CowBoys ~ 6021/207
1 ~ Processing Speed
2 ~ Precision
3 ~ Pocket Presence
4 ~ FirePower
Processing Speed is my measure for a Player's capacity to Rapidly Read & React to the dynamically developing Tactical LandScape. This Capacity is crucial to the success of all 22 Players on the Field, but above all to the QuarterBack. Diagnostic Acuity supports this and is also crucial, but Knowledge without Processing Speed is fatal.
Precision speaks above all to Mechanics: A QuarterBack's consistency with his Stance, his Set Up, and his Delivery. I refer to consistent Accuracy in the Short & Intermediate Zones, where the best Offenses all make their Bread & Butter. In breaking it down, I'm looking at Timing, Placement, and Leading Receivers to DayLight.
Pocket Presence is all about how the QuarterBack responds to Pressure. Precision against mediocre Defenses or within simple Schemes matters not, if a QuarterBack mentally locks up under genuine Pressure against the better Defenses in The Only Games That Really Matter. Frankly, I'm not entirely sure that I even need this Category, because I strongly suspect that how a QuarterBack handles Pressure is far less about Testicular Fortitude than it is about Processing Speed.
FirePower is another Category that I am ambivalent about including, for it is simply DownField Precision. Furthermore, I don't consider it anywhere near as Short & Intermediate Precision, because DownField Precision makes for lovely HighLight Footage, but it's Short & Intermediate Precision that Moves The Chains and wins Championships.
Please note, if you will: I list FirePower last of the 4 Attributes I value most...and don't list 40 Speed at all.
Beyond this point, my Fellow FootBall Fanatics, you will find a lengthy Dissertation about QuarterBacks. Should you wish to take a look, I will of course be honored. But should you wish to spare yourself, the actual Scouting Report is far below!!
Yon Rambling Dissertation
Arm Strength is vastly overrated, and scrambling ability, while exciting, is ultimately worse than useless, because History makes it clear that noteworthy Scramblers, over the years ~ and indeed, the same could be said about the thousands of QuarterBacks who've failed despite a great Arm ~ ultimately fail to focus all their energy on QuarterBacking.
Mobility, alike, is vastly overrated. Steve Young is the only Scrambler who ever won a Super Bowl, and he won it because he was on a great team, because Barry Switzer can't coach at the NFL level or the CowBoys would've rolled the Miners again in 1994, and because he eased up on the scrambling. He became a QuarterBack.
Mind you: I'd hardly suggest that Arm Strength isn't nice to have...But the temptation to let'er rip ~ and to relying on that Capacity ~ can have a crippling effect on developing those skills that most matter, deep in the Heart of Winter.
And often they have been.
Countless times, in fact.
And don't get me started on Scrambling.
Processing Speed and an insatiable Work Ethic, producing that relentless Devotion to mastering every possible Aspect of the Job ~ the Aspects I've listed above ~ and Balls are what ultimately win Championships.
It's not as easy as simply counting the Rings, because Fortune & Circumstance play a large part in the Fates of Men.
And it sure as Hell isn't racking up gaudy Statistic during the regular Season. It's the Capacity and the Will to do the thousands of little things that put one's team in the best position to win, day in and day out ~ and doing them well ~ that is the ultimate measure of any QuarterBack, albeit one ~ ironically ~ that's impossible to quantify.
It's the ability to Read & React with Speed & deadly Accuracy against the nastiest, wiliest Defenses on the Planet, deep in the Heart of Winter...and the Will to dedicate Years to intensive Training & Study in order to be able to.
That ~ and his willingness to Use The Whole Pig ~ is what once separated Tom Brady from the Pack.
Precision. Adept. His Mechanics aren't perfect, by any stretch, but he usually squares up nicely and delivers with Accuracy, Timing, and Touch in the Short and Intermediate Zones, and that's where Chains are moved and Championships won.
Pocket Presence. Inconsistent, but with exciting Potential. Smith needs Coaching, to be sure, but he already displays an extraordinary level of Comfort and Instincts, moving around in the Pocket. And he shows very little Fear of the Pass Rush. Those remarkably fast feet are an awesome advantage, and with his mentally tough make up and his raw but highly impressive Processing Speed, I believe he'll become an exceptional Pocket Passer.
FirePower. Mediocre, but not weak, and with developing Mechanics, I expect he'll become Adept or better.
On the face of it, it may look like he makes too many mistakes and takes too many chances. That seems to be a common perception amongst the Evaluations I've read. And I've also read concerns about his Pocket Presence.
But my Perception is very different on both of those Aspects. I'm a great believer in Context, and Smith played for a weak CowBoy Team that often played from a large Deficit, and he played behind a porous Offensive Line. The majority of the time, Smith was facing a Defense that knew he was probably going to Pass.
As such, it seems to me that a great many of the dangerous Passes he's thrown were, for lack of a better term, necessary, due to the enormous Deficits he was working with...and that much of what has been characterized as Skittery Pocket Presence was his simply trying to survive, out there, behind a collapsing Front Line.
My Perception, in fact, is that Brett Smith consistently displayed exceptional Pocket Presence Traits: He consistently stood steady in the face of collapsing Pockets, he employed extraordinarily fast feet to buy time, while showing improving Instincts for the Pass Rush, and he also consistently kept his eyes up and facing DownField.
Those, Ladies & Laddies, are precisely the crucial Attributes that make for an exceptional QuarterBack.
Brett Smith is by all accounts a natural Leader, a tremendous TeamMate, and a voracious Worker with a great mind.
His Trajectory is nevertheless to a great extent a Mystery, and I will grade'm accordingly.
Thanks, as always, to the extraordinary Work by the men of Draft BreakDown!!
Perceived Market Value