NFL quarterback-led workouts are more important than ever

NFL quarterback-led workouts are more important than ever

Forget a token show of leadership.

There is significant work to be done around the NFL.

Quarterback-organized workouts like the Giants ‘Daniel Jones recently set up at the University of Texas and the Jets’ Sam Darnold held Friday with the team’s healthy offensive skill players in Florida carry more significance this year because the coronavirus canceled the on-field aspect of. NFL offseason programs.

“I think it will definitely be more serious because that’s all they have,” NFL quarterback trainer Tony Racioppi told The Post. “What quarterbacks are doing is taking the Zoom teaching, taking charge and running their own minicamps and OTAs. If you are going to teach the offense to somebody, that means I have to learn it. “

It has become a spring rite – an expectation, really – for young quarterbacks to gather teammates in a warm-weather locale for extra work away from the eyes of coaches. Praise immediately follows for leadership.

Sam Darnold
Sam DarnoldAP

Only this year the quality of the private work matters just as much as the intangibles.

Peyton Manning told multiple NFL teams that Eli Manning’s coach-like mastery of spring workouts during the 2011 NFL lockout gave the Giants an edge during their Super Bowl XLVI-winning season.

Veteran quarterbacks in new places like Tom Brady are holding their own camp, returning quarterbacks learning new offenses like Jones needed to gain familiarity, and Darnold was not going to get complacent without major changes to the Jets as the idea was “all him on his. own, ”a league source told The Post.

“You want to get the timing down,” said Racioppi, who trains several quarterbacks out of TEST Football Academy in New Jersey and was scheduled to work with Jaguars starter Gardner Minshew before the COVID-19 restricted travel.

“Everybody has a preference like,‘ On this route, I want you to speed it up instead of squaring it because I want to throw in this window. ’For a quarterback, you are trying to pick up how receivers break routes: What mannerisms. and indicators do you give me to know that you’re going to break, so I can anticipate and throw to a spot? “

The missing ingredient from true OTAs and minicamp is the defensive presence to disturb routes, even in non-contact drills.

“The one thing you’re going to miss when doing this stuff is making decisions,” Racioppi said. “The chance to get your fundamentals and timing down. Then you go to decisions and chaos, with the defensive line around you and the blitzes. “