Warner: Rodgers separating himself from other QBs

Quarterback-turned-analyst Kurt Warner turned up at NFL Network’s Los Angeles studios Wednesday to get behind the camera on “NFL Total Access.”

Although we’ve mostly heard from Warner lately on matters involving Matt Leinart, understandably, much of the roundtable discussion in planning Wednesday’s show centered on the elite quarterbacks in the league. After Warner had some interesting things to say about Aaron Rodgers, who he believes already is a special player, we chatted about the qualities — namely the notion of accuracy — that make quarterbacks elite.

Here are Warner’s thoughts on the topic:

Rodgers has all the intangibles, and the ability. You can put a check mark next to all the things he has that a quarterback needs. A lot of guys in the league, though, bring a lot of things to the mix. I think one of the things that always separates a great quarterback is his ability to throw a lot of different passes from a lot of different places.

That’s one of the things that I’ve noticed when I’ve watched Rodgers over the last couple of seasons. He does it as well as anyone in the league.

Rodgers has the ability (to make throws) while his feet are pointing in different directions, while pressure is coming from a certain side, and while  moving in and out of the pocket. He possesses quick enough feet where he can move in the pocket, adjust and throw … and he can do it all accurately. This day and age, accuracy from a quarterback is rare. I talk about true accuracy — the ability to put the ball where it needs to be to give the receiver a chance. Not just complete passes — a lot of guys can complete passes and have nice numbers — but the ability to put it where you need to put it. It’s not quantifiable; people just look at numbers. There’s so much more to it.

That’s what I think has helped separate Rodgers from other quarterbacks. His ability to make the big plays and the throws not everyone can make. For many quarterbacks around the league, certain plays are incompletions or interceptions. The great ones can take the same plays and turn them into positives for their team. That’s where I see Rodgers — still in the early stages of his career — already separating himself.

Some high praise from Warner, who, less than a year removed from the game, seems to have the analyst thing down.

– Frank Tadych

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