Rookie quarterback Geno Smith and quarterback Terrelle Pryor have a lot in common: Both were star quarterbacks for their respected colleges in West Virgina and the Ohio State university. Each came into the league with many naysayers doubting their skill at the quarterback position, and lastly both became full time status for their teams in the New York Jets and the Oakland Raiders.
Smith and Pryor have seen their share of fame and growing pains in their short tenures in the NFL, but who hasn't? There key skills each quarterback will need to work on to become an elite quarterback in the NFL. If both can hit the nail on the head with these skills the sky is the limit with their potential.
-The NFL today sees the evolution of a new type of quarterbacks. Three quarterbacks that fit the description of a dual threat quarterback’s like Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers, Collin Kaepernick of the San Fransico 49ers and Robert Griffin III of the Washington Redskins.
These quarterbacks strive their success on their amazing ability to pass the football very well but also running out the quarterback pocket whenever needed. Smith has shown he can run with the ball well as he even won his first game because of this but he still his running ability isn't of the caliber of the three quarterbacks listed. Smith will be able to improve his running ability to the point where he becomes a dual threat quarterback as it will only make him better.
-Another skill Smith needs to improve is his decision making, there will be times in which he makes smart decisions but other times that must make Rex Ryan scratch his head, for example earlier in the season he tried to do a behind the back pass but sadly it resulted in a safety.
Successful quarterbacks have great decision making skills like Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos and Tom Brady of the New England Patriots. Smith will benefit from this skill more than he thinks as he looks to become an elite quarterback over the years.
-One thing Pryor is well known for is his athleticism which makes up one part of a dual threat quarterback. He has the ideal physical size and being a quarterback capable of precise ball placement who can read defenses. Pryor has shown a repeated ability to place the ball accurately deep and intermediately this season. In the game two weeks ago against the Chargers Pryor just one play from scrimmage in the Raiders’ to show that deep-ball ability. He fired a deep ball 46 air yards up the right sideline that hit wide receiver Rod Streater ahead of two Chargers defensive backs as he neared the end zone for a 44-yard touchdown. Before playing the Chiefs last weekend he ranked 11th through the first five weeks of the NFL season with a 43.8 accuracy percentage (7-of-16) on deep passing (throws of 20 yards or more) according to Pro Football Focus. As the offensive line of the Raiders gets back to full health he will have the ability to establish himself as a franchise player in Oakland.
-Lastly just like his fellow quarterback Geno Smith Pryor needs to improve his decision making skills. Coming in from Ohio State critics wonder how would he handled the NFL specifically in making the right decisions. Many feel he will be in the class of the other young quarterbacks if he can master or at least become good at decision making. Raiders fans understand what he is battling with the lack of good offensive line in front of him.
Both young quarterbacks look to have bright futures are in sight as long as they continue to develop their skills as an NFL quarterback and get past the growing pains.
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