"You're a goddamn quarterback! You know what that means? It's the top spot, kid. It's the guy who takes the fall. It's the guy everybody's looking at first - the leader of a team - who will support you when they understand you. Who will break their ribs and their noses and their necks for you, because they believe. 'Cause you make them believe. That's a quarterback!"
Tony D'Amato - On Any Given Sunday
No truer words have ever been spoken. The quarterback position in the NFL is by far the most important position in team sports. He's the guy that gets all the credit when things go right and takes all the blame when teams don't win. He is the catalyst, the leader, and the focal point of any successful NFL franchise. He's the guy that answers all the hard questions and carries the burden of expectation on his back. That's not to say you have to have a hall of fame quarterback to win the Super Bowl. Trent Dilfer, Jim McMahon, and Jeff Hostettler all have Super Bowl rings, but they also played on teams that had superior defenses. For the most part the signal caller needs to have an impressive pedigree to take a team to the promised land. Lets check out the numbers.
Since 1980 a quarterback has been selected with the first pick in the draft 16 times and a quarterback selected #1 accounts for 14 Super Bowl titles. The quarterback is the face of the franchise and the most important piece in building a strong foundation for an organization. The quarterback is considered the savior in a lot of instances (that's why bad teams consistently draft this position first) and some teams gamble on players they hope can fit the job description. For every Peyton Manning, John Elway, and Troy Aikman there is a Tim Couch, David Carr, and of course Ryan Leaf. Not only is the quarterback position the most important it is also the position with the highest failure rate.
Other sports have positions with a similar responsibility and you know what they refer to those positions as? The quarterback. A point guard in basketball is considered the quarterback because they get everyone involved and run the team. A center in volleyball is considered the quarterback because they make all the formation calls and set up defenses. A catcher in baseball is referred to as the signal caller because they select pitches and instruct infielders on where they need to be.
The quarterback position is the straw that stirs the drink. It demands narcissism, thick skin, respect, and leadership. History has taught us that everything falls into place with a good one and everything falls apart with a bad one. It's not all about the rocket arm, the nimble feet, or the fast legs, it's about the entire package. The physical, the mental, and the spiritual all have to come together. To whom much is given, much is expected. The quarterback position embodies that sentiment. Your thoughts.