Matt Waldman’s RSP Boiler Room examines how LSU quarterback Joe Burrow’s confidence translates on the field and why it’s vital to good quarterbacking.
Matt’s Note: The analysis of this 3rd and 17 play and the play before it is from months prior to the National Championship game. It’s notable that LSU head coach Ed Orgeron mentioned this exact play while on the field after the Clemson game as the exact moment he knew LSU had a chance to win the title.
Good scouting examines and synthesizes a variety of resources to arrive at conclusions. Data removes a lot of emotional and observational bias from analysis. It can also lack valuable context. Film provides the context but we can unintentionally limit its value with one-play-at-at-time scouting.
We see one play and depending on our biases, the successes or mistakes psychologically carry more weight than they should. We don’t consider the shape and scope of a series, quarter, a half, or a game and how a player responds to momentary failure, downward trend, or slump.
After all, Dan Marino, Joe Montana, and John Elway all had plays or series that, if judged on their own, would lead us to conclude they were incompetent.
It’s important to view games as chapters in a player’s career, which also means you can deconstruct series as scenes and plays as singular statements or actions. When you do it this way, you’ll begin seeing the threads in a player that holds his game together rather than listing off the good and bad of his parts.
One of quarterback Joe Burrow’s threads is confident aggression that doesn’t waver when it leads to mistakes. Below are two pairs of plays that I’ve connected as meaningful statements about Burrow’s game.
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