What is ‘It’? Identifying and developing intangibles in QBs like Burrow is difficult

 In College QBs, In the News

By Ralph D. Russo, AP College Football Writer

For Morris there are two aspects to the so-called intangibles.

One is mental capacity: The ability to learn and process football. That can show itself on the whiteboard or film room, breaking down plays and defenses. The hope is that transfers to the field, but not always.

Then there are the players whose mastery of the subject matter doesn’t really shine through until they get between the lines.

For Morris it’s the difference between book smart and street smart. Both can be successful and most good players have at least some of each. There are readily available ways to identify and develop a player’s mental capacity, though projecting its growth potential can be trickier.

The second intangible is more about personality and how it relates to leadership. One way or another, a quarterback has to be a team leader, whether he is gregarious or reticent, laid back or intense. Some quarterbacks will pick a teammate up with an optimistic ‘atta boy.’ Others get a point across more sternly.

“I’ve seen that many different personalities can get it done,” Morris said. “And so whether he is vocal or dynamic or alpha or more reserved, is he a leader? How does he lead? And then is he confident in his leadership style?”

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