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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

So much for the reinvention of the position

Steve Sailer observes that despite the NFL's being openly desirous of the success of black quarterbacks, they're simply not very successful in the league anymore despite the growing number of them coming out of the NCAA:
Back in 2003 Rush Limbaugh got fired from being a color commentator on Monday Night Football for pointing out that the media had been pushing hard for more black quarterbacks for decades. So Rush got fired because everybody knows that the only reasons don’t make up 75% of NFL starting quarterbacks is discrimination and the burdens of history.

So I like to check in on how black quarterbacks are doing. This QBR rating counts their running contributions, so it’s the best measure yet.

Here are black QBs (treating Colin Kaepernick as black) who ranked in the top 20 for each year as far back as QBR has been calculated. I counted the top 20 in a 32 team league since it’s pretty safe to assume that if you rank in the top 20 you deserve to start, whereas if you are, say, 29th, then there’s probably a benchwarmer another team that deserves your job.

2014: 2 (Russell Wilson 14, Colin Kaepernick 16)

2013: 3 (Colin Kaepernick 6, Russell Wilson 12, Cam Newton 13)

2012: 4 (Robert Griffin 5, Russell Wilson 6, Cam Newton 14, Josh Freeman 15)

2011: 2 (Michael Vick 7, Cam Newton 15)

2010: 3 (Michael Vick 5, Josh Freeman 6, David Garrard 13)

2009: 3 (Vince Young 7, Donovan McNabb 13, David Garrard 19)

2008: 3 (David Garrard 16, Jason Campbell 17, Donovan McNabb 18)

2007: 4 (David Garrard 3, Jason Campbell 15, Donovan McNabb 16, Tarvaris Jackson 19)

2006: 4 (Steve McNair 6, Donovan McNabb 7, Vince Young 11, Michael Vick 15)
It's fairly obvious to me why blacks are increasingly unable to successfully play quarterback in the NFL. The new passing rules tend to benefit the mentally faster quarterbacks, nearly all of whom are white. Michael Vick's much-ballyhooed "reinvention of the quarterback position" has failed for the very reason that detractors of running quarterbacks predicted: sooner or later a running quarterback is going to take a hit that slows him down.

Look at the difference between Robert Griffin and Andrew Luck. In 2012, you could seriously argue that Griffin was the better quarterback. One injury later, Griffin has lost his superhuman quickness, and having proved himself to be almost embarrassingly incompetent as a pocket passer, has just been benched for the second and possibly final time as a Redskin. He simply can't see the field and process it quickly enough; the image shows a play in which he had no less than FIVE receivers open and somehow ended up throwing it away while also managing to take a shot from a defensive lineman.

It's almost always the same. A running quarterback simply isn't going to a) start many games in a row, or b) maintain his peak level of play very long. As a long-suffering Vikings fan, I very well know the difference between a scrambler who moves around to buy time - Tarkenton, Cunningham - and a runner who takes off in a panic as soon as his scripted first option fails to come open: Gannon, Culpepper, Ponder, although hopefully NOT Bridgewater.

NFL quarterback is arguably the single most difficult thing for a human being to do. It requires a bizarre blend of physical ability and mental agility that is incredibly rare, and today's physically gifted runners are the modern version of yesterday's rocket-armed blockheads. I find it very puzzling that NFL teams still haven't learned that you simply can't teach seeing the field and reacting to it. It's interesting to see that Tarvaris Jackson cracked the top 20 in QBR at one point. He may have been the most perfectly coached quarterback I've ever seen play. He was a team player, he worked very hard, he always did his absolute best, he listened to his coaches as if their words were coming from on high, and his movements were so perfectly rehearsed that he looked like a well-oiled robot. I wasn't at all surprised to see him go on to have a very successful career as a backup quarterback. But he just processed everything too slowly. Drop back, check one, check two... sack!

Anyhow, I won't be surprised if in another year or two, we start seeing the football media start to complain that the new passing rules are racist. Because they observably place a premium on a particular skill that no current black quarterbacks - yes, zero, which you'll know if you've seen Wilson or Kaepernick play this year - appear to possess.

Labels:

82 Comments:

Anonymous FUBAR Nation Ben November 26, 2014 8:11 AM  

How long can Kaepernick and Wilson run the ball? You're right, eventually they're going to get smashed trying to sneak the ball too many times and come back from their injuries like Vick.

Everyone says that Wilson is such a great quarterback, but he didn't win the SB alone. It was his crack defense that destroyed Manning. If Seattle didn't have that defense the game would've been a lot closer.

Anonymous CK November 26, 2014 8:13 AM  

Wouldn't 2-3 out of 20 be right around where you'd expect it for general population?

Anonymous Cryan Ryan November 26, 2014 8:21 AM  

Excellent observations. Hard to disagree with any of it.

A similar situation exists in mixed martial arts. You'd think blacks would dominate all the weight classes, based on what we saw in boxing for so many years.

Curiously, as the sport has evolved, it's turned into a chessmatch more than a rock em sock em contest.

The heavily muscled types often run out of steam and are helpless against the arm bars, the takedowns, the chokes.

Blacks don't do as well in the kicking department, either. Perhaps they evolved to run fast, rather than to stand and trade blows with vikings. The slender little tibias and fibulas are more likely to snap like twigs than to disable a sturdy viking.

Of the blacks who do well, the mixed race guys are more common. Lighter skin seems to accompany higher intelligence, better strategizing, and sturdier legs.

