Jump to content


Two quarterback systems....in the NFL's future?


  • Please log in to reply
25 replies to this topic

#1 BADOLBEELZ

BADOLBEELZ

    Veteran

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,710 posts

Posted 10 March 2013 - 03:40 PM

I could write an essay on this subject, but when is some downtrodden franchise going to decide they are tired of waiting for a franchise QB to save them and start using a multiple QB system in the NFL?

I am not talking about the "hot hand" system of QB management, but rather having 2-3 QB's with particular strengths and  taking the chance on rotating them in and out during the game.

It seems that more and more NFL ready QB's are going to be entering the league.  Not necessarily elite QB's, but guys with a lot of experience in pro-style offense and with their own strengths and weaknesses.

As a Bills fan, we have had to suffer thru so many performances where you know that the defense knows exactly what Ryan Fitzpatrick, Trent Edwards, JP Losman, Kelly Holcomb can and can't do and it seems incredibly defeatist to just keep taking your beating like that.

Yet these same QB's have had success at various times.....usually when defenses weren't prepared.

We saw in 1998 how two journeyman QB's......one a strong armed and accurate but sack prone pocket passer and one an un-sackable undersized guy who made huge plays outside of the pocket but struggled within it.......could take a team with an average supporting cast on offense and make it 7th in the league in scoring and 6th in yards gained.  Those type of numbers are usually reserved for teams with elite QB production.   Sadly, a glorified DC like Wade Phillips wasn't going to be the guy to take advantage of a 2 QB system.  Rather having to decide just about destroyed him.

But a strong head coach with a great offensive staff could do it, IMO.  I could be wrong but I think the time is coming.

#2 jaybee

jaybee

    RFA

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 883 posts

Posted 10 March 2013 - 04:02 PM

I dont recall who...but it has been tried a couple times over the years.  I think the problem you run into is preparing for the next opponent.  Teams only have a week to prepare and now you've got two guys taking snaps with the starting offense limiting their snaps in preparation.

Not saying it couldn't work but I believe it disrupts continuity a bit.

EDIT:  Conversely..I suppose it does give the defense more to prepare for as well.

jb

Edited by jaybee, 10 March 2013 - 04:05 PM.


#3 BADOLBEELZ

BADOLBEELZ

    Veteran

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,710 posts

Posted 10 March 2013 - 04:18 PM

View Postjaybee, on 10 March 2013 - 04:02 PM, said:

I dont recall who...but it has been tried a couple times over the years.  I think the problem you run into is preparing for the next opponent.  Teams only have a week to prepare and now you've got two guys taking snaps with the starting offense limiting their snaps in preparation.

Not saying it couldn't work but I believe it disrupts continuity a bit.

EDIT:  Conversely..I suppose it does give the defense more to prepare for as well.

jb

I think the last time I recall it being done the way I am advocating was Shula doing it with success using David Woodley and Don Strock.  Woodley was the out of pocket guy and Strock was the pocket guy.  Both.......journeyman, but effective at what they did when the other team wasn't sitting on every play.  Of course, the ultimate goal was getting a franchise QB but in the meantime that didn't stop Shula from getting to a SB with Woodley taking most of the snaps.

But again....Don Shula was a strong HC.  He knew it was going to take bold action to keep his aging and QB weak team near the top of the AFC.  And it bought him time until he got Marino.

Chain Gailey......he basically rolled over and took defeats sitting down like the waste of a HC that he was.

#4 San Jose Bills Fan

San Jose Bills Fan

    San Jose Bills Fan

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 20,764 posts

Posted 10 March 2013 - 04:35 PM

Randall Cunningham split time with Jaworski also. The Eagles broke Cunningham in as a 3rd down QB.

Jaws was not thrilled.

This also enters into the discussion about the Wildcat offense and the idea that the read-option is the successor to the Wildcat.

Brad Smith anyone?

#5 Ramius

Ramius

    Don't Tread on Me

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 16,424 posts

Posted 10 March 2013 - 04:52 PM

How are talking ab out rotating QBs? Going into a game with a set plan for Player X to play a few series and switch to Player Y, or starting with player X, and if he's ineffective, switch to Y early on?

