Who says that a tall quarterback can’t be successful in the NFL? It seems to go against logic that having height like the Denver Broncos’ Brock Osweiler would be a detriment to his success as a quarterback.
Osweiler is 6’7” which makes it much easier for him to see over the defense compared to the average quarterback who normally stands about 6’2”. On top of that, he has longer arms and a higher delivery which makes it harder for defensive linemen to bat down his passes.
But over the years, football “experts” have developed the notion that a tall quarterback can’t be successful in the NFL. There really haven’t been a lot of tall quarterbacks come through the league in recent years but some of the ones that have come through the league haven’t been very successful.
But their lack of success can’t be blamed on their height and it’s asinine to say so. A lot of quarterbacks who are considered to be of ideal height don’t make it in the league, what determines a quarterback’s success is accuracy, arm strength, decision-making and most importantly, coaching.
So few quarterbacks that measure out at 6’6” or taller come through the NFL that it is hard to gauge why they don’t succeed but looking at a few that have entered the league we can get a sense of why they don’t do well.
Scott Mitchell is the most noticeable of the tall quarterbacks that has come through the league.
Mitchell started his career with the Miami Dolphins who haven’t developed a good quarterback since Dan Marino ended his career. He then played for the Detroit Lions who have also been pretty poor at developing quarterbacks until recently acquiring Matthew Stafford.
John Navarre played for the Arizona Cardinals. Enough said.
JaMarcus Russell was a head case. He had athleticism and ability but he never put the time in to develop his game.
Derek Anderson was never considered an elite talent. He’s bounced around the league as a career backup which pretty much sums up his skills.
The guy that is most often thought about when the conversation of unsuccessful tall quarterbacks comes about is 6’8” Dan McGuire.
He is the tallest quarterback to ever play in the league and was a first round draft pick by the Seattle Seahawks in 1991. In five seasons in the league he started a total of five games.
McGuire is the brother of former MLB slugger Mark McGuire. This may be another reason why people consider him such a disappointment seeing how successful his brother was as an athlete.
The Seahawks haven’t had success with any of the quarterbacks they have drafted since joining the NFL in 1976 so McGuire’s failure shouldn’t be treated as some odd occurrence. On top of that, the quarterbacks they have drafted haven’t had success playing for any other teams either.
So the notion that a guy can’t play the quarterback position because he is too tall is ludicrous. It’s simply unfounded and unsupported by logic similar to when NFL executives thought that black quarterbacks couldn’t play the position.
Unfortunately for Osweiler that stereotype will continue to hang over his head until either he or some other tall quarterback proves it to be false. But with Osweiler playing behind Peyton Manning in Denver, it may be a while before he gets a chance to prove himself.
Roosevelt Hall is an NFL Blogger for The Sport Mentalist and an NBA Blogger for The Sport Mentalist 2. He is also a Sports Reporter for Pro Sports Lives. He can be contacted at RHall_TPFB@Yahoo.com and be sure to follow him on Twitter @sportmentalist.