Steve Young has resumed his weekly discussions about the NFL, quarterbacks, and whatever else comes up in the course of the conversation.  He’s always interesting and has a unique perspective on the NFL.  When I started posting on this last year, I explained that I believe there are lessons that can be applied in any setting.  Steve Young talks about player development, strategy, communication, attitude and many other factors that determine success in the NFL or anywhere you find yourself.

This week he gives his thoughts on Randy Moss and talks about what it takes to be a successful quarterback.  What I find particularly interesting are the different paths to success in the NFL.  Conventional wisdom suggests that you need a player like Tom Brady, Peyton Manning or Drew Brees who can spread the ball around and utilize his formidable weapons to take advantage of a defense’s weaknesses.  Steve Young takes a more nuanced view.  I included some excerpts below but I encourage you to listen to the whole thing.

Interviewer2:  Do you see Andrew Luck as the last of the classically-trained pocket quarterbacks?
Steve Young: I think it will be a mix.  You’ll see guys like RG III (Robert Griffin III) press the edges.  You’ll see Michael Vick do it less and less as he matures.  Hopefully you’ll see more guys with legs that can stand the test of what it takes to be an NFL quarterback, to deliver it from the pocket.  If you’re one of these efficiency-championship quarterbacks (Tom Brady, Peyton Manning) you’re going to do really well.  If you can do the job and have the legs you get capitulation from defenses.

Interviewer1: I took the playoff teams from last year and tried to figure out what the common denominators were and the 3 most prominent stats were turnover differential, quarterback rating, and quarterback efficiency (TD/Int ratio).  It wasn’t necessarily that you had to be Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady and throw for 300 yds/game but when you threw the ball you better be efficient.  You wouldn’t consider Alex Smith to be in the same class with those other guys but his rating was very good and his efficiency was very very good last year and that was one of the reasons the 49ers were in the NFC Championship game.
Steve Young: No question.  That’s why there are 5 new starting quarterbacks in the league this year.  Teams know if we can get a guy and develop him we have a chance to be there.  You don’t get there unless you have a guy that can dictate to defenses, be efficient, put the ball in the end zone instead of kicking field goals, and generally dominate from the spot the league has put you in a place to do it.

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