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Aaron Brooks and leadership

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; I often hear fans complaining that Aaron Brooks is not a leader and he'll never be one. Considering the quarterback probably has more responsibility than any other player on the team -- I think it's a valid criticism. But, I ...

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Old 05-13-2004, 04:05 PM   #1
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Aaron Brooks and leadership

I often hear fans complaining that Aaron Brooks is not a leader and he'll never be one. Considering the quarterback probably has more responsibility than any other player on the team -- I think it's a valid criticism. But, I think some fans place too much emphasis on the value of leadership at he QB position and give too much credit for leadership being responsible for winning games.

Leadership has it's value. But isn't the real question -- How much leadership counts for in terms of wins and losses? Just so we're clear on what the definition of leadership is. The following is defined by Webster's Dictonary as leadership:

LEADER - a person who rules or guides or inspires others.

Obviously, a quarterback doesn't "rule" his team. I think the complaint made by most fans is Aaron Brooks doesn't inspire his team like other quarterbacks do. Again, a fair complaint. But, how much inspiration is required by a quarterback and how much does it count for in terms of wins/losses?

Personally, I think leadership at the QB position is way overrated. If I look back at NFL teams before free-agency, when teams were dynasties, I see no compelling evidence that QB's led their teams to the super bowl because of their intangibles. Here's a list of some great super bowl teams:


XXIV - 1/28/90
Joe Montana, San Francisco 49ers - Notre Dame (33)
John Elway, Denver Broncos - Stanford (29)

XXV - 1/27/91
Jeff Hostetler, New York Giants - West Virginia (29)
Jim Kelly, Buffalo Bills - Miami (FL) (30)

XXVI - 1/26/92
Mark Rypien, Washington Redskins - Washington State (30)
Jim Kelly, Buffalo Bills - Miami (FL) (31)

XXVII - 1/31/93
Troy Aikman, Dallas Cowboys - Oklahoma, UCLA (26)
Jim Kelly, Buffalo Bills - Miami (FL) (32)

XXVIII - 1/30/94
Troy Aikman, Dallas Cowboys - Oklahoma, UCLA (27)
Jim Kelly, Buffalo Bills - Miami (FL) (33)

XXIX - 1/29/95
Steve Young, San Francisco 49ers - BYU (33)
Stan Humphries, San Diego Chargers - NE Louisiana (29)

XXX - 1/28/96
Troy Aikman, Dallas Cowboys - Oklahoma, UCLA (29)
Neil O'Donnell, Pittsburgh Steelers - Maryland (29)



What I see is the most talented TEAMS usually made it to the big dance. And, those teams usually had very talented QB's. I think the talent these QB's had was way more responsible for their success than any intangible. Now, grated, some of these teams had great QB's, who were considered great leaders. However, these were simply the best TEAMS and they would have been successful with most anyone playing QB.

People lose sight that this is a team game and it takes a total team effort to be successful. And that is the KEY. For further proof that leadership is overrated. Where is Dan Marino at on this list?? He had all the intangibles anyone could ever want. Marino had all the talent a QB could ever want. Wasn't enough though. His leadership was of little help. As much as he might could inspire his teammates, it just didn't help that much. Like I said -- THIS IS A TEAM GAME -- It takes much more than a talented QB and it definantly takes much more than a QB that possesses great leadership or any intangible.

On the other hand, you had QB's like Jeff Hostetler, Mark Rypien, Stan Humphries, and Neil O'Donnell whose teams all went to the super bowl. Why did they make it? Simple. They had great teams. They had players that made plays. I don't think Hostetler inspired Lawrence Taylor or the rest of that defense. They were just a great and talented defense. I don't think Neil O'Donnell, Mark Rypien, or Stan Humphries led their team to the super bowl either. I don't think John Elway's leadership was largely responsible for the Broncos getting to the super bowl either. I think he was just an extremely talented QB that made plays. I'm sure it inspired his teammates, but his ability to make something out of nothing was probably the deciding factor. NOT LEADERSHIP.

So, when I see teams like Carolina make it with Jake Delhomme. Or, Tampa make it with Brad Johnson. Or, the Ravens make it with Trent Dilfer. I see way more compelling evidence that there were other things that were way more responsible than "leadership" at the QB positon that got them there.

So, for those of you that think Jake Delhomme's "leadership" got them to the super bowl. Well, that's an inspiring story. One that I think is far from the truth. And for those of you that think the reason the Saints aren't winning is because of a lack of "leadership from Aaron Brooks. Well, maybe he's just another Dan Marino.
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Old 05-13-2004, 04:47 PM   #2
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Aaron Brooks and leadership

Billy, AB is a poor leader, and he probably always will be. You\'re right, that doesn\'t mean that he is a bad QB or unworthy of his starting role. He can go to the Pro Bowl and never be a leader.

