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What's a system QB?

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by ivo610, Aug 1, 2012.

  1. ivo610

    ivo610 Cheesehead

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    I hear the term "system quarterback" thrown around alot, and I was wondering if anyone can give me an example of one? Not currently playing would be best.

    I hear people say Rodgers is a system QB, but before I can fully blast that statement I need to buy into "system quarterbacks" in the first place. Do they even exist?
     
  2. Southpaw

    Southpaw Endorphin Junkie

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    Every QB is in a system. So the term in itself is a bit of an oxymoron. But I believe it refers to a QB of average to slightly above average skill who thrives due to a lot of talent around him and or great playcalling and play style.

    A system QB would generally have average skills and intangibles like arm strength, accuracy, understanding of defenses.

    They are much, much more commonplace at the collegiate level than the pro level, which is where I believe the term came about when the Run and Shoot offense became the new thing. A guy like Andre Ware I guess could be considered a System QB.

    In the end though every QB plays in a system. So it'd be much more effective to say what you mean. In this case Andre Ware isn't a system QB, he just sucks :p
     
  3. Aaron rodgers is god

    Aaron rodgers is god Cheesehead

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    The reason people called Rodgers a system QB is because Matt Flynn did good against the Lions in week 17. They thought hell if Matt Flynn can play that good it must mean that anyone that plays in that system will do good. Therefore they can take away credit from what Aaron Rodgers has done. I'm pretty sure this started from Saints fans in order to take away from what Rodgers has done and boost up what Brees did. The fact is that they are missing the point that Matt Flynn is a solid QB and he had a great day.
     
  4. slaughter25

    slaughter25 Cheesehead

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    The evidence I always see for someone being a system QB is if the starter goes down and the back up can still come in and produce and I just don't understand it. I think that if your back up can come in and be successful it is because the franchise prepared well enough to have a solid back up plan and a surrounding cast that can pick up the slack.

    Back to what makes a "system qb", in my mind it means that someone is limited in someway that would prevent him from being successful in any other offense other than one very similar to the current system. For instance, Alex Smith is a system QB in my eyes. He does well enough in the west coast offense making short to intermediate throws but he wouldn't be nearly effective in a down the field aggressive passing attack, nor would be excel in a mobile QB offense like denver last year with tebow or the eagles with mike vick.
    The fact that people try to use this label on guys like Aaron Rodgers who can do it all just baffles me.
     
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  5. El Guapo

    El Guapo Cheesehead

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    Winner winner chicken dinner
     
  6. Shawnsta3

    Shawnsta3 Cheesehead

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    Well after watching Tim Tebow last year I'm not even sure what's considered as a "Quarterback" anymore...:confused:
     
  7. ivo610

    ivo610 Cheesehead

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    But Alex smith isn't even that good.

    Can you think of one that played at an elite level that is no longer in the league?

    I get the whole system QB being a back up that steps in and plays well bc teams don't have tape and he is comfortable with the offense but is it ever anything more? A starter that excels for years? I don't think any evidence shows that.

    Matt cassel and Matt Flynn, possibly 2 examples. Hanie in Chicago didn't play all that bad against the packers in the playoffs. Played better than cutler. Does that make cutler a system QB? IMO no.
     
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  8. El Guapo

    El Guapo Cheesehead

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    Brad Johnson pretty much only excelled in Denny Green's offense, with some mild at best success at Washington. One could argue that Culpepper was a product of that same system, producing his best under Green but his real downfall occurred after his knee tore in five directions.

    I'll have to think of more NFLers.

    As others said, I think that the term is loosely thrown around to describe college QBs that played well in that specific system but are not considered to have the skills to compete at the NFL level. When it comes to NFL players, you have a much smaller sample size of QBs that excelled for their team but were traded or allowed to leave via free agency and then did poorly. Good quarterbacks just don't hop teams all that much.
     
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  9. bozz_2006

    bozz_2006 Cheesehead

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    A productive quarterback on a perennially successful team.
     
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  10. Powarun

    Powarun Big Bay Blues fan

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    A set of QB's trained under one head coach that have built up a rule of play that displays more similarities in play than differences. Also that each player is kind of plug in and work with it.

    Or also known as an offense built for the pass.
     
  11. ivo610

    ivo610 Cheesehead

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    Can people give examples of retired ones?
     
  12. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    The term "system quarterback" is a pejorative...it implies that the player has deficiencies, mental or physical, that are successfully mitigated by the system in which he plays.