#6 BADOLBEELZ

BADOLBEELZ

    Veteran

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,710 posts

Posted 10 March 2013 - 05:18 PM

View PostSan Jose Bills Fan, on 10 March 2013 - 04:35 PM, said:

Randall Cunningham split time with Jaworski also. The Eagles broke Cunningham in as a 3rd down QB.

Jaws was not thrilled.

This also enters into the discussion about the Wildcat offense and the idea that the read-option is the successor to the Wildcat.

Brad Smith anyone?

Yeah and I don't think you take an old dog like Jaworski and teach him new tricks.  

I have been thinking more about this again because there is a lot of QB depth in this draft but not necessarily a lot of well rounded prospects.

The goal of the wildcat was utlimately just to give defenses more to prepare for.   The immediate goal of the no-huddle is to force teams into one set of defensive personnel .  I am thinking if you are willing to play different QB's with different strengths in the same game....and you execute..... you may be able to get those kind of results without having an elite QB.

And btw, I overstated the Woodley/Strock situation.  Strock really played relatively sparingly.  I am thinking more like a situation where one QB plays maybe 60%-70% and the other the balance.   I don't necessarily have a specific pairing in mind, but I think ideally one of them can beat you for big plays with his feet and but is still a good passer, like EJ Manuel and the other is mostly a pocket guy who throws excellent intermediate and deep routes and has some escapability.  Maybe Tyler Wilson fits that mold.  The short game is actually his weakness.

#7 TallskiWallski83

TallskiWallski83

    Practice Squad

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 155 posts

Posted 10 March 2013 - 05:23 PM

View PostBADOLBEELZ, on 10 March 2013 - 03:40 PM, said:

I could write an essay on this subject, but when is some downtrodden franchise going to decide they are tired of waiting for a franchise QB to save them and start using a multiple QB system in the NFL?

I am not talking about the "hot hand" system of QB management, but rather having 2-3 QB's with particular strengths and  taking the chance on rotating them in and out during the game.

It seems that more and more NFL ready QB's are going to be entering the league.  Not necessarily elite QB's, but guys with a lot of experience in pro-style offense and with their own strengths and weaknesses.

As a Bills fan, we have had to suffer thru so many performances where you know that the defense knows exactly what Ryan Fitzpatrick, Trent Edwards, JP Losman, Kelly Holcomb can and can't do and it seems incredibly defeatist to just keep taking your beating like that.

Yet these same QB's have had success at various times.....usually when defenses weren't prepared.

We saw in 1998 how two journeyman QB's......one a strong armed and accurate but sack prone pocket passer and one an un-sackable undersized guy who made huge plays outside of the pocket but struggled within it.......could take a team with an average supporting cast on offense and make it 7th in the league in scoring and 6th in yards gained.  Those type of numbers are usually reserved for teams with elite QB production.   Sadly, a glorified DC like Wade Phillips wasn't going to be the guy to take advantage of a 2 QB system.  Rather having to decide just about destroyed him.

But a strong head coach with a great offensive staff could do it, IMO.  I could be wrong but I think the time is coming.

Good OP and definitely something I have considered before. Obviously, NFL head coaches are stubborn mules when it comes to change so I think this is the biggest hurdle that would have to be overcome, someone innovative would have to make the first step, be successful,, then everyone would follow.

Strategically speaking I think their are many advantages to running a system using two different QB's with different skills sets. Imagine having two running QBs and a RB lined up in a wildcat and all 3 players are capable of running/throwing/catching... a team who could run plays effectively with guys like that would be unstoppable.

The only downsides I envision are A. Not having a "leader" of the team  B. Not having "the guy" to rally the team and lead the offense when the game is on the line C. Obviously the 2 QB's Egos would have to be checked at the door, they would both sacrifice fame and fortune for team success....a concept that is rare in todays NFL.

Edited by TallskiWallski83, 10 March 2013 - 05:25 PM.


#8 BADOLBEELZ

BADOLBEELZ

    Veteran

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,710 posts

Posted 10 March 2013 - 05:25 PM

View PostRamius, on 10 March 2013 - 04:52 PM, said:

How are talking ab out rotating QBs? Going into a game with a set plan for Player X to play a few series and switch to Player Y, or starting with player X, and if he's ineffective, switch to Y early on?