Anonymous Peter Garstig November 26, 2014 8:28 AM  

On the other hand, there are no white cornerbacks in the league.

Btw: I'm slightly optimistic with Bridgewater. He seems to have pocket awareness and moves well in the pocket while seeing the filed well (not perfect, but well enough). His mechanics suffer a little bit when moving around, but that can be corrected.

Blogger Guitar Man November 26, 2014 8:31 AM  

NOT GRITTY! Not 2 b racist, though.

Anonymous DrTorch November 26, 2014 8:47 AM  

I find it very puzzling that NFL teams still haven't learned that you simply can't teach seeing the field and reacting to it.

I think you can, but few NFL teams have the patience to do it. Gannon eventually grew up and became a good QB. Even Dilfer learned not to make (too many) mistakes.

Anonymous VD November 26, 2014 8:55 AM  

I think you can, but few NFL teams have the patience to do it.

But you usually can't teach a running QB because you won't have the time. He'll typically have gotten his first crucial injury before then. And Gannon didn't become a good QB until his late 30s.

Anonymous Jake November 26, 2014 8:56 AM  

This is unfair to Wilson. He's playing behind a weak line that last week alone gave up 7 sacks (and not because Wilson was holding on to the ball). There are no true #1 receivers on the Seahawks and Golden Tate is very much missed. I agree with most of what was said here, and one exception does not change the general rule, but Wilson is a sublime talent.

Blogger Outlaw X November 26, 2014 9:02 AM  

Standouts by race

white guy -
QB
Punter/Kicker
TE

black guy -
WR
CB
Safety
RB

Miss anything?

Anonymous Peter Garstig November 26, 2014 9:06 AM  

Yeah, the obvious: Center

Anonymous VD November 26, 2014 9:10 AM  

This is unfair to Wilson.

Possibly. The jury is still out. Was he sublime because he had Lynch and the DEF-SEA or is he underperforming because he has a bad line and no WRs? It's too soon to say. We don't really know how dumbed-down the offense is either.

That's what exposed Griffin. He looked great when they ran a kiddy offense for him. But he isn't showing any signs of being able to handle the demands of a proper NFL offense.

Anonymous NateM November 26, 2014 9:18 AM  

VD: "and a runner who takes off in a panic as soon as his scripted first option fails to come open: Gannon, Culpepper, Ponder,"

What about another phenomenon: The White kicker who can't read a situation and runs his mouth when his Spot is no longer open?

Anonymous Nate Winchester November 26, 2014 9:29 AM  

Jonah Goldberg has used the point Multiple times before that blacks are fading from baseball because that gamehas used the point Multiple times before that blacks are fading from baseball because that game is one that a son has to learn from a dad - it's hard to learn from your peers.

I don't know much about sports but I'm curious if a similar feature is at work with being a QB. Is that a position where kids need to work with their fathers More than peers? (would also be interesting to see how the family demographics of QBS break down)

Anonymous Lo Pan , Gridiron Chef November 26, 2014 9:32 AM  

Look at nothing.

See everything.

Blogger Nate November 26, 2014 9:36 AM  

It is interesting to see the same problems with the supremely physically gifted white QBs. Few people realize just what a physical freak Jake Locker is. He was is one of the fastest players on what is, at least by one measure, the fastest team in the NFL.

Another aspect... this is not purely about intelligence. Ryan Fitzpatrick has a degree from Harvard and has an IQ that, by NFL standards, is off the charts. Never the less he fails to read and react fast enough.

Anonymous dh November 26, 2014 9:39 AM  

"Of the blacks who do well, the mixed race guys are more common. Lighter skin seems to accompany higher intelligence, better strategizing, and sturdier legs."

"Squat" is good for fighting. Lanky is not typically associated with strong fighting success.

Blogger Da_Truth_Hurts November 26, 2014 9:45 AM  

I'm a long suffering Eagles fan, grew up in Philly. We've had so many black qbs over the years. Cunningham, Pete, McNabb, Vick... all those playoff runs that fizzled out because they just weren't clutch when it counted.

http://i.usatoday.net/communitymanager/_photos/game-on/2010/04/01/mcNabbx-large.jpg

Blogger Guitar Man November 26, 2014 9:48 AM  

Nate, does IQ take into account reaction time?

Blogger YIH November 26, 2014 9:51 AM  

Been saying that for years. A black QB typically has a good first season then it's downhill after that.
The exception are the ones that sit out for year or two (Randall Cunningham, Michael Vick) then it's good and downhill again.

Blogger Da_Truth_Hurts November 26, 2014 9:55 AM  

I've noticed they get rattled by adjusting defenses, then run and get taken down by the LB spy. Defenses make them throw under pressure and force turnovers. Time and time again. Take a look at the elite white QBs like Rogers and Manning, they don't get rattled. They make plays or just throw it away.

Anonymous VD November 26, 2014 9:59 AM  

Another aspect... this is not purely about intelligence. Ryan Fitzpatrick has a degree from Harvard and has an IQ that, by NFL standards, is off the charts. Never the less he fails to read and react fast enough.

Definitely not. I knew that from just playing pickup touch football. I tend to lock in on one receiver and wait for him to come open. The ability to see multiple receivers at once is pretty rare. Ponder is not an idiot, but he has a total inability to see more than Option 1 followed by the TE running an out. Ender still calls any five-yard out thrown to the TE on the right "the Ponder play".

Blogger Nate November 26, 2014 10:00 AM  

"Nate, does IQ take into account reaction time? "

No. but in general higher IQ types process information more quickly and/or recall information more quickly... which should speed things up. But clearly, in Fitz' case, does not.

