Arm Talent Matters

You can coach mistakes out of a guy with a big arm. He can put in the extra time in the film room and improve his recognition of what the Defense is doing. There is not much you can do with a guy who knows everything there is to know, but can’t make the throw. Just saying.

The most disturbing thing about the spring game was the inaccuracy by both quarterbacks on short, medium, and deep passing. It was a vanilla offense, the defense knew every play they ran, they were learning a new offense, yada, yada, and none of that has anything to do with causing inaccurate passes. There was no pass rush. Receivers were getting open and the timing and location of the passes to them was consistently very poor. If one of our returning QB’s doesn’t improve a lot over that spring game performance, we WILL have a true freshman QB by mid season. JMVVVVVHO.

Has any reporter seen any much improved passing accuracy so far this fall? If so, pass it on. I need some good news.

Point taken. You can’t coach a big arm, any more than sub-4.4 speed or a 6’6” frame.

But your second sentence is the big qualifier to making the most of a big arm… put in the time to master the mental side of the game.

But, big arm or average arm, the most accurate QB will almost always win out. Either one better master the mental aspect of the game (study, learn to read defenses/make checks/etc, quickly overcome failure, lead) or his QB career will be short. But if you aren’t an accurate thrower, you can have the biggest arm in the history of the media guide, yet people will still mainly be talking about your “potential”.

Yes I understand the importance of accuracy, but Cole was well a over 50% passer in his first year. That was while scrambling for his life on most plays and throwing to a mediocre receiving corp. The other guy’s arm isn’t just weaker, it probably isn’t as accurate either. Neither QB will out run many defenders. One will run over a few though.

Accuracy is why I was thinking John Stephen Jones might impress those that watch him play. He was certainly accurate in high school.

I get it, though, that he’s nearly a head shorter than all the other QBs. And while I think his arm is probably adequate, it’s not Cole Kelley’s arm.

John Stephen will know the offense, however. Someone mentioned a fumbled snap he had the other day. He did that in HS on occasion. The kid seems to get really focused on reading defenses and will bobble a snap or two on you. I do think he will pretty much always know where to go with the football. He can improv too.

I still think he can play major college QB. Regardless, he’s from a great Razorback family and I hope he really enjoys his time playing football for the Hogs.

Clay, Matt, Scottie, Dudley, and more specific information on how John Stephen is holding up?

As much as we would all love to tell you how the quarterback’s accuracy is to this point, we truly have gotten to see only drills and a few offensive plays in each practice.

So - with an admitted small sample size to work with - I would say that Kelley, Storey, Noland, Hyatt and Stephens (in that order) in terms of accuracy.

Kelley’s stats last season - 57.1 percent completion (87-of-151 passing), 8 TDs, 4 interceptions, 53 rushes for 74 yards and two touchdowns and that rushing yardage factors in the 16 sacks.

There is absolutely no question whatsoever who has the biggest arm - Kelley. Noland is probably the next best, but does have a little hitch that he has developed that I’m sure they will be working to get rid of soon. He does throw a pretty ball once it leaves the hands.

I know there are those who remember Hyatt’s sprint in the spring game and have dubbed him the best runner, but Noland is just as good if not better and there is not an noticeable difference in all of them to make you go wow.

That includes Kelley - who at 255 and on his way to around 248 - is much more mobile than some of you give him credit for having.

As for John Stephen, I have seen him get a few reps, throw some good balls and throw some short - just like Connor. They are getting used to having speedier WRs in college

Excellent. Thanks Dudley. I haven’t thought about the speed of the receivers and the adjustments needed for that. The HP receivers not only were slow by comparison, but were frequently wide open, too. Open receivers ain’t happening all the time in the SEC, of course. John Stephen is a gamer, though. I anticipate he’ll get better on this level as he continues to get reps, like all of the QBs. Seems like Kelley is our man this year, which is great. He seems like a good dude. And he won’t go down easily, even if he dips below 250.

From my perspective, the most important “assets” for a QB to have, in order, are:

  1. Making accurate, split-second decisions consistently (this includes which receiver to throw to, when to not throw the ball at all (or throw it away), when to stay in the pocket or scramble, when to check out of a play, and - if you do - what to check into.

  2. Presence/command in the huddle. Respect from and having the attention of teammates in the game with him, and from the opposition (they may not like him . . . but do they fear him?).

  3. Ball handling/pocket presence/quick feet. Can’t have fumbled hand-offs. Must be able to subtly move in the pocket to avoid rush while keeping eyes on receiving options. Also nice to be able to run for the occasional first down to keep defenses honest.