    I agree with slaughter25 that Alex Smith it the best example in the NFL today. Harbaugh implemented a system that plays to his strengths and away from his weaknesses, particularly limiting his downfield throws and emphasizing safe passes and throwaways, thereby limiting his interceptions. Smith has the physical tools but is not the smartest knife in the drawer, football-IQ-wise. Harbaugh got his QB rating up to 91 last season from a previous best 82 on the strength of limiting Smith to 5 picks. You can win that way...except for two muffed punt returns by a last minute substitution and those guys go to the SB.

    Another single-season example, admittedly controversial, would be Brett Favre in his best statistical season...2009 with the Vikes. Childress prohibited him from calling audibles (a grand total of 3 for the whole season, by one account). As a result his interception % was about 1/2 of his previous best. For this brief time, the Childress system dampened Favre's "wild hair" tendencies.

    However, I think what you're looking for are the more commonly cited career system QBs who had a lot of success, which would include two guys with a lot of similarities...Joe Montana and Tom Brady. Coming out of college, these guys got poor scouting grades for having bad bodies, mediocre arms and poor mobility, and were drafted accordingly. You might as well toss Bart Starr into this category. Brady got tagged "system" when Cassel put up a nice season in his absence. Montana got benched briefly in his early prime for failing to implement "the system", and the franchise did not miss a step with Young after Montana's departure. Montana, Brady and Starr also happen to have played for legendary, innovative coaches. The "system QB" tag rationale with these guys is that they MUST be system QBs because they don't have outstanding physical measurables. To those critics we must respond that they just might be measuring the wrong things, or more likely overlooking the things that are not measurable, such as a deep understanding of the game.

    Looking at Rodgers, the physical tools can't be an issue. Whatever mechanical deficiencies he had coming out of college were long gone by the time of his first start. His mobility is not an issue; he throws on the run better than anybody. You would not think football IQ is an issue. While he doesn't call his own plays as Peyton Manning has much of the time, he's run a pretty spiffy hurry-up offense. With Saturday out there, we might see more of that. Besides, you don't put up those kinds of numbers with so few interceptions without a superior grasp of the game. That pretty much leaves the Matt Flynn factor.

    If Flynn's brief performance is all that the doubters can point to, we can only respond that Flynn's record is not statistically significant. Or maybe he happens to be a pretty good QB in his own right...he looks like he could have a Matt Hasselbeck-type career if Seattle comes to their senses and hand him the ball.

    The question you need to ask with Rodgers is, "what deficiencies are being masked by the system?" Personally, I have a hard time finding any at all. "He holds the ball too long" is a frequently noted criticism. That doesn't make a lot of sense when you look at his passer rating when he breaks the pocket. The guy performs in the system and when he breaks out of it.

    In the final analysis we have to ask, "so what?". There's no way of knowing what these teams might have done with somebody else at the helm. What counts is the numbers you put up, particularly the wins column.
     
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  13. weeds

    weeds Cheesehead

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    ...and I might add to the gem above ....

    ....is a label placed on said productive QB by a talking head on XYZSportsTalk who, generally, couldn't find his own *** with both hands yet still still needs something--anything to stir up a response that is fully expected prior to him/her opening his/her ignorant mouth.
     
  14. toolkien

    toolkien Cheesehead

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    About as striking an example one can find on what a system does.

    John Elway.

    First 2/3rds of career in a standard offensive scheme.

    http://pfref.com/pi/share/c3oVs

    Last 1/3rd (completely within the post-30 year old drop off period) after Denver implemented the WCO.

    http://pfref.com/pi/share/wzPJw

    73.8 QB rating and a 158/157 TD to INT ratio became an 88.9 QB rating and a 142/69 TD to INT ratio, again post 30 years old.

    And yes, the difference began right away before Terrell Davis showed up two years later.
     
  15. DevilDon

    DevilDon Inclement Weather Fan

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    I have no doubt a "system" is a large part of a QBs success. If you have good organizational skills to keep your QB surrounded by good players that QB will have success.
    Superior backups developed from the draft or FA are obvious signs of a good QB system.
    Now if that system can produce MVP caliber QBs who cares? We can all accept that term once the next MVP comes out of the Packers QB "system".
    It's a derogatory term to define your QB as not having the skills, meaning the "system" has more to do with their success. OK, if that's the case, I'm darned proud to be a fan of the organization that produces MVP QBs despite their shortcomings. Rodgers had the best statistical year of any QB in the NFL all time. I like our system!
    So all those fans of other teams who think the Packers will implode upon losing Rodgers have to remember.... we're a "system" QB team. We can trot out anybody. Tough year for you!
     
