A quarterback is one of the eleven offensive players on the field during an American Football game. The QB is primarily a passer on plays but can also hand the ball off to a running back to run on running plays or run the ball themselves. Here is the complete breakdown of what a quarterback does and more in American Football.
What is the Role of the Quarterback Position in Football?
A quarterback in College Football, Canadian Football, or the NFL is the leader of the offense. They are the ones that hear the play call from the offensive coordinator via their radio helmet and then relay that info to their teammates in the huddle. Not only that, but the QB needs to understand each play entirely, so they need to learn the playbook during practice before every game.
Before the QB takes a snap from the center to begin the offense, they survey the defense. If the QB determines a mismatch where the defense can stop the offensive play from generating positive yards, they will call an audible. An audible is when a play (offense or defense) changes to a different play formation at the last second.
Once the ball is snapped from the center to the QB, the QB needs to pass the ball, hand it off, or even run with it themselves. They need to time their pass to an eligible receiver perfectly to generate positive yards on the play. During a running play with a halfback, they need to hand the ball off, and when they run, they need to make sure they don’t get injured.
What is the Role of the Backup Quarterback Position?
A backup quarterback has a few primary responsibilities. First, they take the same drills as the QB during practice to understand the playbook and substitute for the starting quarterback if anything happens during a game. For example, the starting quarterback might get injured during a game, so the backup needs to come in and continue the starting QB’s strategy.
Second, backups are usually watching the game in real-time with what the QB is doing. For example, you might see the backup QB sit with the starting QB when the offense is on the sidelines. Having the QB look at the replay video with the backup QB can uncover their mistake on a play or see how they could be effective on a specific pass. There is a lot of communication between the two players since the backup is watching the QB and giving them instant feedback during the game.
Third, backup quarterbacks are usually part of special teams via the field goal attempt. They are the ones who catch the football from the long snapper and then need to place the ball on the ground for the kicker to kick. Teams have them as the holder on a field goal attempt because they can pass on a trick play, which means the holder now becomes the QB and can pass the ball.
Can the QB Hear the Offensive Plays?
Yes, a QB has a radio in their helmet that allows them to hear the offensive play from their offensive coordinator. However, once there are 15 seconds or less before the team needs to snap the ball, the radio goes silent. That is when you will see the QB call an audible if they were unable to hear the play or if they have to make a last-second change to the offensive play.
What Makes for a Good Quarterback on a Football Team?
A good quarterback in high school, college, or the NFL needs to have a few things. First, the QB needs to be a leader who can command the respect of their team. The QB needs the players to trust them on their play calling.
Second, a QB needs to read what the defensive players are doing and counter their defense with an audible if required. For example, the head coach might call a running play, but the QB sees the defense blitz as they line up on the line of scrimmage. If that is the case, the QB can quickly call an audible for a screen pass to a receiver to counter the blitz.
Third, a QB needs to be accurate with their passes to eligible receivers. For instance, Aaron Rodgers led the league with a 70.7% pass completion rate and led the league with 48 touchdowns in 2020. Meanwhile, Drew Lock had a 57.3% pass completion rate and led the league with 15 interceptions in 2020. Not throwing the ball inaccurately to receivers can lead to more interceptions, hurting the NFL team trying to win the game.
Fourth, a QB needs to be mentally and physically tough. While this football position doesn’t get hit as often as a running back, for example, they still might get knocked down on throws from defensive backs. A strong QB needs to be mentally tough to take a hit and physically tough to recover from being hit to the ground multiple times throughout a game.
What is the QB Passer Rating?
The QB Passer Rating is a way to measure how effective the QB was during passing plays in a game. The formula takes total passing attempts, completions, yards, and interceptions into the mix, with the lowest being 0 and the best being 158.3. College football has a slightly different metric system that goes from -731.6 to 126.6
Check out the NFL Passer Rating article to understand the formula in further detail.
Who had The Best QB Passer Rating in 2020?
Aaron Rodgers had the highest passer rating with 121.5 in 2020. After him, you had Deshaun Watson with 112.4. In third place, Patrick Mahomes had a 108.2. Tom Brady, who was number nine on the list in 2020, had a 102.2 passer rating.
Check out the complete list of players with their QB rating on Pro-Football-Reference.com.
Who Had the Most Touchdowns as an NFL Quarterback in 2020?
Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers led the league with 48 touchdowns in 2020. After him, Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks and Tom Brady of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had the second most touchdowns with 40. Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs was in third place with 38 touchdowns.
Check out the complete list of touchdown leaders on Pro-Football-Reference.com.
What Quarterback has the Most Career Passing Touchdowns in the NFL?
As of December 2021, Tom Brady has the most passing touchdowns in their career with 611. In the second place, you have Drew Brees with 571. Third place has Peyton Manning with 539, and fourth place is Brett Favre with 508. Check out the complete list of career passing touchdowns on StatMuse.
What Quarterback has the Most Career Rushing Touchdowns in the NFL?
As of December 2021, Cam Newton has the most rushing touchdowns in their career, with 73. The second most rushing TD’s as a QB belongs to Steve Young, who had 43. After that, Jack Kemp had 37 in their career. Check out the complete list of rushing TD’s by QB’s on StatMuse.
What Quarterback has the Most Super Bowl Wins?
Tom Brady has the most super bowl rings in his career, with six coming with the New England Patriots and one with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Below is a list of the QB’s with the most rings in their career. If you want the complete list of players, you can visit SI.com.
- Tom Brady: 7 Super Bowl Rings
- Joe Montana: 4 Super Bowl Rings
- Terry Bradshaw: 4 Super Bowl Rings
- Troy Aikman: 3 Super Bowl Rings
- Eli Manning: 2 Super Bowl Rings
What is the Average Height and Weight of a QB Position Player?
According to Uidaho.edu, the average height of an NFL QB is 75.43 inches (6 foot 3 inches) and 224.97 pounds. A Tight End position is similar to a QB with 76.54 inches of height but is much heavier at 254.26 pounds.
Are There any QBs in the National League Football Hall of Fame?
There are 26 quarterback players in the NFL Hall of Fame as of December 2021. Some of the most famous names include Brett Favre, Troy Aikman, Terry Bradshaw, John Elway, Peyton Manning, Joe Montana, and Kurt Warner. If you are looking for the complete breakdown of QB’s in the hall of fame, you should check out the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Conclusion: What is a Quarterback in Football
In summary, a quarterback is one of the most important offensive players on the field. The QB needs to be in sync with their head coach and run the offense the way they want for that game. Not only does the QB need to be the leader on the field, but they need to throw the ball accurately on every play and give their team the best chance to score on offense with last-second play calling.