  4. Quick release on passes.

  5. Arm strength

Having said all of that, of course, there is a minimum arm strength level below which a player could be almost perfect in the first 4 items above and it wouldn’t be enough to cover a super weak arm (unless, maybe, you’re running the wishbone). But I’d say that deficit of arm strength is extremely rare in someone who was recruited to be a Power 5 QB, so the point almost becomes moot.

And, I’d also acknowledge that it is a nice luxury to have a “plus” arm. It allows a QB to make a few throws most other D1 QB’s cannot (see Ryan Mallett). But, it’s not the “cure all” that most fans think it is. You can have a bazooka, but if you’re hitting the other team almost as often as your own teammates, you’re not going to be effective (Tarvaris Jackson)

RPO’s will be interesting. One of the major issues is when to pull the ball, which often results in fumbles–the QB and RB have to be “on the same page.”

I may be wrong, but my understanding of the RPO is that the QB doesn’t really put the ball in the belly of the RB if he has elected to take the P part of the RPO. He just kinda looks like he might hand it off, enough to freeze an LB. The old triple option, the QB is making a read while he has the ball in the RB’s belly. In the RPO, he makes that read pre-snap.

Arm talent matters, but a great many of the throws in this offense don’t require a big arm. I saw a lot of dumps, pitches and tosses that are pretty simple. I’m not saying I could make them. But a lot of dudes could. Just gotta know where it’s going to happen (quick) and also what not to look for. That’s smarts more than talent. There are some throws that require that gun, but not a lot of them.

If you would’ve been able to watch the entire practice this morning you would change your accuracy ranking for sure.

The Ole Miss game at War Memorial will be one to watch for sure.

Didn’t get to see any of practice today - home sick.

I am guessing you did and thus must have some position with the team.

Feel free to enlighten us.

And what’s up with the Ole Miss game? The unveiling of Connor Noland after getting through Alabama?

I watched the quarterbacks throw at a three-hole net for a little while the other day. They were going two-by-two.

Kelley was hitting more of his marks than Storey in the first twosome, Lindsey was hitting more than Hyatt in the second group and Noland was hitting more than Jones in the third group. Jones’ throws were probably the most off the mark of the six. That is just an observation from about 10 minutes of watching them throw without a rush and toward a stationary target.

I think you’re right, but I’ve seen times when QBs haven’t made that decision quick enough and there’s been confusion (perhaps because he stuck it a little lower than he should have, IDK). Just an observation from seeing a few of the teams that use the RPO play in the past.

If we are talking strictly about the arm, I will say accuracy is the most important. Kelley didn’t show that last year. Hopefully he will this year. Last year many of his completions came from sliding, diving, and reach behind catches. It’s a tremendous benefit if the QB can hit a receiver in stride.

Troy Aikman was an advocate of accuracy over arm strength. He would probably know.

Cole is how much taller than anybody else-can’t coach that.

Cole is bigger and has a stronger arm than anybody else.

Cole has gone against Bama and others. He knows what’s coming.

After the Bama game last year, the Bama defenders were very complimentary of Cole, talking about how hard he was to get down.

Cole carries a bullet in his body. A shooter attacked the car he was riding in with 3 other buddies. One lost his life. Experiences like this will toughen one up.

Cole is liked very much by his teammates. He is respected.

He was invited to the Manning quarterback school as an instructor this summer. He was the favorite of the high school players. They loved him. He had the play of the camp-a 70 yard pass right on the money for a TD.

This just seems like a no-brainer. He is a lot like Mallet, maybe better.

This might be the dumbest post in the history of Whole Hog Sports. Smh…

That is a no-brainer. WOW.

I’m still on the Hyatt bandwagon. We need Hyatt to keep making progress so we have a more mature option for an athletic QB. Hyatt is going to extend the play better than Storey and Kelley. From what I have read RPO offense needs a dual threat at QB to engage the Defenders in run support. Hyatt is the only one of the 3 that is quick enough to create that run threat to make the RPO dangerous on the 2nd option outside the tackles. Watch AU games when White was the QB and their offense was stagnant.

We would be much better off if we could redshirt the 2 freshman QB’s.

I need to hear that Jones got open deep and somebody/anybody hit him in stride for a TD. So far, all spring, the spring game, and in fall practice, all I hear is he and others were under thrown to, again and again. CCM showed me in the spring game that his offense, even when it was plain vanilla, even when the defense knew every play very well, his receivers could get open. Yes, I know that was against OUR secondary, but they were open short, wide, across the middle, and deep. I did not see any quarterback hitting any receivers consistently, in stride, and there was no pass rush. The QB’s could not be hit only tagged and then the play went on to completion sometimes. That is my biggest concern about this team just ahead of the offensive line. Arm talent matters a lot. JMVVVHO.