I think you take two guys who have something to prove and play them as you wish just like in a RB committee.  Could be a whole game, could be a quarter.  I don't see it as a series to series thing like Steve Spurrier would do, but rather playing the right guy for the right defense.  And not like the current Bills RB committee where they have one RB who is elite and another one who is struggling sharing the snaps.  If one QB proves to be a top level starter,  you make him your full time QB.

#9 Fan in San Diego

Fan in San Diego

    Old Sage from way back when.

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11,623 posts

Posted 10 March 2013 - 05:28 PM

I would think that defenses would key in on which plays the QB in at the time runs and adjust accordingly. The QB would telegraph the play to the defense.

#10 Orton's Arm

Orton's Arm

    Mysterious owl

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,088 posts

Posted 10 March 2013 - 06:10 PM

View PostBADOLBEELZ, on 10 March 2013 - 03:40 PM, said:

I could write an essay on this subject, but when is some downtrodden franchise going to decide they are tired of waiting for a franchise QB to save them and start using a multiple QB system in the NFL?

I am not talking about the "hot hand" system of QB management, but rather having 2-3 QB's with particular strengths and  taking the chance on rotating them in and out during the game.

It seems that more and more NFL ready QB's are going to be entering the league.  Not necessarily elite QB's, but guys with a lot of experience in pro-style offense and with their own strengths and weaknesses.

As a Bills fan, we have had to suffer thru so many performances where you know that the defense knows exactly what Ryan Fitzpatrick, Trent Edwards, JP Losman, Kelly Holcomb can and can't do and it seems incredibly defeatist to just keep taking your beating like that.

Yet these same QB's have had success at various times.....usually when defenses weren't prepared.

We saw in 1998 how two journeyman QB's......one a strong armed and accurate but sack prone pocket passer and one an un-sackable undersized guy who made huge plays outside of the pocket but struggled within it.......could take a team with an average supporting cast on offense and make it 7th in the league in scoring and 6th in yards gained.  Those type of numbers are usually reserved for teams with elite QB production.   Sadly, a glorified DC like Wade Phillips wasn't going to be the guy to take advantage of a 2 QB system.  Rather having to decide just about destroyed him.

But a strong head coach with a great offensive staff could do it, IMO.  I could be wrong but I think the time is coming.

Good post.

I'm reminded of the Bills-Titans playoff game. In the first half, Rob Johnson and the offense were useless. Worse than useless, in fact, because they produced no points themselves, while allowing the defense to score on them. A lot of that wasn't Johnson's fault. Both his OTs were playing hurt, and both allowed Javon Kearse to rush to the QB untouched. (The Titans lined Kearse up at different positions along the DL to maximize his impact.) But there were other times when a standard-issue QB would have gotten rid of the ball--times when Johnson took sacks. So you could say that the Bills' OL had an abysmal first half, and the effect of their poor play was magnified by Johnson's lack of pocket presence.

After allowing the above-mentioned untouched pass rushes, the injured OTs were replaced by their healthy backups. Between that fact, and the fact that the Titans' pass rush slowed down a little in the second half, it became a whole new football game. Johnson did a great job in the second half, and caused the Bills to take the lead with just 11 seconds left. If you gave Johnson time in the pocket, he was very good at exploiting the intermediate to deep routes.

More than anything, that game made me want the Bills to go to the two QB system you described. Flutie would play in the first half, when the pass rush was at its best. Flutie would use short passes and fast legs to largely nullify the effect of that pass rush; causing the offense to accomplish positive things. Had Flutie played in the Titans game, he would have had a much better first half than the one Johnson had. But unlike Johnson, Flutie wasn't very good at throwing intermediate to deep passes. Which is why Flutie wouldn't have played as well as Johnson in the second half of that game. The Bills should have let Flutie play for the first 30 minutes of every game, and Johnson the last 30 minutes.

A situation like the above would have the added benefit that if the defense prepared for one quarterback only, the other QB would likely have a big day. Well, a big half day at any rate; but that's a whole lot better than 60 minutes of offensive futility.

