Technology helps prepare young QBs
April, 26, 2012
By Zach McCann | ESPN.com
Quarterbacks are entering the NFL more polished than ever -- and that's no coincidence.
Streeter Lecka/Getty ImagesYoung quarterbacks like Cam Newton are able to prepare for the NFL like never before thanks in part to technological advancements.
Guys such as Cam Newton, Andy Dalton, Joe Flacco, Matt Ryan and even Tim Tebow have made decisions and read defenses better than most rookie quarterbacks in previous decades.
Part of this recent trend, something Stanford's Andrew Luck and Baylor's Robert Griffin III hope to be a part of, is the access to information from a very young age thanks to technology. Chris Smith wrote about it in a story on Grantland.
"If John Elway were in high school now, his father wouldn't have to find him the best high school quarterback coach. Instead, Elway would have all the materials he could ever want, from whatever coach or system he wants, on his computer or iPad," Smith wrote. "Quarterbacks can live anywhere and still learn state-of-the-art schemes and techniques in their backyards. Then, when they enter the NFL, they can be more physically and cognitively ready, equipped with advanced understandings of defensive structure and leverage, and ready to learn an NFL attack."
Even five years ago, if a rookie quarterback wanted to put in extra film work, he had to do so in a dark, cramped room at the team headquarters. Now, thanks to iPad apps such as the one the Broncos use called PlayerLync, a young quarterback can take his film and playbook with him everywhere he goes. He can study on the ride home, on flights, after dinner, on the beach or even at the club while his girl's in the bathroom.
Add this to the fact that young athletes are attending quarterback camps in junior high and college programs are becoming increasingly pass heavy, and it seems the recent influx of polished, pro-ready quarterbacks will continue.