Now, that being said, yes every team needs a leader (usually a couple) on the field. People to inspire when need be, calm when need be, and keep players head in the right places. That player is usually the QB or RB on offense, and more often than not it\'s the QB.

Your list is uncompelling. In fact, I would say it contradicts your point. Are you suggesting that Montana, Elway, Kelly, Aikman, and Young weren\'t fantastic leaders? C\'mon. I get the point you\'re trying to make. The TEAM\'s talent and ability is more important than whether or not the QB is a leader. True - but then again, more often than not team\'s in the Super Bowl do have QBs who can lead. Coincidence or trend? You decide.

One unquestionable recent/emerging trend in the NFL is that of the average talent QB in the Super Bowl. Teams are winning more and more with mediocre QBs who are smart, efficient, and/or leaders. Unfortunately, Brooks is none of those things. You don\'t often see the Vicks, Culpeppers, Garcias, or Bledsoes in the Super Bowl, do you? (at least not recently) What you do see are the Dilfers, Johnsons, and Delhommes.

Now, obviously this trend does not mean that the Saints can never go to the SB with AB at the helm. However, fo a guy who has supported this team for follwing trends that have worked elsewhere around the league (spread offense, speed on defense, playmakers instead of ball control, etc.) - you seem to discount this other trend entirely simply b/c it means you would have to admit that AB has some limitations and that those limitations are potentially damaging to this team.

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Old 05-13-2004, 05:06 PM   #3
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Aaron Brooks and leadership

Obviously, you missed my POINT, WhoDat. My point was that leadership is OVERRATED. My list is what it is -- THE TRUTH -- Yes, SOME of these teams had QB\'s that were considered great leaders. The question is: What was MORE responsible for getting them there? You think it was leadership from the QB position??

Did the Giants get there because Hostetler \"led\" them there? Or, was it something else? Maybe that great defense they had? Or, that great running game they had and the fact that Hostetler could make some throws too? Or was it \"leadership\" from Hostetler?\" You decide.

How \'bout the 49\'ers, WhoDat? Was it Montana\'s \"leaderhip\" that was more responsible for getting them there? Or, the fact that he was an extremly talented QB that played with extremly talented team? Steve Young certainly stepped right in and took \'em right back to the Superbowl. Again, you decide.

How \'bout -- Neil O\'Donnell, Mark Rypien, or Stan Humphries?? Did these QB\'s \" lead\" thier teams to the super bowl? Or, did the rest of the team have more to do with the teams success that really had nothing to do with \"leadership\" from the QB position? Again, you decide.

My point, in case you missed it, is this is a TEAM GAME and leadership has it\'s place, but is way down on the list of reasons why a team is successful. YOU DECIDE....



[Edited on 13/5/2004 by GumboBC]
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Old 05-13-2004, 06:02 PM   #4
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Aaron Brooks and leadership

P.S. -- I did not start this thread to suggest Brooks is a great leader. For the record, I do not believe Brooks is a great leader, nor do I know if he\'ll ever be. That is not the point I\'m trying to make.

My point is, I think leadership at the QB position is highly overrated by a lot of fans. Even WhoDat has said he agrees with me on that...

Quote by WhoDat
The TEAM\'s talent and ability is more important than whether or not the QB is a leader. True.
My whole point is that leadership has it\'s place, but it\'s way down the list.
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Old 05-13-2004, 06:28 PM   #5
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Aaron Brooks and leadership

How much of a role does leadership play in the confidence of a team?

Not the confidence of a team before a game starts, but the confidence when they\'re down by two scores, when it\'s third and long, or when the defense must find a way to get off the field?

Leadership is what resurrects confidence when the chips are down, the odds are long, and the road is steep.

Can AB provide that? I think so, and I\'ll tell you why. His smile. That annoying laugh on the sidelines that fans complain about after a pick or bad play. His ability to shrug off the negative will be the source of his leadership, because when he combines that with polished ability, it will be something the team can find confidence in.

It doesn\'t matter how talented the team is if they don\'t believe they can do what needs to be done, and the measure of a man is his confidence when all seems lost. AB can be that guy, that believes it can be done when there\'s a long way to go and no time to get there. He\'s done it.

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Old 05-13-2004, 06:44 PM   #6
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Aaron Brooks and leadership

How much of a role does leadership play in the confidence of a team?

Not the confidence of a team before a game starts, but the confidence when they\'re down by two scores, when it\'s third and long, or when the defense must find a way to get off the field?

Leadership is what resurrects confidence when the chips are down, the odds are long, and the road is steep.
Let me first say that leadership has it\'s place. You\'re getting into confidence vs. leadership and I think it really doesn\'t have any relevance. You can be the most talented person and the most confident person and not be a leader.

