In all my research, over a span of many decades, the finest information I’ve ever read on quarterback leadership came from my buddy Frank Carideo. The objective of this information was to summarize the procedure by which a quarterback was trained in Notre Dame, under coach Knute Rockne. This class of quarterbacking was exacting in several respects as any collegiate course.
- A Quarterback must keep a cocky air at all times.
a. You need your Quarterback to show other teams he knows what he will do next–there is not a little doubt in his mind about what he will perform on the next play.
b. You need his facial expressions to signify to a team and your opponents’ staff that he not only knows what he will do next, but he will do it for all that they can do to stop him.
C. Be sure he knows that this is merely an air. It’s a role he’s playing. It isn’t himself which you need to be cocky; it’s the Quarterback. You do not want your boys to be overly fussy. There’s a limitation, and he should know it.
His job is to irritate the members of another group, not his own. You want to have that cocky air at all times–and on the practice area is one of those times.
- You would like a Quarterback using a transparent, staccato voice. You want a voice that’s forceful and decisive. You want it to be recognized by your team as the control of one who’s going to lead his army someplace to a certain objective. You want it to be recognized by the enemy as the voice of a person who will accomplish that objective with his military, no matter what may be done by everyone to stop it.
- This third law is a variant of the first. You need your Quarterback to understand what he will do next and to do it. You do not need him to show at any moment, at any time whatever, he is in doubt about his next move. Additionally, you do not want him to demonstrate that he’s worried or communicate such a feeling to his group. Anxiety this point–though we’re beaten–and occasionally badly–we shall never become demoralized.
- Have him watch constantly and ask himself the question: Who made the tackle? Also those who weren’t in on the tackles. Try to observe any glaring weakness in the defensive line or at the secondary.
- If plays gain ground they ought to be utilized until the defense changes about to fulfill them. There’s absolutely no law against returning to the successful plays in the future if circumstances warrant.
- The sixth law enters the sphere of generalship and plan. At all times the Quarterback must maintain his plays in order order. Some plays are to be utilised as checksothers as feelers. Occasionally it may be necessary to sacrifice a play to make the ones that are to follow powerful. This, of course, requires a quarterback’s looking a ways forward.
- The seventh and final law is one of precaution. Whenever in doubt, your Quarterback must do one of two things. The other would be to call time out and ask the linemen for advice concerning the alignment and qualities of the defensive linemen. Punting is nearly always the safe process.