Anonymous The Real Grra November 26, 2014 10:04 AM  

Wait... hold on..,

RG3 is black???

(black people claim otherwise)

Blogger Nate November 26, 2014 10:05 AM  

another problem... big time pocket passers are become more rare in part because colleges aren't even trying to produce them. Look at Bama for example. Bama has Coker sitting on the bench. the kid is the archetype of an NFL pocket passer. Huge arm. Sees the whole field. Beast. But they have him on the bench behind Sims... who is a 5th year senior that didn't even know the offense. early in the year he literally forgot the play calls in the huddle.

Now... they skip the huddle... and the whole team looks to the sideline where lane kiffin signals in the play... but not only does he signal in the play... in most cases he actually reads the D himself and tells Sims what reciever to throw to!

That doesn't work in the NFL.

Anonymous Peter Garstig November 26, 2014 10:23 AM  

I always think that the QB needs to be great at pattern recognition. A de-focus is probably needed to be great at that.

But I also believe that what makes Manning/Brady/Rodgers/Brees great is their knowledge of the game (study film, knowing their own playbook) translates flawless to the field. Rodgers knows where all his recievers during the first 3 seconds after the snaps. Most of the modern QB's simply don't study enough.

So it's memorizing things (playbook) and acting on quick changes that (how defenses or own players react), all the while being hunted down by physical specie men.

Anonymous Porky November 26, 2014 10:31 AM  

This is unfair to Wilson.

True. If you go by passing rating Wilson was in the top 7 until this year.

Anonymous The other skeptic November 26, 2014 10:32 AM  

Isn't this a metaphor for modern times? It is becoming harder and harder for blacks to make do and keep up with the whites in modern America.

If you want more blacks in football you have to get rid of, or tone down, the things whites are good at.

Hmmm, lets just turn it into a riot on the field. That will work.

Anonymous The other skeptic November 26, 2014 10:51 AM  

If social media is really all that powerful, then it will be used to spread the news that the passing rules are racist.

Anonymous Jack Amok November 26, 2014 10:58 AM  

Possibly. The jury is still out. Was he sublime because he had Lynch and the DEF-SEA or is he underperforming because he has a bad line and no WRs? It's too soon to say.

The dissapointing thing about Wilson is that in prior years, he was more the Tarkenton mold, scrambling to buy time to make a play. This year, he's running to gain yardage more.

They key thing about the SEA offense is Pete Carroll hates turnovers, even more so than most coaches. Wilson is his kind of QB in that Wilson will rarely force a ball into tight coverage. He probably wouldn't throw to receiver #1 in the gif above because the Safety could make a play on the ball.

Last year's NFC championship game showed the opposite on the TD to Kearse. Offsides made it a free play and Wilson could take a risk so he stuck a dart into traffic for the TD. But then, he seemed like a different QB last year.

Final note before saying Happy Thanksgiving (Vox, are your people bringing the corn?). QB ratings are highly dependant on O-lines for the mid-tier guys. The greats do great anyway because they process the field so fast. The next tier, guys like Matt Ryan (or Donovan McNabb, the guy Limbaugh got in trouble over) can process the field if you give them an extra second or so. Give them time and they're Peyton Manning. Let the rush get to them and they're Tavaris Jackson.

Blogger YIH November 26, 2014 11:03 AM  

NateM
What about another phenomenon: The White kicker who can't read a situation and runs his mouth when his Spot is no longer open?
Quite a few punters could be adequate PK's or QB's if necessary.
Bet sparklepunter wasn't one of them, the extra practice would have cut into his WoW grinding time don'tcha know.

Blogger Brad Andrews November 26, 2014 11:34 AM  

Can someone summarize the "passing rules" mentioned in the OP?

Anonymous Anonymous November 26, 2014 11:43 AM  

This is my million dollar idea, a "teach an NFL Quarterback" video game. The necessary player processing can be boiled down and a "IMAX" style screen showing color weight could easily teach a QB how to get an initial read based simply on where the color (opposing team) sends their guys. The initial part of a play is probably 80% if/then for both teams. Program this is to a video game, which most young men love, and you could train these QB's. No doubt. Fun and effective. Who do I talk to for development :)
Warmwater

Blogger Da_Truth_Hurts November 26, 2014 11:48 AM  

How many of the core pocket QB attributes are measured in a standard IQ test? We know that some level of athleticism is needed for success, such as an accurate throwing arm and the ability to move in the pocket to avoid a sack - or even scrambled for a first down.

Pattern recognition and spatial awareness at the millisecond level, almost primal and instinctual, coupled with a firm understanding of each play and the current defense, is why so very few will even be an elite QB in todays game. It is almost superhuman to have these group of skills work at that speed and not get rattled while being chased around by freakishly large and fast men.

Blogger Da_Truth_Hurts November 26, 2014 11:54 AM  

"This is my million dollar idea, a "teach an NFL Quarterback" video game. The necessary player processing can be boiled down and a "IMAX" style screen showing color weight could easily teach a QB how to get an initial read based simply on where the color (opposing team) sends their guys. The initial part of a play is probably 80% if/then for both teams. Program this is to a video game, which most young men love, and you could train these QB's. No doubt. Fun and effective. Who do I talk to for development :)
Warmwater
"

Studies show that playing certain types of video games improve many of the skills needed in major sports. The virtual block game Minecraft is commonly believed by many educators to be better at teaching children math (including geometry) and economics than most curriculum and specialized education software (such as the popular ABC Mouse website).

