Chris Petersen: "The physical parts of the quarterback position are completely overrated."

Author:
Publish date:

The entire point of the quarterback position is to get the ball where it needs to go. It's a lot more complicated than that in practice and there's a lot of dressing around it, but, at its core, that's what being a quarterback is all about. That means putting the team in the right running play or, most importantly, having the mind to throw the ball to the right player and the arm to put it in the right place.

Naturally, the bigger, stronger and faster you are, the more natural advantages you have to accomplish that goal as opposed to someone smaller, weaker and slower than you. But it doesn't mean you're automatically better, it just means you begin the race with a head start.

Chris Petersen doesn't care about who gets a head start. He just wants to get the ball where it needs to go.

"For the most part we're always looking at skill set," Petersen said at Pac-12 media days. "It's probably the first thing that gets us in the door. Then most important after that is his mentality. The quarterback position, I think the physical parts of the quarterback position are completely overrated. So we felt really good about certainly how he threw the ball, but we're more excited about how he thought about the game and processed the game.

Petersen went 50-3 at Boise State with Kellen Moore as his quarterback, listed generously on the Dallas Cowboys roster at 6-foot-nothing, 200 pounds. That lack of stature didn't stop him from leaving college with an off-the-charts 169.0 career passing efficiency number, hitting 69.8 percent of his passes for 8.8 yards per attempt with 142 touchdowns against 28 interceptions. Moore threw 39 touchdowns and three interceptions as a sophomore, averaged an even 10 yards an attempt as a junior and completed 74.3 percent of his throws as a senior. That's why he's still playing football six seasons after college despite being the size of a kicker.

As we know, Petersen left Boise State for Washington and has continued to win with a Moore clone at quarterback. Jake Browning is a giant compared to Moore -- 6-foot-2, 205 pounds -- and concluded his sophomore season of 2016 by hitting 62.1 percent of his throws for 8.8 yards per attempt with 43 touchdowns versus nine interceptions. He led the Huskies to the Pac-12 championship and a College Football Playoff appearance while being named the Pac-12's Offensive Player of the Year.

"I think height, and arm strength and all that, foot speed. I think it's overrated. It's important but it's overrated. That's what everybody gets so excited about. The best of the best, they're accurate throwers, great decision makers, and awesome in the pocket in tight spaces."

You can have your quarterbacks that are as big as defensive ends and run like safeties. Petersen will beat you with a quarterback that you probably mistook for a punter.