  16. Jules

    Jules The Colts Fan

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    The whole argument has often seemed flawed to me. A team with a good backup does not mean it takes away from the starter, it just means the team has a good backup IMO.

    For example, the Bears fell apart after Cutler got hurt right. Does this mean Cutler is the top QB in the NFC now because his team needed him to make a playoff push or does it mean that perhaps Caleb Hanie sucked major balls and the depth on offense as a whole was terrible?

    Look at the Colts. Yes I know, we all know what happened here. Yes Manning is great and meant a lot to Indy. Does anyone think Matt Flynn is perhaps better then Curtis finger Painter? Does anyone think with a capable backup the Colts might have won a few of those close games last season? For Gods sakes, no wonder Polian is gone. Painter was his pet draft pick and the dude even had issues handing the ball off at times in his early camp practices I heard.


    Blame the organization for not having a capable backup then and also for not changing up the offense enough once the starting QB went down.

    Personally I also believe the Lions overlooked GB once they found out key starters were out. And Flynn had his moment to shine too and decided to take advantage of it. And I kinda think Flynn might be a good starter in this league too.

    As for the Pats in 2008, that was almost the same team from a year before that nearly went 19-0. And in 2008 they had a crazy easy schedule.
     
  17. ivo610

    ivo610 Cheesehead

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    Don horn threw 5 TDs one time. Should have benched that other QB for him ;)
     
  18. SpartaChris

    SpartaChris Cheesehead

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    A system quarterback is a quarterback who isn't all that talented, but still manages to be successful. Many pointed to Alex Smith's season last year as a prime example, but you could also make the case for Brad Johnson and Trent Dilfer- Two QB's who were successful thanks more to the system they ran as opposed to merely being talented. Their success was more a product of the guys around them than it was their ability to play the position.

    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=system quarterback
     
  19. ivo610

    ivo610 Cheesehead

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    So they don't put up big numbers then? Alex, brad, and Trent didn't I don't believe.

    Is it possible Flynn was a system QB while in GB? With no game tape on him defenses had a hard time stopping him and the loaded offense? His flaws in the lions game seemed obvious as the game went on. His Luke warm reception on the FA market seems to confirm some of this
     
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  20. slaughter25

    slaughter25 Cheesehead

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    It is possible, but he still will have his chance to show he has the skills and it wasn't a combo of the packers WRs and the lions porous secondary that made him put up the numbers he did
     
  21. SpartaChris

    SpartaChris Cheesehead

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    Over the course of their careers, system quarterbacks are usually pedestrian at best. They might have a breakout season here or there, but they usually regress back to the mean.

    As for Flynn, sure it's possible, but it's also possible he's a gamer. Some of those throws he made aren't ones you usually see a system guy make, simply because they don't have the talent. Plus he played exceedingly well in his only two NFL showings . However, the sample size on him is too small to say whether he's a product of the system, or a legitimate talent. We'll see what he can do this season, and if he can steadily improve on it over the next couple seasons.
     
  22. dansz15

    dansz15 Cheesehead

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    I actually think a "System" QB applies moreso to college players than NFL. NFL QB's can adapt to other schemes and packages better than a typical system player. I would love to see an argument for Rodgers being system as he plays under center, shotgun, bootlegs, moves whatever else he does. I personally think a system QB statment does not apply as well in the NFL. Big league QB's typically have some ability to shift from different packages and play effectively. I guess an argument can be made for a QB that thrives in the West Coast but struggles in a pass heavy deep game.

    I always looked to system QB's as players in college, so here are some examples of system guys:

    Texas Tech runs a stereotypical system. Their QB's put up monster numbers, don't really translate to the league (Yes, I know Harrell...). Run out of a shotgun and pass the ball 90% of the time (at least in the 2000's). Timmy Chang of Hawaii was a system QB. If you want a great example of a system player from college who barely made it in the pros as a backup look up Kliff Kingsbury. College beast, nice arm, decent accuracy, always played in the shotgun and couldn't take a snap directly from the center when he got the the NFL, hence the system QB.

    I fully expect to take some crap for this post.:eek:
     
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  23. Bensalama21

    Bensalama21 Ben

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    Better question:

    Who isn't a system QB?
     
  24. bozz_2006

    bozz_2006 Cheesehead

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    I'm not a system QB.
     
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  25. HyponGrey

    HyponGrey Caseus Locutus Est

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    A.J. Feeley, Jeff Garcia, Donovan McNabb? Pretty much almost any Eagles QB. Think of QB's who do consistently well on one team but flop when they move to another because the fundamental concepts of the offense differ.
     

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