Anecdotal evidence has existed for years of high school and college coaches seeing benefits of their players history of playing Madden. The kids show up understanding complex play types and how to read defenses.

Anonymous Cryan Ryan November 26, 2014 12:01 PM  

C'mon guys, more discussion of the lack of black punters & extra point kickers. Is it lack of IQ? Lack of pattern recognition ability? Weak legs? Discrimination? Lack of father figure? What gives with only having a half dozen black kickers in 9 decades?

Anonymous Will Best November 26, 2014 12:15 PM  

Everyone says that Wilson is such a great quarterback, but he didn't win the SB alone. It was his crack defense that destroyed Manning.

That isn't the game I watched. Denver lost the game before they even got onto the field. The only thing Seattle did was not give them a chance to get back in it.

---

Can someone summarize the "passing rules" mentioned in the OP?

The biggest change over last year is they started enforcing defensive holding/illegal contact on the WR's 5 yards past the line of scrimmage. Seattle's secondary regularly took advantage of the lax enforcement of this rule last year, which is part of the reason they were so dominant.

The result should be more WRs getting open early, which benefits QBs that can keep track of multiple receivers. I suspect that this has something to do with the reduction in sack production this year.

The other big rule change for this year is going after linemen for illegal hands to the face. I don't pay enough attention to the trenches to know which side this benefits the most from it. But both d-linemen and o-linemen are getting flagged for it so it seems like a wash to me.

Anonymous bw November 26, 2014 12:33 PM  

Look at Bama for example. Bama has Coker sitting on the bench. the kid is the archetype of an NFL pocket passer. Huge arm. Sees the whole field. Beast.

Who was beat out soundly by Winston. The proto typical pocket passing QB who is Black and has no desire to run. Better size, better arm, better everything. Makes the occasional very timely run but only if forced to. Not great at it either. Has no desire to run. He will be an interesting test case.




Anonymous Samantha Ponder November 26, 2014 12:39 PM  

Ender still calls any five-yard out thrown to the TE on the right "the Ponder play"

I'm a feminist and I call bullsh*t!!

Anonymous Supernaut November 26, 2014 12:56 PM  

Ender still calls any five-yard out thrown to the TE on the right "the Ponder play"

That's what I call any pass by a noodle arm QB attempted over 25 yards, that is a big arching rainbow that takes 3 seconds to arrive to the invariably intercepting defender.

The fact that opposing defenses had no fear of Ponder beating them deep so they could stack the box on every down, and AP STILL dominated the league running the ball, makes AP's career during the Ponder era almost unbelievable.

Anonymous Cail Corishev November 26, 2014 12:56 PM  

But you usually can't teach a running QB because you won't have the time. He'll typically have gotten his first crucial injury before then. And Gannon didn't become a good QB until his late 30s.

And Gannon, as an announcer, seems like a reasonably smart guy. Also, when he was at KC, a large part of the fan base wanted him to be the starter over Bono, so he showed some ability already then.

It's not just intelligence, but the ability to consider several different options and make a quick decision, which correlates with intelligence. Also the ability to spot dangerous movement in your field of vision, like a defensive back cheating over for an interception. Some college QBs can run through their progressions and find the open man, but that's all they see; they can't take in the whole field at the same time and notice dangerous movement near that tunnel they're looking down.

You can probably train a guy away from that tunnel vision -- if he has the horsepower to take in and process more information in that few seconds. If he's already processing at capacity in keeping track of his protection and finding his receivers, he may not be able to improve. There's a heck of a lot going on out there in an NFL defense, and no amount of physical ability or training is going to ensure that a dim guy can process it all fast enough.

Running as a QB in the NFL has to be a complimentary attack for a QB whose arm is a serious threat. If his passing doesn't scare the defense, he's dead meat, no matter how much the league tries to protect him with their slide rule and soft "unnecessary roughness" calls.

Blogger Nate November 26, 2014 1:13 PM  

"
Who was beat out soundly by Winston. The proto typical pocket passing QB who is Black and has no desire to run. Better size, better arm, better everything. "

BAHAHAHAH

Leave it to the Florida State fan to talk out of his ass.

Winston doesn't have half the arm of Coker. And Winston won the job at the last minute. Truth is they gave him the job for the same reason Saban gave Sims the job. Black leadership.

Anonymous bob k. mando November 26, 2014 1:13 PM  

FUBAR Nation Ben November 26, 2014 8:11 AM
It was his crack defense that destroyed Manning



the primary problem for Denver in that Superbowl had nothing to do with Seattle.

you should have known from the snap of the very first play, BEFORE the off and def linemen had even touched each other, that Denver needed to get their heads together or they were toast.

http://youtu.be/Y4SsQlovV_A?t=7s

the Center is the captain of the O-line. if he's got the yips this bad, the offensive line CANNOT function properly. and if the offensive line can't do it's job, you're running and passing games are going to be for shit.

Blogger Nate November 26, 2014 1:14 PM  

you scrong bw? if you scrong we scrong.

crablegs scrong!

Blogger Kentucky Packrat November 26, 2014 1:18 PM  

Take a look at the elite white QBs like Rogers and Manning, they don't get rattled. They make plays or just throw it away.

It was touch and go with Manning. He's been awfully "fragile" since coming back from the neck surgery. Start sacking Payton, and he starts to fall apart for the game. I don't blame him a bit; I'd have taken the money and run straight to ESPN or CBS myself rather than risk a second neck injury. (Course, one look at me and you'd know I have no chance of being where Payton is in the first place....)

