Quarterback | leadership


QB Aaron Rodgers (12) and the Green Bay Packers breaking the huddle.

In the NFL, while the starting quarterback has no other responsibility or authority, he may, depending on the league or individual team, have various informal duties, such as participation in pre-game ceremonies, the coin toss, or other events outside the game.

Being able to rely on a quarterback is vital to team morale. San Diego Chargers safety Rodney Harrison called the 1998 season a "nightmare" because of poor play by Ryan Leaf and Craig Whelihan and, from the rookie Leaf, obnoxious behavior toward teammates. Although their 1999 season replacements Jim Harbaugh and Erik Kramer were not stars, linebacker Junior Seau said "you can't imagine the security we feel as teammates knowing we have two quarterbacks who have performed in this league and know how to handle themselves as players and as leaders".[18] Often compared to captains of other team sports, before the implementation of NFL team captains in 2007, the starting quarterback was usually the de facto team leader and well-respected player on and off the field. Since 2007, when the NFL allowed teams to designate several captains to serve as on-field leaders, the starting quarterback has usually been one of the team captains as the leader of the team's offense.

After a Super Bowl victory, the starting quarterback is the first player (and third person after the team owner and head coach) to be presented with the Vince Lombardi Trophy. The starting quarterback of the victorious Super Bowl team is often chosen for the "I'm going to Disney World!" campaign (which includes a trip to Walt Disney World for them and their families), whether they are the Super Bowl MVP or not; examples include Joe Montana (XXIII), Trent Dilfer (XXXV), and Peyton Manning (50). Dilfer was chosen even though teammate Ray Lewis was the MVP of Super Bowl XXXV, due to the bad publicity from Lewis' murder trial the prior year.[19]

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