Thursday, November 14, 2013

Backup QBs, already important, will be even more so in A11FL

The thought goes that there is no more popular player on a football team than the backup quarterback.

A11 Football League fans better get ready to see a lot of backup quarterbacks – both by design and by necessity.

Think about how much backup quarterbacks already play in professional football:

-       Through 10 weeks of the 2013 National Football League season, 57 quarterbacks have thrown at least one pass for 32 teams, and 46 quarterbacks have started at least one game.

-       Through the entire 2013 Canadian Football League season, 27 quarterbacks threw at least one pass for 8 teams.

That’s an average of 1.78 quarterbacks to throw a pass per NFL team (and the season isn’t over yet), and an average of 3.38 quarterbacks to throw a pass per CFL team.

The reasons for this are obvious – injury, ineffectiveness, goal-line/short-yardage/other packages for backups, etc.

In professional football, having a high-quality backup quarterback isn’t just a luxury, but a necessity. And in the A11FL, having a high-quality backup quarterback will be paramount.

A successful A11FL offense is going to feature a starting quarterback who is equally adept at taking a run-pass option play and turning it into a 30-yard touchdown pass or a 30-yard touchdown run. What that means is an A11FL starting quarterback is going to get hit – a lot. So the first factor of a quarterback change – injury – will apply in the A11FL at some point.

And, of course, there are going to be times when an A11FL starting quarterback starts a game 3-for-10 with two interceptions and a couple negative runs, and the head coach will want to make a change. That’s inevitable, too.

But in the A11FL, there also will be times when an offensive coordinator will want to run some double-QB packages – particularly if the team has a left-handed pivot on the roster. An A11FL backup quarterback may have plays designed for him to throw 5-10 passes per game, and, of course, there are so many scheme possibilities for passes and runs when two quarterbacks are on the field at the same time.

Once A11FL teams begin stocking their rosters, keep an eye not only on the marquee starting quarterbacks who will sign on, but how good the backup quarterbacks will be. Due to the nature of professional football, and the A11FL in particular, those backups are going to have to be just that – good.

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