You have to have a combination of the skills needed to be the QB and a team that can deliver the goods. Poor Tim Couch may well have been a Hall of Fame QB if he wasn't ruined by the lack of people to protect him. Wilson is looking like a one-hit wonder for the moment, but he had enough to get a really good team to the Superbowl.

The real miracle isn't that there are so few NFL QBs; the rare thing is that we can find them at all.

Anonymous Cail Corishev November 26, 2014 1:50 PM  

Now... they skip the huddle... and the whole team looks to the sideline where lane kiffin signals in the play... but not only does he signal in the play... in most cases he actually reads the D himself and tells Sims what receiver to throw to!

That must be what Notre Dame was doing too. Huddle, call a play, walk up to the line, then back up and look at the sideline to get a play. Almost every single damn time. I'd like to see them take 10 seconds or more off the play clock to put a stop to that, but I guess that's what they want in big-time college ball: white old dudes on the sideline making all the decisions, while the best athletes run their plays to order like the little plastic guys on one of those vibrating electric football games.

As you say, there are smart, passing QBs at the college level -- there have to be, since they show up in the draft. They just don't start for the big-time teams.

Blogger Retrenched November 26, 2014 2:00 PM  

Much as the STEM fields are racist and sexist, because they require mental skills and abilities found predominantly (though not exclusively) in white and Asian men.

Blogger Simon Jester November 26, 2014 2:02 PM  

I am not sure that is fair in the specifics for wither Wilson or Kaepernick. Both teams have built their receiving corps to fit their quarterbacks.

Take Wilson ... The Seahawks have no deep threats, have no physically dominating receivers, have no one to go over the middle, and cannot threaten the deep corner patterns. Wilson's passing game is restricted to shallow routes over the middle and underneath routes to the sides. The strongest receiving efforts have been the rotating cast of players in the TE position, who can go up for the ball and fight for it.

Now, if the Seahawks recognize this weakness and develop / buy some bigger receivers for Wilson to throw to, then it will be an apples to apples comparison. Last year, Wilson was incredibly effective, but in large part because they had Golden Tate as a deep threat, healthy TEs, and a slightly more effective receiving corps (including a role-playing Harvin who seemed comfortable in very limited usage, unlike when he was made a centerpiece of the offense). Wilson ran to extend plays and avoided the big hits.

This year, teams are stacking on the underneath routes, cutting off his running lanes as well as limiting his effectiveness as a QB.

Anyway, this doesn't necessarily argue against the premise, but clarifies in this instance.

Anonymous JoshM November 26, 2014 2:06 PM  

"But I also believe that what makes Manning/Brady/Rodgers/Brees great is their knowledge of the game (study film, knowing their own playbook) translates flawless to the field. Rodgers knows where all his recievers during the first 3 seconds after the snaps. Most of the modern QB's simply don't study enough."

I echo this sentiment. An NFL QB usually only has time for 2-3 reads max, so what matters most is their preparation for and recognition of opposing defense schemes, their ability to remain calm and make a good decision when reads 1-3 don't work out, and their familiarity with the office and confidence that the receiver will be in the correct spot at the correct moment to receive the pass.

It's a blend of a relentless approach to studying the game, incredible athletic talent, and a very high intelligence (at least in terms of football IQ) that need to be blended together to make somebody a truly elite QB. Two of the three will only get you so far, and one attribute weighted too heavily (mainly athletic talent) can really throw things off balance.

Obviously the rest of the team factors in as well....it is a team game, after all. But look at how Brady, Rodgers, and Manning can practically turn no-names into superstars.

Anonymous JoshM November 26, 2014 2:07 PM  

Offense, not office. Maybe I need more familiarity with my keyboard.

Blogger ScuzzaMan November 26, 2014 2:11 PM  

Do you watch much rugby, Vox?

Dan Carter, arguably the greatest example of the first five-eighth in the history of the game, is held in such esteem precisely for this ability. Of course it helps that he also has superb balance, speed, passing and kicking skills.

But what separates him from others with those skills is the almost instinctive and instantaneous reading of the state of play.

I think that your point is applicable to most team sports.

Anonymous Anubis November 26, 2014 2:32 PM  

What no one has mentioned is spatial orientation. Its the weakest portion of g weighted IQ tests for blacks, and while East Asians on average score higher on IQ tests, whites beat them on spatial orientation as well. The quarterbacks not only have to see the openings but predict where the openings will be by the time the ball makes it to them.
ps. I accidently posted this in the next story.

Anonymous Aeoli Pera November 26, 2014 2:34 PM  

I'd like to add a bit of my expertise to the discussion.

Young black male reaction times are slightly better than those of young white males, where a simple stimulus (a light turns on) provokes a simple response (like pushing a button). But black reaction times rise quickly in response to either a complex stimulus (a certain configuration of lights) or a complex response (pushing a complex, unpracticed sequence of buttons). Whites reaction times rise, but less markedly.

In neanderthal/melonhead terms, I've observed that neanderthals have bad reflexes and melonheads have good reflexes. Dunno about Asians, anyway they are too small to play football.

Anonymous Aeoli Pera November 26, 2014 2:35 PM  

Okay, today it's Chrome that's taking the piss. Had to boot Firefox to comment, but the other comment thread worked fine.

Anonymous Dumb founed November 26, 2014 2:41 PM  

What is this neanderthal/melonhead stuff and how can you determine who is a neanderthal considering that most whites have no more than about 2% neanderthal genes?

