Matt Waldman’s Rookie Scouting Portfolio contributor David Igono shows why the result often downplays the process with a look at Wisconsin quarterback Alex Hornibrook’s pocket behavior.
Throwing motions and footwork in the pocket for the quarterback position are universally known and generally understood. Although each quarterback’s physical tools and machinations may be different, there is a template for what works and what doesn’t work in the pocket.
IKEA furniture is much the same way. The finished product is widely desired and lauded for its simplicity and elegance. What you won’t see in advertised in IKEA commercials or catalogs are the instructions, nuts, bolts, and special tools required to achieve the finished product.
Ask couples currently in counseling after trying to assemble an IKEA product and you know that the result often downplays the process.
Ball security for quarterbacks is paramount. It is the one detail that can never be driven home enough. Alex Hornibrook of Wisconsin is an intriguing prospect who continually blurs the line of context and convenience in the pocket.
Hand placement and how the quarterback holds the football right before he attempts a pass are important to securing the ball.
Note how Hornibrook lowers the ball in his stance as he scans the field in the following clip.
This is neither good or bad technique. Hornibrook, seemingly, has enough time and space to relax his “ready” throwing motion. This may work in college, but it’s risky business at the pro level. There are too many variables at play that can knock the ball loose and endanger possession of the football.
The next exposure illustrates Hornibrook exiting the pocket while exposing the football when he decides to run.
Holding the football in a proactive, “loaded” position is sort of like getting a rebound in basketball at the rim. You want to be able to quickly shoot the ball and not worry about getting into the right position. Dennis Rodman exemplifies this below:
Hornibrook is a competent quarterback prospect who consistently exhibits resilience, leadership, and grit. Details matter. Ball security, especially at the quarterback is of the utmost importance.
What you get away with on one play can cost your team the game on the very next play. On the surface, Hornibrook’s ball security may seem to be a small issue. However, any detail that keeps or limits reps at the next level can be career defining.
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