Of course ... Being Perfect ... is a goal for which to strive, but it's never going to be reality. So what is it that you're striving for ... to get as close to perfection as you can possibly achieve?
Maybe the answer lies within a famous quote given by the late Harold Ramis in the movie Stripes (1981), where his father said to him, "Never hit a guy unless you know that your absolutely going to get away with it". Which brings up, once again, an interesting theme. Aaron Rodgers, with all his success, is striving to play the game without ever getting hit. Then we all imagine back to the days of Emmitt Smith, and that massive Dallas Cowboys offensive line, where it always seemed that Emmitt was running through defenses, almost untouched. Again, a re-occurring theme. To be perfect, Teddy has to play the game where it seems like he's never getting touched ... ever. Now how can he accomplish that?
As we watch this rookie quarterback evolve, we see happy feet prior to his release rather than a deliberate float. Maybe it's due to his protection not doing such a good job for their quarterback or maybe its due to a faulty internal clock that's enabling Teddy to hold onto the ball for too long. In either case, his play of recent past has been somewhat dysfunctional and maybe his actual set of priorities are way out of whack which is causing him to apply a faulty subset into play with somewhat disastrous results.
As a young player, the first thing that needs to be driven out of his head is that he is never to act out as a hero. Of course, this needs explanation. Well just as Cordarrelle Patterson must learn to gain the bulk of his success from his direct interface with Teddy Bridgewater (not special teams), so to must Teddy gain his success from the weapons and tools that are around him. If Teddy finds himself standing in the pocket trying to buy a fraction of a second for Cordarrelle or Greg Jennings to get open, then he's done a great disservice to the entire organization, as he's risked his health, his body and his peace of mind chasing what might be ... It is then that he must confront a rookies number one issue ... of trying to do too much. Buying fractions of a second is quite frankly ... chasing hope ... is way too much. If receivers aren't open it just might be because Teddy's eyes didn't get that receiver open. They don't need your brawn, your arm strength or your speed ... they need your eyes.
When Teddy threw that red zone pick on the opening drive of that 17 to 3 loss in his second start, some might think he was under pressure in the pocket but the only pressure that he faced was deeply ingrained in his mind ... "I must get that first touchdown pass" ... where all he had to do was search for McKinnon's short developing crossing route that had the chance to put it up right next to the goal line or even might have been a scoring opportunity for the "Slashing-Flash". His eyes had already shifted the defense deep into the end zone opening up everything underneath.
Everyone knows that defenders peek. When possible, they always follow the quarterbacks eyes and in most cases, they float to where ever those eyes might peer. If this is the case ... and it is ... then no quarterback worth his salt can afford to wait for any receiver to get open.
The rule of thumb is that if a receiver isn't open the moment your eyes make contact with that receiver, your eyes should be searching for your next target. In other words, at first site, the receiver is either open or he's not based upon his next anticipated move. If it's not there your eyes must move on in fractions of a second.
Brett Favre understood that on every play, there was a primary receiver. Unless it was a slant, his first glance was almost never at the primary, as his opening move was to glance-off the defenders. If the primary was on the right, his eyes opened on the left. Brett openly admitted that he was no Joe Montana, looking at four reads on a play, but he was quite adept at handling at least two reads with his eyes prior to his release. It was almost like Gene Hackman in Hoosiers, where he ingrained so many passes before that shot was put up. Maybe this is why so many receivers are so adamant about playing for elite quarterbacks as their eyes make their craft into art and with everyone else ... it is a struggle at best. Poor Percy.
At present, Teddy is struggling mightily, not knowing that he's providing the defense everything they need to make their job as easy as pie. If he truly wants to be perfect, he's got to master two things, one is a purposeful glide within the pocket and the second is to be the master over his eyes. Lazy eyes gets receiver mauled ... Master eyes get touchdowns.
It wasn't so long ago that Sir Francis needed to work the ball to expose the flanks of the defense. Too often we use the flanker screen, however that ball must come out quick and flat. The defensive end, seeing it, just rushes up the field taking away that flat trajectory pass. It was then that Fran used to float balls over the end to get it into the hands of an adjusting running back like McKinnon making that Ends maneuver look foolish. As long as that sides receiver is in man coverage, attacking the flank with McKinnon in this manner could yield results. As Ponder is well aware, flat trajectory passes aren't always an option where a touch pass must be practiced as there's nothing like a running back, running at full-down-the-field-speed, out in the flat.
The Viking Ghost Writer
Date: October 23, 2014