Anonymous Daniel November 26, 2014 3:40 PM  

Barry Switzer could have told you all of this in 1985. If you want black quarterbacks, run a spread option, and plan on rotating 2-3 quarterbacks per game to keep them fresh and to account for the Griffining effect. Start drafting them in the 2-5th round, and appeal to the League to expand the roster limit by a few. Don't waste your picks in the 1st round whatever you do: too much money for a guy who's going to have a 3-5 year peak career on rotation.

Otherwise, be glad for the occasional Warren Moon and otherwise stop worrying about race.

In an alternate universe, Culpepper, Vick and Shaun King were drafted in succession at appropriate levels, and in a glorious shock season...rotating out of the wishbone with Tomlinson and All Day at wingback...won a Super Bowl 3.5 yards at a time. Of course, after hoisting the Lombardi from crutches, Culpepper announced his career ending surgery, Vick his early retirement to pursue a career as an animal trainer, and King his decision to take his talents to the Arena League.

Anonymous WaterBoy November 26, 2014 3:44 PM  

Nate: "Another aspect... this is not purely about intelligence. Ryan Fitzpatrick has a degree from Harvard and has an IQ that, by NFL standards, is off the charts. Never the less he fails to read and react fast enough."

Agreed...though I would like to see a scattergraph correlation between Wonderlic and QBR. I imagine it's going to be all over the place, but I also envision a cluster of successful white QBs with a high Wonderlic score/high QBR number.

Blogger Simon Jester November 26, 2014 3:49 PM  

I imagine it's going to be all over the place, but I also envision a cluster of successful white QBs with a high Wonderlic score/high QBR number.

I would imagine that Manning would be at the high end of that cluster. One of the things that makes Manning so good is that he plays to his own strengths, which include preparation and reading zones / man+zone combinations. Favre had the same skills but with less preparation, and slightly less effectiveness.

Anonymous WaterBoy November 26, 2014 3:50 PM  

Cail Corishev: "That must be what Notre Dame was doing too. Huddle, call a play, walk up to the line, then back up and look at the sideline to get a play. Almost every single damn time."

You ever see Army play? They actually have coded signs that they hold up for the entire offense to see. They go up to the line, everybody looks in sync to the Army sideline to get the play, then they run it before the defense can adjust if they happen to figure out the code.

At least that's how they did it in the AF game; don't know about the rest of them.

Anonymous Daniel November 26, 2014 3:53 PM  

how can you determine who is a neanderthal considering that most whites have no more than about 2% neanderthal genes?

That's not entirely right. For one thing, the entire neanderthal genome is not yet mapped, so any percentage of known neanderthal DNA in a person would be a minimum, not necessarily the total percentage. Furthermore, as Darwinians love to point out (without acknowledging the true implication) man shares 98% of the same genes as chimpanzees. So...2% is a fairly significant variable, even if it is only that.

Eventually, DNA testing may be accurate enough, and the neanderthal genome complete enough to do full match testing to identify the variety of sub-species within hominidkind. Most of the people looking seriously at right now are having to do a lot of behavioral and trait testing and measuring in lieu of fully accurate DNA mapping. As it is, there is enough that shows up in testing to be intriguing.

Blogger Simon Jester November 26, 2014 4:04 PM  

Rabbit hole:

Furthermore, as Darwinians love to point out (without acknowledging the true implication) man shares 98% of the same genes as chimpanzees.

For my own edification, what would that implication be?

Anonymous Anon123 November 26, 2014 4:55 PM  

@The Real Grra I thought it was hilarious when one of ESPN's token black commentators actually said on the air that RG3 isnt really black because he votes Republican.

Anonymous WaterBoy November 26, 2014 4:55 PM  

Apparently a bunch of other teams use those sideline placards, too.

"He believes Oklahoma State was the first to use poster-sized cards flashed from the sideline.

“We didn’t make the wheel. We just made it rounder,” Brewer said.
"

Anonymous bw November 26, 2014 4:58 PM  

crablegs scrong!

We Skrong, den! It's with a K, man.
Oh, and that was a hookup gone public...or Publix. Nothing funnier than people who aren't local that think they know the deal.

Leave it to the Florida State fan to talk out of his ass.
Winston doesn't have half the arm of Coker.


You're a fucking dumbass. What is Coker's Fastball and where will he be drafted as a Pitcher?
You'd do better to argue that Coker won the Heisman fucking trophy and National Championship last year and didn't in fact transfer schools.

Next.

You're dismissed.

As is Tennessee and their shit ass football program, if you can call it that.

Fisher, like Saban, picked the lesser of the two QB's (both involving Coker) because...??? Fucking brilliant. Terrible call, considering Heisman's and National Championships, eh?

Winson's arm is as good as Coker's. And he's twice the QB. As history shows.
Now we like Coker, and he may in fact be better than Simms. You'll have to talk about Saban about that. What rthe hell does he know?



Anonymous Dumb founded November 26, 2014 5:18 PM  

"For one thing, the entire neanderthal genome is not yet mapped, so any percentage of known neanderthal DNA in a person would be a minimum,"

That does not seem to be what this site says:

http://www.eva.mpg.de/neandertal/index.html

That was announced some time in March 2013.

Anonymous Daniel November 26, 2014 5:31 PM  

No, that's a complete genome sequence from a single dna sample, not the entire genome itself. It is a "highly confident" genome...but they need to repeat the sequencing with new samples to go from being in the ballpark to being dead-on. With the sequences that they have, about 60% of the entire species is estimated to be truly accurately mapped - the rest falls under the dreaded cloud of 95% confidence (roll a d20 sometime and find out just how frequent an error at 5% pops up!). With that 60% it is estimated that at least 20% of neanderthal DNA is shared with some modern humans.

