I’ve written in the past about my days as a quarterback in high school. I’ve always rooted for the black quarterbacks in the NFL. I’m a big Cam Newton fan and I hope he has long-term success in the National Football League.
I believe for that to happen, he has to tighten up his mechanics. Right now, he’s playing off of talent and strength. He’s all arm on most days. Newton rarely steps into throws. He’s strong enough to get away with that right now, but if and when his physical skills erode he will need to rely on mechanics more.
Donovan McNabb is my prime example of this. He was very gifted, but when his skills eroded, he didn’t have good mechanics in place to make up for the lack of velocity on his passes. He fell off almost as fast as Hakeem Olajuwon did a couple of years after the 1995 championship.
Technique can make up for physical deficiencies in sports. When it comes to playing the position of quarterback, accuracy is almost everything. Good decision making is a major part as well, but once you know where you want to throw it, you have to be able to put it where it needs to be, so the receiver can be the only one to catch it and make a football play.
Too many physically gifted quarterbacks fall in love with their arm strength and throw off of their back leg. Stepping into throws allows a quarterback to direct his passes better, so that they don’t tend to sail high or fall short, if you let the ball go too late in your throwing motion.
It also can give you a little more zip on your ball. Newton has the tendency to stand straight up in the pocket and wait until the last possible second to throw the ball when his man becomes open because he has the arm to do it.
Brett Favre was notorious for this and that’s part of the reason he is the all time interceptions leader. His mechanics were horrible, but his arm was legendary. Peyton Manning never had that Mossberg 12 gauge shotgun arm, but his knowledge of the route tree, playbook, and receiver’s tendencies allowed him to anticipate where they would be better than any quarterback that I’ve ever seen.
I’m hoping Cam perfects his pocket footwork and in game awareness so that he can still be effective in his upper thirties and forties like his mentor, and Hall of Famer, Warren Moon.
We may be looking at an all-time great and second black quarterback to make it to Canton if he does. Congrats young man on well-deserved success and I hope you close the deal in Super Bowl 50 against Hall of Famer to be, Peyton Manning, and the Denver Broncos.
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Sha Alheem aka 12 The Black QB Guy