I think a player must be confident in his abilites or it will hurt him. I do not think a player has to be a leader to be confident.

I think as long as Aaron Brooks does his job, along with the rest of the players, we will be fine. Samething for Deuce. He needs to be confident in his abilities and do his job. Deuce has been inspiring players and fans alike with his ability to run the ball. If he wasn\'t great at running the ball, no one would care how professinal Deuce was or how much of a character guy he was. He just needs to run the ball effectively.

If I were a player and my teammates were doing their job and we had a chance of winning a game. That would inspire me to do everything possible to make sure we won. I wouldn\'t need Aaron or Deuce to inspire me in any other way but doing a good job and giving this team a chance to win.

Good post, though. You do have some points.

[Edited on 13/5/2004 by GumboBC]
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Old 05-13-2004, 11:17 PM   #7
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Aaron Brooks and leadership

I\'m not saying that I speak for everyone here about AB, but this is my take and I have a feeling a few may agree with some of what I say. I\'m sure that everyone remembers when Bobby Hebert was the Saints QB. He might not have been the greatest leader, and had some of his worst games in the playoff crunch, but he was a fiery competitor who wasn\'t afraid to get in the face of a teammate when that person screwed up. He also would take blame for when he made mistakes as well. AB lacks the fire that a lot of \"leaders\" have. He\'s, at times, too passive. The only emotion he usually shows is when he\'s playing well. When he plays poorly, he seems to have a blank expression or that naive smile on his face. I know players are different in the way they express themselves, but if AB wants complete and total respect from his teammates, he needs to set them straight when they drop a pass, do a poor job of route running, or miss a block causing him to be sacked or Deuce dropped behind the line. Then again, someone else needs to be on his butt whenever he fumbles or throws into triple coverage. This is a TEAM effort, I agree, but this should be AB\'s offense. They don\'t call a QB the field general for nothing. General\'s lead.....troops follow. If your general doesn\'t do his job, then the troops will go AWOL. I\'d just love to see AB get in someone\'s face ONCE. Then it would show me that he is serious about winning and not just signing his paycheck.

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Old 05-13-2004, 11:33 PM   #8
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Aaron Brooks and leadership

D_it_up2 -

I understand your position. But, are you saying the in-your-face QB\'s are more effective? I loved Bobby Hebert because of that. But, in the end, he failed his team more times than not.

I remember our offense leading the NFL in scoring a couple of years ago. Did Brooks have leadership qualities then? Did he lose them last year? Was his leadership responsible for us leading the league in scoring and was his lack of leadership responsible for our offensive short-comings last year.

I believe that leadership at the QB position is way overrated.

The supporting cast plays a huge role in football.


[Edited on 14/5/2004 by GumboBC]
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Old 05-13-2004, 11:47 PM   #9
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Aaron Brooks and leadership

You\'re getting into confidence vs. leadership and I think it really doesn\'t have any relevance. You can be the most talented person and the most confident person and not be a leader.
Terrell Owens?

The mystery here, and one that we will find tough to answer, is do the other players have confidence in Brooks, or do they question him in the moment of truth? Every player will say to the fans and media that they back him. That is professional courtesy by any player. Do they believe that? Brooks is a top tier talent that has unpredictable and often catastrophical lapses in focus. When does a teammate begin to worry more about one happening than focusing on his role at the given time?
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Old 05-13-2004, 11:57 PM   #10
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Aaron Brooks and leadership

You\'re getting into confidence vs. leadership and I think it really doesn\'t have any relevance. You can be the most talented person and the most confident person and not be a leader.
Terrell Owens?

The mystery here, and one that we will find tough to answer, is do the other players have confidence in Brooks, or do they question him in the moment of truth? Every player will say to the fans and media that they back him. That is professional courtesy by any player. Do they believe that? Brooks is a top tier talent that has unpredictable and often catastrophical lapses in focus. When does a teammate begin to worry more about one happening than focusing on his role at the given time?
Now we\'re getting into: Do players quit on Brooks, either conciously or sub-couciously?

Here\'s my arguement......

We had one of the highest scoring offenses, if not the highest, in the league a couple of years ago. Brooks was the QB then. I never heard anyone quitting on him then. Now, we\'re suggesting that players have no confidence in him and don\'t play hard for him?

Seems unlikely to me lummOx. Everyone is going to have to decide for themselves.

You remember the samethings were being said about Peyton Manning a couple of years ago. Vanderjack, or whatever the kicker\'s name was came out and openly said it. Well, we see what Peyton did last year. I\'ve said it once and I\'ll say it again.... Too much had been made of the leadership, or lack of, at the QB position. Not just for Brooks, but for Peyton Manning too.





[Edited on 14/5/2004 by GumboBC]
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