Why RG3 is a 'prototype' QB

The word is used falsely in assessing QBs, and RG3 is a perfect example why

Originally Published: September 12, 2012
By Bill Polian | ESPN Insider
Robert GriffinPatrick McDermott/Getty ImagesIt's early, but RG3 appears to be exactly what the Redskins need.

What makes the prototypical quarterback? You might think GMs hold some universal vision in their minds, a vision that consists of a 6-foot-6, rock-solid guy with thunder in his throwing arm and powerful legs that can drag tacklers. Although that's certainly an appealing portrait, in all my years in the league I haven't seen Hercules at an NFL scouting combine.

Certain quarterbacks may be built better or have more physical than others, but when I think of the prototypical NFL quarterback, I think of traits that are a little less tangible.

I want a quarterback with fast eyes that can see a passing window and a fast, accurate arm that allows him to strike while it's open. I want a quarterback who can read defenses and process information under fire. I want a quarterback who can make the right play under duress and stay alive in the pocket, not just scramble downfield at the first sign of pressure. And ultimately I want a quarterback who will make a big play in clutch situations.

Those are the characteristics that matter in a winning NFL quarterback. Big arm? It's a plus but not a necessity. Big frame? Maybe he can take a little more contact. Pocket passer? Athletic scrambler? None of that matters much. You can win (or lose) with any of those traits. What makes the prototypical quarterback is the intangibles ... and how a team uses him.

When the best teams -- winning teams -- find a quarterback with quality intangibles, they tailor their offenses to what he does best. See, it's that convergence that creates the prototypical quarterback, not a scheme or set of traits alone. That's the jackpot. And after Week 1, it sure looks like the Redskins have hit that jackpot with Robert Griffin III. In their particular case, I believe they've found their "prototype" quarterback.