The Beta Quarterback

When you look at life from a psychological standpoint, you have leaders and you have followers. Well in the Taylor Blitz Times lexicon of NFL football describing the quarterback position, you have the alpha and the beta. The alpha infuses confidence in his football team through his leadership and play. His teammates are inspired through his verve, spirit, and fight which in turn raises their level of play to meet his.  You can see the confidence in their eyes when the game is tight. This is what every coach wants and covets each year in the NFL draft. He doesn’t shrink when games are on the line or when the team is up against a superior opponent.

Matt  Schaub has been a schlub in the 2013 season.

Matt Schaub has been a schlub in the 2013 season.

Then you have the beta quarterback that many teams seem to be afflicted with. He comes through with the physical gifts that scouts and coaches can see where he can improve, and can possibly sculpt a winner from. He fulfills his promise and can win you football games yet isn’t a leader. This is the guy that looks to his teammates for confidence when they’re looking to him for theirs.

Subsequently when the situations get tight or they’re up against tough teams, he shrinks before the moment.  Sure they win the games they are supposed to win but the superior opponent he needs to beat to become a champion, he will always come up short. Late game interceptions, mangled last minute drives in important games and always loses when an alpha quarterback is leading the other team. Constant big game heartbreak follows this guy….always.

Well this is how The Chancellor of Football sees the game. As you read those first two paragraphs, certain quarterbacks started to form in your mind.  One of the most unique aspect of the beta quarterback is he almost rises to prominence in the same way. Usually they are under appreciated talents that are the best of the back-up quarterbacks. Good enough to make the roster, run the scout team offense, and if we lose our starter he can pilot the ship for 3 or 4 games. Yet with the advent of complete NFL free agency, these are the guys signed after they have done well when they have relieved an injured starter. Matt Schaub was signed after performing admirably for Michael Vick in Atlanta and is the poster boy for the beta quarterback.

Tony Romo is the epitome of the Beta quarterback. On the verge of history yesterday, he threw the game away in crunch time against the Broncos yesterday.

Tony Romo is the epitome of the Beta quarterback. On the verge of history yesterday, he threw the game away in crunch time against the Broncos in a 51-48 thriller.

The Houston Texans were busy finding out the franchise quarterback they thought they had selected in David Carr just wasn’t developing. He was a shot fighter that had been beaten into submission. Too many sacks and was shrinking more by the moment when they saw a potential starter languishing on the Falcon bench. They acquired him and assembled talent around him. The team did well and when the team wasn’t ready for prime time, the thought process was: “Once he matures, he won’t throw those passes.” Yet that incessant tic never seems to leave this guy. It’s in his DNA and it becomes glaring once the rest of the team assembled with him should thrive with his leadership.

However here they are foundering when they have a healthy Brian Cushing and the NFL’s reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year in J.J. Watt. Throw in the most prolific receiver of the last decade in 6 time Pro Bowler Andre Johnson, then perennial 1,000 yard rusher in Arian Foster. Yet here we are now that he has set an NFL record with his 4th game throwing a pick 6. Schaub is now broken.

He is well into his 30’s and we have seen the best he will ever offer the Houston Texans. This is supposed to be their year to come out of the AFC in the eyes of most pundits. Not here….the jury was already in with a verdict. In our preview: we gave a warning this should have been a point where his maturity should win big games by now. Yet it’s in his DNA and now here is this team built for a Super Bowl run that needs him to lead and ….he doesn’t have it. The Texans are not a championship football team because they have a beta quarterback that shrank again against San Fran in a 34-3 loss. Wasn’t this looked upon as a possible Super Bowl match-up before the season??

So this is the fatal flaw that afflicts both the Houston Texans and the Dallas Cowboys. In state there is a young gunslinger named Johnny Manziel that leads his team into battle against top flight competition in college. He will win games and you can see players rally around him to be better as a unit. It’s in his DNA but he may not have the typical NFL body to make it but he has the psychological make-up of an alpha quarterback. It’s his moxie that will make a team take that risk next year in the draft. Put the Cowboys and the Texans on the block for needing new quarterbacks. They don’t have an alpha and they know it. The rest of us have already come to that conclusion.

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