The Era of the Scrambling QB!

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The Era of the Scrambling QB!

Postby Cult of Dionysus » Tue Dec 03, 2019 7:01 am

It seems that we are witnessing the beginning of a new era in the NFL, the era of the scrambling QB.

Over the history of the NFL, there have been a handful of QBs who have had various amounts of success with their legs. However, these players have been isolated forerunners, who have shown the potential that a scrambling QB could have, but really were isolated examples, usually dismissed or ignored in terms of what they could do.

Fran Tarkenton
Roger Staubach
Randall Cunningham
Steve Young
Michael Vick

However, what we are seeing now goes far beyond what we've ever seen before. Arguably, most of the top QBs in the league right now are scrambling QBs, guys who threaten defenses with their legs almost as much as with their arms and in some cases, like Lamar Jackson, pose a greater danger on the ground.

Russel Wilson
Lamar Jackson
Deshaun Watson
Kyler Murray

Pat Mahomes (more mobile than scrambling)
Carson Wentz (more mobile than scrambling)

They pose such a danger to defenses, that they force defenses to compromise their pass defense to account for and protect against the QB gaining yards on the ground. And when defenses over-compensate against the run, the QB goes over top and kills them with a pass down-field to a DK Metcalf or a Hollywood Brown or a Will Fuller or a Christian Kirk/Andy Isabella.

Interesting times for NFL defenses and dynasty managers.

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Re: The Era of the Scrambling QB!

Postby Mjvb5 » Tue Dec 03, 2019 7:37 am

Could be that with the changing NFL rules regarding how you can hit the QB its making it so that the more leaner lankier mobile QBs are able to play in this style and not get out right murdered.
Given the counter argument to that is that the players making the hits are bigger, faster and stronger than they were back then and also that modern data suggests that QB injury is more correlated to the total sum of hits and is almost completely unrelated to overall size.

Could be that teams are seeming to care less about a player fitting a given mold, well except Elway, and are now giving talent the chance and value it deserves rather than trying to fit a player into a role that doesn't suit them or just dismissing them.

Ultimately as a viewer I love it. Allows more variations of QBs to play there game and succeed at it, allows more talent to succeed in the NFL as its viewed as a plus rather than a negative because they don't fit the "prototype".
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Re: The Era of the Scrambling QB!

Postby Phaded » Tue Dec 03, 2019 7:39 am

Don't forget about Josh Allen. Although he has done a bit less of it this year.

Mobility has always been important, but I think a lot of the rule changes have made these guys a lot more viable because they are far more protected from the vicious hits.

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Re: The Era of the Scrambling QB!

Postby bjd5211 » Tue Dec 03, 2019 7:47 am

It's because that is what is coming up through the HS and College ranks now. Youth coaches have decided to take the best athlete on the team and put them at the only position that touches the ball every single play, rather than at WR/CB/RB like they used to. It's causing the game and the way it's played to change and evolve, and is going to become the new normal.

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Re: The Era of the Scrambling QB!

Postby Servo » Tue Dec 03, 2019 7:49 am

I also have to imagine mobile QB's are becoming more successful since OL play appears to be severely hit or miss year over year.

CHI + LAR had awesome blocking a year ago, and their drop-off has been immense.
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Re: The Era of the Scrambling QB!

Postby Cult of Dionysus » Tue Dec 03, 2019 7:56 am

I don't necessarily agree that the new rules are the reason why we are seeing more scrambling QBs. The protection rules apply to QBs when they are in the pocket, not when they are running.

I think it is a cultural shift that is the basis for the new era. Until very recently, NFL front offices prioritized tall, strong, big-armed (and White) guys as their prototypical QBs from Peyton Mannings to Blake Bortles. Most of these guys (except recent examples like Carson Wentz and Josh Allen) were fairly immobile.

It is largely the work of Russel Wilson and Drew Brees, who have broken the mold and given NFL front offices reason to believe and trust in shorter QBs, who typically are also faster and more nimble. This has allowed guys like Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray a chance to get draft early and basically handed the reigns to a franchise.

College schemes helped as well, with the advent of more aggressive run n shoot spread offenses across the nation. These types of offenses need not only an accurate QB, but typically benefit and can get huge advantages from a mobile one who can gouge defenses who are backing up to cover 4 or 5 receivers.

Race also plays a factor. While a few black QBs did find success as NFL passers (Warren Moon, Steve McNair, etc), it is clear that we are also witnessing the coming out of the black quarterback as not only a great athlete, but also a dangerous, capable passer. Again, Russel Wilson probably deserves more credit than anyone in changing perceptions when it comes to this issue, paving the way for Deshaun Watson, Pat Mahomes, Lamar Jackson and Kyler Murray.

Next year, we get Tua, who is another short, fast, nimble athlete and incredibly talented and skilled thrower. That skill set gives him a far better probability of finding success than a QB who relies entirely on his arm and his decision making in the pocket to hurt defenses (like a Burrow or a Fromm).

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Re: The Era of the Scrambling QB!

Postby bjd5211 » Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:04 am

Cult of Dionysus wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 7:56 am

Next year, we get Tua, who is another short, fast, nimble athlete and incredibly talented and skilled thrower. That skill set gives him a far better probability of finding success than a QB who relies entirely on his arm and his decision making in the pocket to hurt defenses (like a Burrow or a Fromm).
Burrow does not rely entirely on his arm and may actually be a bit better of an athlete than Tua, especially with the hip injury. He's not Lamar/Wilson with his legs but he's not a statue either, he's more similar to Romo/Rodgers where he can move around and escape the pocket, throw on the run and make positive gains on the ground when the opportunities arise.

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Re: The Era of the Scrambling QB!

Postby nathanq42 » Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:12 am

I think it was inevitable... If you can find a guy with the arm talent of Peyton Manning with the ability to scramble and keep the play alive longer, why not take him over vanilla Peyton Manning? Also lets not forget one of the GOATs, Aaron Rodgers has had a tonne of incredible scrambles over the years.

Its more exciting, and more effective. As mentioned earlier in this thread and I've said it other places, if a defense HAS to waste a LB as a spy every play that is one less zone or mane the defense can cover, and with spread offenses that are utilizing 5 receivers much more often than before that can be deadly. And if you dont spend a LB on spy duty you get burnt by a QB that can run, that can run and pass, or that can just straight up pass well enough to still make the play like any other statue QB can. Plus with how the WR meta has shifted to separation over domination good luck trying to cover hollywood, tyreak, or lockette for 4 seconds on a scramble.

Its basically like constantly having an RPO every play but the the order of reads are flipped, its like having a PRO every play... good luck shutting that down...
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Re: The Era of the Scrambling QB!

Postby CGW » Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:21 am

I think the rule changes have definitely opened the door for more variance at the QB position but not just at the NFL level. Youth leagues have been implementing many of the same rules to reduce injury, and that is likely where we see many of these players learning the playstyle. We also now have top tier athletes that would have likely focused on other sports in the past that are now comfortable with the injury risk in football (again not just NFL, but in youth sports). Think Murray and Wilson. These guys could have easily made money in baseball with almost zero risk of injury. In my day we didn't have a single baseball/basketball player on my HS team that even considered football as an option despite being exception athletes.

I think we will continue to see this trend even more as kids try to emulate this style of successful NFL running QBs. It's fun and glorious. Just like Curry changing the modern NBA.
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Re: The Era of the Scrambling QB!

Postby killer_of_giants » Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:50 am

Cult of Dionysus wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 7:56 am
I don't necessarily agree that the new rules are the reason why we are seeing more scrambling QBs. The protection rules apply to QBs when they are in the pocket, not when they are running.
yeah, but 30 years ago you needed to be built like a brick shithouse to sustain all those hits in the pocket.

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Re: The Era of the Scrambling QB!

Postby Friction » Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:54 am

It will be interesting to see how the NFL views a guy like Jalen Hurts then. Will somebody take an early shot on him due to his running ability, thinking they can develop an offense based on that skillset?
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Re: The Era of the Scrambling QB!

Postby nathanq42 » Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:00 am

Friction wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:54 am
It will be interesting to see how the NFL views a guy like Jalen Hurts then. Will somebody take an early shot on him due to his running ability, thinking they can develop an offense based on that skillset?
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Re: The Era of the Scrambling QB!

Postby Servo » Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:09 am

Burrow is a mobile QB or should I say, mobile enough...400 rush yards in 2018 and 250 in 2019. I think Goff had negative rushing yards in college lol.

I'm honestly intrigued by Jalen Hurts, I'm hoping he goes "relatively" high say 2nd or 3rd round to a decent team. Easily worth a flier if he was a 3rd round rookie pick or later.
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Re: The Era of the Scrambling QB!

Postby Cult of Dionysus » Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:13 am

Jimmy GQ is mobile. Sam Darnold is mobile. Aaron Rodgers is mobile. Joe Montana was mobile.

But none of these guys scare(d) a defense.

The 49ers Ravens game this last weekend was a perfect example. Think Jimmy GQ ran for like 10 yards. He could have easily gained more, but the team and him simply don't use him like that, even in a huge game that they had a chance at winning. Why? Cuz Jimmy GQ isn't a scrambling QB. Look what happened when he tried it last year, he busted his knee trying to slide.

I see really 4 tiers of QBs:

Statues
Mobile
Scrambler
Run 1st

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Re: The Era of the Scrambling QB!

Postby killer_of_giants » Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:24 am

Cult of Dionysus wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:13 am
Cuz Jimmy GQ isn't a scrambling QB. Look what happened when he tried it last year, he busted his knee trying to slide.
not exactly, he busted his knee trying to get a couple of (useless) extra yards.
big ben is the one who can't slide.


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