Top Quarterbacks

Written by Dallas Smith
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As a fan of all levels of football, and particularly of the quarterback position, you probably have your favorites among the vast number of great athletes to achieve the status of top quarterbacks. To take a survey of the great quarterbacks is to travel through the proud history of the game, stopping on names like Joe Namath, Bart Starr, and Johnny Unitas. Moving along the timeline, you can find stars such as Terry Bradshaw, Doug Williams, and Danny White. Approaching the current era, you find the players idolized by today's quarterbacks -- Joe Montana, Dan Marino, and Warren Moon, who paved the way for the likes of today's greats like Kurt Warner, Tom Brady, and Steve McNair.

Finally, you find the future of this critical position resting in the hands of up-and-coming stars like Peyton Manning, Micheal Vick, and Joey Harrington, players who might someday carry the distinction of "top quarterback." When compiling a list that brings these players together, a single question emerges. What is it about these players, coming from varied backgrounds and experiences, and possessing different personalities and characteristics, that gives them the edge over the competition, and that grants them continued productivity and outstanding results, year after year?

The Top Quarterbacks: A Lifelong Commitment to Excellence Through Hard Work

When you look at the careers of each of these great quarterbacks, you see an initial foundation of raw talent and unpolished skill level that is the groundwork for their future success. However, the history of the sport is littered with great talent that fell by the wayside, never reaching the elite level, players who had much of the pure athletic skill, but little of the discipline to grind it out, day in and day out, on the practice field. On the other hand, to study the great players is to see a lifelong dedication to practicing, molding, and improving their skills through daily attention to practice, knowing that a great game performance is built on great practice performance.

In essence, to analyze the binding theme that unites the top quarterbacks from every era, you quickly find the universal commitment to hard work on the practice field, far from the cameras, the fans, and the glory. Indeed, these men found glory in the blood, the sweat and the tears that were spilled on the dirt of the practice field, day after day after day. Ultimately, to reach that elite level, you'll be required to give your body and soul to the dirt every day in practice -- a sacrifice well worth the status of quarterback legend.

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