What Is A Scrambler In Football?
In simple terms, a scrambler is a quarterback who can run with the ball. This means they are not simply pocket passers but can play with their feet if necessary. Scramblers are often considered a threat because they can pick up big yards on the ground, even if the play was designed to be a passing play.
While there are many great scramblers in the NFL, one of the most famous is probably Michael Vick. He was known for his speed and elusiveness and often made plays that left defenders grasping at air.
What Makes An Effective Scrambling QB?
Quarterbacks who can scramble effectively are a nightmare for opposing defenses. They keep plays alive, pick up first downs, and sometimes even score touchdowns. But what exactly makes a quarterback effective when scrambling?
Ability To Improvise: This can be very difficult for the defense to defend against, as they are not expecting the quarterback to run. They can also use their speed to their advantage, as they can often outrun defenders who are not used to chasing them.
Quick Decisions: They need to be able to read the defense and find the open receiver or choose to run themselves. Often, a scrambling quarterback will have a few options available, and they need to choose the right one quickly.
Arm Strength: While they will not be throwing the ball as much as a traditional quarterback, they still need to be able to make throws when necessary. Scramblers often pick up big chunks of yards by completing passes downfield when the play breaks down.
Risks Associated With Scrambling Quarterbacks
For one thing, quarterbacks who frequently scramble are more likely to get injured. This is because they’re exposing themselves to more hits from defenders. And while most quarterbacks are tough enough to take a few hits, they’re not built to withstand a constant barrage of them.
Having a scrambling quarterback can also make it difficult for the offensive line to protect. This is because they have to account for his movement and adjust their blocking accordingly. If they don’t do this properly, it can leave the quarterback vulnerable to getting sacked.
They can also be easier to game plan against because defenses can design plays specifically to stop them. So while a scrambling quarterback may be exciting to watch, some definite risks come with it.
How To Defend A Scrambling Quarterback
When playing against this type of quarterback, the defense must be disciplined in their pass rush lanes and not allow the quarterback to escape the pocket. The defensive backs must also stay with their receivers and not allow them to get open downfield.
The defensive backs also need to stay with their receivers when they are running downfield. This is because a scrambling quarterback will often try to throw the ball deep downfield to an open receiver. If the defensive backs can stay with their receivers, they will be able to defend against this type of play.