bradford is playing too soon and has been inaccurate on too many intermediate throws, but has been the best of the division, while showing some positive signs leading a competitive Rams team.

Side note: It was great to see Troy Smith enjoy some success in leading the 49ers to a victory over Denver…..

NFC North

Aaron Rodgers has taken several questionable chances on some throws this year that resulted in INTs, but that could be at least in part due to anxiousness to deliver the ball quickly after leading the NFL in total sacks taken – with 50! – in 2009. That said, Rodgers has completed some difficult balls and has led a team that could easily be 7-1 at the midway point.

NFC South

While the Bucs’ Josh Freeman has been the surprise of the division, Drew Brees is still the top dog in the NFC South. Although he has forced some throws at times – a product of his considerable confidence as a passer – Brees has completed 70% of his passes on the year. He also has the Saints in the mix for an NFC playoff berth – no easy accomplishment, given recent Super Bowl champions’ “season after” performances.
Chris Johnston is the Founder & Director of Complete QB, an organization that conducts Quarterback Development Camps, publishes football coaching books and videos, and contributes to numerous media outlets regarding NCAA and NFL Quarterback play. Visit

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Chris Johnston

About Chris Johnston

The Complete QB Team Clinics and Individual Coaching Sessions are provided by the Complete QB Founder and Director, Christopher Johnston. For over a decade, Coach Johnston has trained young men in the Quarterback position, including high school Quarterbacks who earned HCIAA Honors in 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2008. His success with Quarterbacks is due to Coach Johnston’s approach as a teacher of those playing the position.
Coach Johnston was previously the QB and DB Coach at Hudson Catholic Regional High School (2007 Group 3 State Semi-Finalist and 2008 Group 2 State Finalist) in Jersey City, New Jersey. Coach Johnston also served as the Defensive Coordinator, Assistant Head Coach, and Quarterbacks Coach at Xavier High School in New York, New York. Coach Johnston’s assessment and coaching skills have earned him a solid reputation for his ability to develop Quarterbacks among his coaching peers and thousands of athletes.
Since 2004, in addition to his on-field coaching experience, Coach Johnston’s expertise has afforded him multiple opportunities to appear regularly on a variety of Sports Talk Radio Shows regarding the NCAA and NFL Quarterback play. 

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