You are also correct to hint that there are other situations in which the above kind of thinking could work. The coaching staff would have to design two separate offenses. The Holcomb offense (for example) could have involved short to intermediate passes; whereas the Losman offense would be based on the long bomb to Lee Evans.

#11 San Jose Bills Fan

San Jose Bills Fan

    San Jose Bills Fan

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 20,764 posts

Posted 10 March 2013 - 08:27 PM

View PostTallskiWallski83, on 10 March 2013 - 05:23 PM, said:

The only downsides I envision are A. Not having a "leader" of the team  B. Not having "the guy" to rally the team and lead the offense when the game is on the line C. Obviously the 2 QB's Egos would have to be checked at the door, they would both sacrifice fame and fortune for team success....a concept that is rare in todays NFL.

View PostFan in San Diego, on 10 March 2013 - 05:28 PM, said:

I would think that defenses would key in on which plays the QB in at the time runs and adjust accordingly. The QB would telegraph the play to the defense.

Definitely one downside would be that the defense might be able to narrow down the offensive possibilities depending on which QB is in the game.

If the offense is tailoring packages of plays for each quarterback that would seem to make the offense more predictable.

Ideally as an offense you'd want to be able to run a lot of the same plays with each quarterback, just as you'd like to be able to run a lot of the same plays regardless of whether CJ or Freddy were in the game…so as not to tip off the defense too much.

#12 mrags

mrags

    All Pro

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9,746 posts

Posted 10 March 2013 - 09:19 PM

View PostSan Jose Bills Fan, on 10 March 2013 - 08:27 PM, said:





Definitely one downside would be that the defense might be able to narrow down the offensive possibilities depending on which QB is in the game.

If the offense is tailoring packages of plays for each quarterback that would seem to make the offense more predictable.

Ideally as an offense you'd want to be able to run a lot of the same plays with each quarterback, just as you'd like to be able to run a lot of the same plays regardless of whether CJ or Freddy were in the game…so as not to tip off the defense too much.
i was thinking this as well. If you decided to try this out in the NFL, both QBs would have to be very capable of succeeding with the majority of NFL plays and the minority of plays they specialized in would have to be kept to a minimum. Essentially it's the wildcat now with TT.

Come to think of it, Didnt Kordell Stewart start off this way? When he was "Slash" wouldn't he come in on 3rd down situations and such?

To add to this, eventually, just like Kordell Stewart, one of the QBs would take more of the leadership role and be called upon in more dire situations and sooner than later you'd end up with a true starter. Wouldn't even last a full season IMO. If it did, that would be about it.

Edited by mrags, 10 March 2013 - 09:23 PM.


#13 RuntheDamnBall

RuntheDamnBall

    GO BILLS

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11,117 posts

Posted 10 March 2013 - 10:56 PM

It's funny. One of the situations cited here - Flutie/Johnson - pretty much tells us why this kind of strategy could backfire.  I can't imagine many QBs prepped for the NFL sharing the job or being happy about it even if it brought the team success.  There's just too much ego and too much money at stake.  I suppose it could work with a combo of journeymen, like you say, but less likely with a younger, more touted player and a veteran paired up.  That said, I could see Jason Campbell and T Jax working well as this kind of combo with Manuel brought in to groom.

#14 Meathead

Meathead

    certified meatrosexual

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,319 posts

Posted 10 March 2013 - 11:08 PM

this has been talked about for decades. i used to strongly believe that it could work if some team would just commit to it, but ive now realized thats just plain wrong

the biggest reason is simply prep time, as one previous poster mentioned. theres only so many practice reps to get ready during the week and if you try to prepare two guys equally you end up with nobody fully prepared. in the long run that will be the key breaking point

the other reason is simply emotion - quarterbacks are rightfully looked at as the center of the team. no major sport is as reliant on one guy as pro football is the qb. if you dont have one guy as the top guy then you create turmoil that eventually gets out of control. it can work in the short term when something is a novelty (wildcat, slash, etc) but as soon as defenses catch up then it turns into a liability that undermines the entire team if you stick with it, which is why those situations always end up with one guy regardless

#15 Kellyto83TD

Kellyto83TD

    Veteran

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,596 posts

Posted 11 March 2013 - 06:17 AM

Guys please step away from madden. Just put the Xbox controller down and step away...