So, they have a decent idea of neanderthal genetic history, far more than they did five years ago. But they need a lot more.

Anonymous Daniel November 26, 2014 5:41 PM  

For my own edification, what would that implication be?

That, in the Darwinian model, the undiscovered common ancestor of chimps and men likely alternated giving birth to two distinct species. The mother of man could have had twins: one a chimp and one a human.

Outside of that model, of course, it simply means that God is both an efficient designer and a good-humored one.

Anonymous Dump founded November 26, 2014 6:02 PM  

"That, in the Darwinian model, the undiscovered common ancestor of chimps and men likely alternated giving birth to two distinct species. The mother of man could have had twins: one a chimp and one a human."

I doubt that anyone would call an individual that far back human. Moreover, it's more likely that the precursor population split with Pan remaining pretty much as Pan always been, and the oher becoming a Pithecoid population with one of them eventually becoming Homo and somewhere along the line 2A and 2B fused into 2.

Blogger Matamoros November 26, 2014 6:03 PM  

If you want more blacks in football you have to get rid of, or tone down, the things whites are good at.

Or, simply block out certain positions as black only. Oh, wait, that's what they've done for 50 years - no whites allowed in various spots.

Blogger Mindstorm November 26, 2014 6:12 PM  

Daniel, what is special about the chimpanzee/human pair? The same could be said about the common ancestor of any other pair of species. It's a common problem with demarcation - usually, the common ancestor individual doesn't belong to any of the two species that originate with him/her.

Blogger Mindstorm November 26, 2014 6:15 PM  

Trees nested in other trees. Big headache because of many competing interpretations.

Blogger Mindstorm November 26, 2014 6:17 PM  

I'm sure that the common ancestor between me and a sequoia was some kind of unicellular organism.

Anonymous realmatt November 26, 2014 6:32 PM  

Nah. Cuz raciss.

Anonymous Aeoli Pera November 26, 2014 7:47 PM  

I seem to have a talent for unintentionally derailing great comment threads. Those curious about melonheads and neanderthals can google it.

Anonymous Hoss November 27, 2014 12:57 AM  

We were talking about this at work earlier since RG3 being pulled for the game against the Colts (I'm surprised the League didn't insist upon a Luck-Griffin match-up). And I said what we all know: the NFL is looking for the next (first) great-black-hope at quarterback like boxing is always looking for the next great-white-hope. A smart man will put his money on boxing winning that race.

Anonymous SouthAlaska November 27, 2014 4:16 AM  

Seems like basketball shooters are the same way. Whites are amazing shooters, blacks are amazing jumpers. But maybe that's because the white kids shoot in the driveway all day and the black kids play at the park?

Anonymous Peter Garstig November 27, 2014 5:22 AM  

Favre had the same skills but with less preparation, and slightly less effectiveness.

I think Favre is a curious case. He simply was a player. Probably the best improviser to ever play, and you simply couldn't rattle this man. I'm sure he has great pattern recognition. He did study the game, but not as much as Manning or Brady.

Manning is probably on the other side of the spectrum of great QB's that can't be rattled. I think that is Mannings biggest flaw. Get to him early and often, and he's having a bad day (it also helps to take away the first 2 seconds by being very physical with the recievers).

I think Rodgers is a sucessful clone of Favre/Manning, while Brady leans towards Manning and Brees towards Rodgers/Favre.

Anonymous Aeoli Pera November 27, 2014 11:55 AM  

Not a scatterplot, but not bad either: http://harvardsportsanalysis.org/2014/04/wondering-about-the-wonderlic-does-it-predict-quarterback-performance/

Still, my intuition is telling me they aren't picking up something. Could be a sweet spot in there somewhere.

OpenID dave December 08, 2014 11:20 AM  

"This is unfair to Wilson. He's playing behind a weak line that last week alone gave up 7 sacks (and not because Wilson was holding on to the ball). There are no true #1 receivers on the Seahawks and Golden Tate is very much missed. I agree with most of what was said here, and one exception does not change the general rule, but Wilson is a sublime talent."

um no, the line problems are on him as well, go read Chris Cooley's criticism of RG3, it applies to Wilson as well, when I watch him play he rarely steps up in the pocket like he is supposed to, he stays like 9 yards back, linemen block all their life expecting a qb to be a certain spot, they set the edge thinking you will step up at like 6 yards, harder for a rusher to get them.

OpenID dave December 08, 2014 11:22 AM  

as far as White standouts at other positions
DE- JJ Watt, best in the league at this, and this is at 3-4 end, even rarer to see that. This guy walked on to Wisconsin, only Central Michigan thought he was worthy of a scholarship.

Wide receiver, Jordy Nelson, probably the most underrated receiver, he is up there with the top 3. Also, a walk on to Kansas State despite being a high school star, a track star as well, he was like the 10th or 11th fastest kid in the nation at a 100 meters.

Harrison Smith - Safety for Vikings, underrated as well, went to Notre Dame.

