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Rhule on quarterback preparation


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Quoting from today's presser via The Athletic...

“We have purposely taken the approach of developing Sam – and all of our quarterbacks this spring – as a drop-back passer and put a lot on them,” said Rhule, the Panthers’ second-year coach. “More than most teams will probably do with a quarterback – more than probably the coaches are comfortable with.

“But for me it’s about just putting so much on those guys — not giving them a bunch of easy plays where they can go out and feel confident and look good,” Rhule added. “Our defense is giving us a lot of different looks. So I want to stretch those guys and see what they do well and then we can be more targeted in training camp and into the season.”

The first part of that statement interests me, specifically the part about developing their quarterbacks as "drop back passers".

Neither Bridgewater nor Darnold would rightly be seen as big run threats (neither are statues either, but still). And of course, the team passed on drafting a quarterback who was.

It makes me wonder if Rhule and/or Brady aren't necessarily concerned with superior athleticism at the quarterback position. You'll note he talks a lot about mental preparation here, but physical...not so much.

Arguing against that idea though is the fact that the team seems extremely interested in athleticism at pretty much every other position. With that said though, there are plenty of successful teams whose quarterbacks aren't amazing athletes (including the one that captured last year's Super Bowl trophy).

So is this an indicator of Rhule's QB philosophy or just an emphasis they have right now?

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3 minutes ago, Call Me James said:

Neither of the backups were known for being drop back QBs and I assume they want Darnold to spend more time in the pocket. 

Grier was primarily a pocket passer in college.

Capable of running, but I don't really think anybody would call him a run threat.

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I can see it now.  Darnold is going to drop back to pass in a key game situation.  A huge hole is going to open up in front of him to take off for a 1st down to ice the game.  He's just going to stand there and get sacked.  We lose.

After the game he's asked about it and Sam says "we didn't practice running."

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IMO, they want to put pressure on these guys to see where their breaking point is. It gives them an idea on how much they can throw at them.

 

I think Rhule is trying to find out how much he can put on Sam's plate before he crumbles. The more Sam does, the more Rhule can trust him.

 

Short story long, Rhule needs to find out if he has to coddle Sam. Which is not good. Or can Sam be the man. Which is a good thing. Makes sense to me. 

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5 minutes ago, Wes21 said:

I can see it now.  Darnold is going to drop back to pass in a key game situation.  A huge hole is going to open up in front of him to take off for a 1st down to ice the game.  He's just going to stand there and get sacked.  We lose.

After the game he's asked about it and Sam says "we didn't practice running."

Actually, if you check out Darnold's highlight reels, you'll find he's perfectly capable of running.

(given how bad the Jets were, he got plenty of practice)

He's just not necessarily somebody you call a bunch of designed runs for.

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I'll say, I garnered that he wants to put his qbs is situations to fail in training camp so he can see how they respond.  Imo thus is a way to grow him with no pressure.  If he beats himself up "whats the issue, its OTAs", if he cares too much "stop being hard on yourself, its OTAs".

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21 minutes ago, Mr. Scot said:

Grier was primarily a pocket passer in college.

Capable of running, but I don't really think anybody would call him a run threat.

I'm pretty sure Grier operated almost exclusively from the shotgun in WVU air raid offense. 

Whether he was considered a runner is irrelevant in my perspective with regard to their focus on his drop back. 

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1 minute ago, Call Me James said:

I'm pretty sure Grier operated almost exclusively from the shotgun in WVU air raid offense. 

Whether he was considered a runner is irrelevant in my perspective with regard to their focus on his drop back. 

It's of primary relevance to this discussion.

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Good for Rhule!

Sam's issue isn't physical.  He can run and make all the throws.

Darnold's weakness is making good decisions in a timely fashion.

Forcing Sam to interpret defenses and make quicker decisions is the only way he is going to improve and ultimately be successful in this league. 

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I don't think it has to do with anything regarding philosophy on QB athleticism. I think it has everything to do with not being able to impact that aspect of a player as a coach. You can't coach physical traits. All you can do is prepare a guy to play the best he can with what he has to work with.

Darnold isn't a a statue but he isn't a big run threat. He has a big arm but he has a pretty big wind-up as well. If he has sufficient grasp of the offense, might as well throw the kitchen sink at him and try to figure out if he's gonna sink or swim before the live bullets start to fly. See if you can open up the playbook or if you're going to be forced to dial it back.

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Agree with those who say Rhule is throwing the book at him now while he has time to absorb everything between Minicamp and the start of training camp. Throw it all him and let him get further into the playbook after minicamp. If you drop back pass you go through your progressions and see your guys run the route tree. That is invaluable when you start training camp. Then you can design plays that play to the QBs strengths once he has mastered the playbook. And you can develop and expand the playbook much faster and develop plays for every receiver based on their chemistry with Sam. But if Darnold doesn't know the playbook up and down he holds back the development of the whole offense.

Edited by panthers55
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