Two QB systems do not work in real life period. This has been said at least a billion times throughout the life of football.

#16 Mr. WEO

Mr. WEO

    All Pro

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 12,628 posts

Posted 11 March 2013 - 06:21 AM

My guess is that because the franchise QB system has been wildly successful and has dominated the NFL for decades, teams have not been sufficiently tempted to throw that all away to embrace the Flutie-Johnson Model.

#17 Dean Cain

Dean Cain

    DAS AUTO

  • Banned
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1,385 posts

Posted 11 March 2013 - 06:36 AM

Didn't Gailey unleash D'Jango aka Kordell Stewart while also using O'Donell in Pittsburgh?

#18 Why So Serious?

Why So Serious?

    When your number is called you got to make a play!

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,397 posts

Posted 11 March 2013 - 06:49 AM

Ushering specialized QBs in and out of the game.
1.) Is not a two QB system.
2.) Beyond Stupid. It works it Madden but not with human beings.

A two QB system is what Louisiana Monroe uses.
There are two QBs on the field at the same time and you don't know which one will pass or run or go out for a pattern.
Plus they can do some neet rollout, cross field lateral than forward pass plays.

BTW I actually think 10 years from now a two QB system may actually work in the NFL. It is nuts but gets your mobile QB and your less mobile QB on the field at the same time.

#19 Orton's Arm

Orton's Arm

    Mysterious owl

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,088 posts

Posted 11 March 2013 - 09:46 AM

View PostKellyto83TD, on 11 March 2013 - 06:17 AM, said:

Guys please step away from madden. Just put the Xbox controller down and step away...

Two QB systems do not work in real life period. This has been said at least a billion times throughout the life of football.

> Two QB systems do not work in real life period. This has been said at least a billion times throughout the life of football.

I agree it's been said quite frequently. Said so often, in fact, that the kind of system the OP has described hasn't been attempted since Shula did it back in the '70s. (Obtaining good results, by the way.)

Conventional wisdom in football is sometimes wrong. According to conventional wisdom, winning football games comes down to running the ball and stopping the run. A regression analysis performed by the New York Times proved that wrong. Passing offense is four times as important as rushing offense, and pass defense is four times as important as run defense.

If conventional wisdom can be wrong about one thing (run and stop the run), it can be wrong about other things (such as the OP's idea). When a coach isn't fully confident of his own ability, he will tend to rely on conventional wisdom.

For the OP's idea to come to fruition, you'd need four things to come together. 1) A team with a highly intelligent, creative, self-confident head coach. 2) A team with two QBs who are roughly equal to each other overall, but each of whom is strong in places where the other is weak. 3) The head coach must recognize that the two QBs are about equal overall, rather than trying to figure out which one is better. 4) The head coach would have to feel confident enough in his own job security to be willing to try unconventional things.

It's been said that no one's ever been fired for buying from IBM. This, despite the fact there are times when a non-IBM solution would have been less expensive or better (or both). By the same token, NFL coaches may believe they can increase their job security by acting conventionally, even when an unconventional solution had the potential to work better. This is why there is less experimentation in the NFL than should be the case.

Edited by Edwards' Arm, 11 March 2013 - 09:48 AM.


#20 mrags

mrags

    All Pro

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9,746 posts

Posted 11 March 2013 - 04:39 PM

View PostWhy So Serious?, on 11 March 2013 - 06:49 AM, said:

Ushering specialized QBs in and out of the game.
1.) Is not a two QB system.
2.) Beyond Stupid. It works it Madden but not with human beings.

A two QB system is what Louisiana Monroe uses.
There are two QBs on the field at the same time and you don't know which one will pass or run or go out for a pattern.
Plus they can do some neet rollout, cross field lateral than forward pass plays.

BTW I actually think 10 years from now a two QB system may actually work in the NFL. It is nuts but gets your mobile QB and your less mobile QB on the field at the same time.
i agree. It only a matter of time before the game evolves to this. I just don't think it will be for a while. 10 years or possibly more sounds about right. And if its more, who even knows if there will be football then. The way the lawsuits are piling up, it's only a matter of time before its done with all together.