In the most recent episode of the Bills Beat Podcast, I had an opportunity to sit down with Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane, and really tried to get inside the mind that owners Terry and Kim Pegula decided on to help run their franchise.
And in coming to Buffalo, the quarterback situation is still one that has yet to have a resolution. Tyrod Taylor is the likely starter in 2017, but beyond that, nothing is guaranteed.
So, speaking in general terms, what qualities does the new Bills GM look for in a quarterback? Beane's words, in full:
Joe B: Now, quarterback is obviously a huge to-do here. What do you look for most -- what qualities do you look for most in quarterbacks in the NFL?
Brandon Beane: Well, you know, I've been around all shapes and sizes... from Steve Beuerlein, to Steve Bono, to Jake Delhomme, to Cam Newton. The one thing that you have to have: you have to have the intangibles. You have to have the leadership qualities. You've got to get guys to follow you. It is a quarterback league, and if you don't have the leadership in the other guys, that's 11 guys on the field -- if they're not following you, it just doesn't work. I've seen quarterbacks that have arm talent. We've known the names in this league -- I'm not going to call them out -- that have all the talent in the world and they've been first-round picks.... but they aren't leaders. You've got to start there. You want to be able to have a passer that can throw from the pocket. It's good to be mobile... we love that. And obviously, Tyrod brings that, and I think Peterman has some things like that. You know, all these guys have some different qualities... there's not one thing, but, at the end of the day, quarterbacks in the NFL must be able to throw from the pocket.
Joe B: What's tougher to teach in your opinion... or, what's tougher to learn in the NFL: arm strength, or accuracy?
Brandon Beane: You know, you love arm strength. You can't teach arm strength. You can probably improve it a little bit...
Joe B: ...Like Aaron Rodgers improved in Green Bay with that.
Brandon Beane: Exactly. You can definitely do things from flexibility in all sorts of things that baseball pitchers do, and, we'll obviously always look at things like that. But, the accuracy is very important. You know, the guys are not as open in the pros as they are in college, and so, it will show if you've got a guy that's inaccurate from the pocket.
Joe B: One more on the QBs. Do you like your quarterbacks to take some chances every once and again? Because like you said, tight windows in the NFL, and it almost necessitates it.
Brandon Beane: Yeah, I mean, calculated risk... whatever you want to call it. There are some times when they are going to have to thread the needle. It's third and long, and it's late in the game, and we've got to get this play, and they're going to put a spy on the quarterback or something like that... he's got to stand in there, trust his reads, trust his progressions... and sling it and make the throw. You have to do that. In college, you see a lot of running quarterbacks that can just make a play with their own. Everything breaks down and it becomes sandlot football, and you do see some plays in the NFL, but the speed is so different here. It takes a special player to do it, and to do it often... and again, the pounding that you take. We saw that in Carolina last year. Cam took more hits last year than he had in the previous years, so, it's a tough league. And again, I'll go back to it: You have to be able to throw from the pocket.
Listen to the full 1-on-1 interview with Brandon Beane here: