Joe Banner gives another prehistoric take about mobile quarterbacks in the NFL
Lamar Jackson injured his ankle this past weekend, forcing him out of the game in which the Ravens lost. Following the injury, former Eagles President Joe Banner got into hot water with his comments regarding the injury. The weird thing about this injury and subsequent tweet is that Lamar was attempting a pass on this play and not “trying to run a lot to get hurt”.
Ah, the old take that running quarterbacks are more injury-prone than those that stay in the pocket. While I agree that quarterbacks who make themselves runners take some horrific hits, many of these “new era” signal-callers excel in taking in the least amount of damage while in the open field.
The Ravens’ quarterback has played in 15 of 17 games each of the past two seasons and would be the shining example of Joe Banner’s “theory.” But the data is not there. Going back to Cam Newton’s first years in 2011 when he was the ultimate dual-threat quarterback, he only missed four games in his first seven seasons.
Naturally, quarterbacks becoming a runner outside the pocket results in more hits. Still, I feel like Joe Banner might be slipping into dementia because there have been just as many, if not more, punishments resulting in devastating injuries from quarterbacks hanging in the pocket too long.
For example, Cam Newton hurt his shoulder while running, but it was a late hit while sliding. Meanwhile, Robert Griffin III tore his ACL and LCL going for a bad snap in the backfield on an intended passing play. Almost none of these “running quarterbacks” suffered legitimate injuries while running that could’ve been prevented.
Jameis Winston’s season-ending injury came after he escaped a collapsing pocket and tore his ACL in the attempt. In 2016, Derek Carr enjoyed an MVP season before brutally breaking his leg while dropping back. The list goes on, but the new rules banning low hits on quarterbacks in the pocket have certainly helped those unfortunate lower-body injuries.
To further discount Joe Banner’s 1970s football approach, look no further than Josh Allen. Many would consider him a running quarterback, but there isn’t much concern for his health when he hits the open field. A bulkier frame certainly helps absorb those big hits, but he’s still running just as much as Lamar Jackson.
The main reason I find Joe Banner’s comments so wrong is that football clearly has changed for the quarterback position. Sure, a cannon for an arm and pocket presence is still valued, but escapability and creativity when plays break down are becoming more critical. He claims Lamar’s ankle injury should be a cautionary tale for NFL teams drafting mobile quarterbacks, which I find laughable.
Almost every young quarterback has elite athleticism these days, and sometimes their legs are the most beneficial aspect of their game, especially when the play dies. Lamar Jackson runs WAY more than other quarterback. But back to my initial point, he’s great at not taking big hits when he becomes an exposed runner.
Joe Banner probably sees the game passing him by and wanted one more shot at telling people he still knows what’s best in the NFL. Well, I’m sorry, Joe, but having your quarterback as one of the best athletes on the field is the ultimate benefit in the NFL nowadays.
Mandatory Credit: AP