Eric Weddle, safety, even though he has the size and speed of a cb, he played cb in college and shut down Demaryius Thomas when they played in their bowl game. Funny how White cornerbacks get converted they are said to lack loose hips which cant be measured even though they excel in agility drills which measures change of direction speed

John Riggins, was a track star as well, ran sub 10 in the 100 yard dash, hall of famer, even though most people remember him after two knee surgeries in his mid 30s after his speed was gone, he was still gone, apparently they don't believe whites can run the ball anymore, Craig James and Peyton HIllis are the only two to rush for 1,000 since. About a dozen whites used as emergency starters who have gotten 100 yards, usually fullbacks. Heath Evans a few others. Brock Forsey was a tailback that ran for 100 yards in a game with the Bears, Lovie Smith (the coach at the time) was like who is the equipment manager? and didnt give him a chance again really. The same thing he did with Mike Hass, who won the award for nations best receiver in college, also a walk on! they kept putting him on practice squad despite them having no receivers and him dominating preseason. Lovie Smith also screwed over Mike Glennon recently, who showed the most promise among that rookie qb class.

OpenID dave December 08, 2014 11:23 AM  

Oh yeah and speaking of runningbacks the Jaguars gave Gerhart a "chance" the Doak Walker award winner show showed he can do well when with the Vikings, he got double digit carries the first game, the line was struggling, the majority of the line was new. Denard Robinson struggled as well, from there on out it was a timeshare, Gerhart didnt get enough carries to do much with, only one other game with double digit carries, a total of 10. Denard had 9. The thing is Denard did just as poorly with the same blocking against the same defenses and the same qb, same play calling (henne for most of that time), Gerhart had a couple of receptions go for 20+ yards so you could tell it was blocking. Gerhart sits out a game with an injury (also something that had been hindering him) Denard has a big run and Gerhart is an afterthought. I guess one game to prove yourself eh? LeSean McCoy struggled this year they kept feeding him the ball, lets not even go to the best, go the opposite, Trent Richardson was still fed the ball even though he sucked. If people don't think whites have the athleticism to succeed (they do but thats another argument) at runningback go look at the career of Thomas Jones, didnt really do nothing for several years even though was a top 10 pick. Finally got on a team with great blocking, no wiggle, no burst, not even much power, just got what the blocking gave him. He is in the elite company of around 30 backs that have rushed for 10k in their career. Try looking for Thomas Jones highlights, yeah you won't find much because he just got what the blocking gave him and not much more. Even though there were successful white rushers none in the 10k category, because only a handful of seasons with 300+ carries. John Riggins and Mark Van Eeghan, and its not that they couldnt handle it, those two had success following a heavy workload. They shared the ball more unlike ball hogs that started getting even 400 carries (eric dickerson). Jim Brown started it,but the Packers duo won more. Jim Taylor was just as good as Brown but never gets credit. If you would search Jim Brown vs Taylor you would see how closer they are than what is usually assumed

Linebacker, we have tons here, Luke Kuechly stands out the most. Notice how white guys have to be 10x better at coverage to not be bashed when there are tons of mediocre blacks at every position. Remember Pat Angerer? he started for like a year with the Colts had 100+ tackles lost his starting job for no apparent reason.

Notice at the college level how many whites had to walk on, I think Kansas State (a top ranked team) has double digit starters that walked on, now if they are good enough to be impact players for a top team someone shouldve offered them. Most famous black walk ons were playing other sports like Antonio Gates

OpenID dave December 08, 2014 11:28 AM  

i shouldve just made my own blog for this
Notice how whites, even though in minority, tend to be in the top for "black positions"

Jordy Nelson, in the top for receiving yards, top 3 talent

Safety, Weddle and Harrison Smith (tied 5th for picks) and so good that his nick name is the "eraser" because he makes up for cornerbacks mistakes, now how good is that?

MLB - Kuechly, Borland ( who was said to lack athleticism, and had too short of arms)

3-4 end (whose main job is help free up pass rushers, most dont have a high sack total, Justin Smith and JJ Watt who goes above and beyond

pass rushing linebackers and de - Watt also in this category, he does it all. Connor Barwin, Paul Kruger, Jared Allen was in this category, being elite for many years, but I guess time has caught up with him. Clay Matthews was as well but they moved him to ilb

Guys like Gronkowski,and Witten (yes he is still kicking) dominate the te position but they keep looking for the next basketball star, when they are about a decade apart (Gates and Graham)

Eh thats enough ranting for now, the point of all this? if it were up to them the league would be 100 percent non white for the sake of "diversity". I guess except for kickers, punters and long snappers who most people don't consider real athletes. Except Rob Ninkovich, de for the Patriots, was originally brought into the Saints to be a long snapper, I guess their pathetic defense didnt need him. Hows that working out?

OpenID dave December 08, 2014 11:39 AM  

"talking about this at work earlier since RG3 being pulled for the game against the Colts (I'm surprised the League didn't insist upon a Luck-Griffin match-up). And I said what we all know: the NFL is looking for the next (first) great-black-hope at quarterback like boxing is always looking for the next great-white-hope. A smart man will put his money on boxing winning that race."

umm, Klitschko brothers have been dominating the heavyweight division for years , tune in some time. Champs at lower weight divisions as well, like Joe Calzaghe (undefeated before retiring I believe) who whooped Benard Hopkins, well not too low of a weight division, white people don't specialize in making scrawny scrappers. Thats the thing, whites have this ability to match blacks in talent when it comes to athleticism. Look at white running qbs, Tebow "just won" games that first year he started (funny how they want to keep Manziel on the bench since Hoyer is "just winning games). Manziel was great in college as well as Tebow, Matt Jones, Eric Crouch (who came out the same time as Vick, but he was converted to another position, same with Scott Frost). Guys like Rodgers could run more but are smart about it.

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