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Photo: Genessa Gutzait

What ever happened to the mobile quarterback revolution? 

It was wasn’t too long ago that everyone thought it was only a matter of time before the dinosaur “prototype” quarterbacks like Tom Brady and Peyton Manning—who had the best quarterback minds but could move just as fast as your grandpa—would be run out of town by the new sexy breed of quarterback, the mobile quarterback. 

Read anything five years ago and you’d think at this point every quarterback could run a 4.4 40-yard dash and run 800 yards a year. Robert Griffin III was coming off an electrifying rookie season, while little-known quarterback Colin Kaepernick was outshining old man Brady on Sunday Night Football and stealing the job from Captain Checkdown Alex Smith.

Many of us were ready to hand over the reins to quarterbacks with at least 60 designed runs a season, who could stupefy defenses with college-style offenses. 

Well, it’s the future, and we still don’t have flying cars, or flying quarterbacks. Just like the short-lived “Wildcat” revolution, the age of the mobile quarterback using heavy read-option schemes has dwindled into a gimmick. Of course, there’s plenty of great quarterbacks that excel at scrambling and the occasional designed run, most notably Russell Wilson and Cam Newton. However, most of Wilson’s runs have little to do with any sort of intentional design and more to do with horrific protection, while Newton’s reliance on the run has stagnated his development as a passer.

The boring, slow quarterbacks, such as Big Ben Roethlisberger, Drew Brees, and Brady consistently have the best offenses, while RGIII dropped from the GOAT to being cut by the Browns, and Kaepernick is… well that’s another story. 

The mobile quarterback officially died for me this preseason when Baltimore decided to retain arguably the least exciting quarterback of all time, Joe Flacco, as starter over the scintillating first rounder Lamar Jackson and the former prodigal son himself RGIII.

Funny how things work out.

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