The future of NFL QBs: Deshaun Watson and Lamar Jackson?

When the Texans and Ravens play Sunday, two young, dynamic quarterbacks will leading their offenses. Deshaun Watson and Lamar Jackson, known for their passing and their ability to outrun and escape defenders, have put up eye-popping stats through their first nine games of the season. Watson and Jackson also have their teams atop their respective divisions.

Is this the future of quarterbacks? Are the days of the pure pocket-passers like Tom Brady and Peyton Manning morphing into this new trend of speedy, mobile quarterbacks who can execute the run-pass option (RPO)?

According to head coach Bill O’Brien, who has run offenses with both Brady and Watson among a long list of other quarterbacks in between, there are a number of skills that make a quarterback successful.

1. Leadership
“When the lights go on, how do you perform? It's one thing to perform well on the practice field, it's a whole other thing to perform well, whatever your skillset is, in front of 80,000 people on the road, third and five to win the game,” O’Brien said. “How do you perform in that deal? Very few guys have it.”

2. Intelligence
“Offensively the quarterback's got to be really sharp as to how he processes it in a very short amount of time to get us into the right play, to make the right decisions. So, a lot of it goes into your intelligence, your ability to do that.”

3. Arm strength plus accuracy
“Obviously, arm strength, accuracy; people don't talk enough about accuracy. In pro football, the six-inch difference between leaving a ball inside where the DB is, relative to a foot outside where the DB isn't is a big difference, even though it's this much. There's a very slim margin for error when it comes to accuracy, so it's not all about just arm strength.”

Watson and Jackson will face each other for the first time as NFL quarterbacks on Sunday at M&T Stadium. Kickoff is set for noon CT on CBS and SportsRadio 610.

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