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EFLI Understanding the quarterback

In the searing intensity of a deeply physical battle, the quarterback is the leader of men. He is expected to be strong in body and mind, able to impose will and guile to push his opponents back even as he leads the charge for his team.After all, football in this form is as much about gaining yards as it is about the orgasmic act of chest heaving touchdowns.

description. Given the exalted position of the QB in the scheme of a football match, there is a natural burden of responsibility that comes with the territory. The rewards are commensurate too – the joy of driving the team deep into the enemy’s lair and the scent of the end zone are beyond description.

The quarterback runs the play for his team. Upon receiving the snap from the centre in a scrimmage, the QB decides whether to pitch the ball to the running back or to one of the wide receivers to try and help his team forage ahead on the field. At times the QB can decide to sneak ahead without passing the ball.

The objective is to advance at least ten yards downfield toward enemy space and each team has a maximum of four downs to achieve the distance. Based on the intentions of the opponent’s defensive line, the QB has just a few seconds to decide if he wants to pass wide or pitch it to the full back to gain some time to counter the defensive lines.

Strong arms, nimble legs and a refined understanding of the field are essential ingredients for the success of a QB. He also needs to have the knowledge to visualize the flow of the game with a downfield vision that can help move ahead toward the strike zone.

Communication is also an important element determining the success of the team. The support staff relies on the quarterback to translate their ideas to the team. The QB needs to have a constant line of interaction with the outlying receivers and the men in his backline.

As the man steering the ship, it is left to the QB to determine the course of his soldiers as they constantly battle to gain space on the field. The outcome of the game and the fortunes of the team lay firmly on the shoulders of the QB. The success or failure of a team could often be determined by his ability to understand situations and marshal resources to the benefit of the team.

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