When watching football on television you may find yourself wondering “why doesn’t the quarterback just run with the football?”. There are several reasons why quarterbacks do not do this very often and none of them has to do with a rule against it.
It is in fact entirely legal for the quarterback to run with the football on any given play. At any point during a play when the quarterback has the ball, he is legally allowed to tuck it into his arm and run down the field.
Why Don’t Quarterbacks Run More Often?
Now that you know quarterbacks are allowed to run with the football you may be wondering why it is that they don’t do it more often.
The main reasons that quarterbacks tend to pass the ball as opposed to run with it include, injury concerns, lack of athletic ability and the in-game situation.
One of the main reasons that quarterbacks do not often run with the ball is due to injury concerns. Quarterbacks are far and away the most important players on a football team.
If your starting quarterback gets injured then it will have a huge effect on your team. In order to prevent this teams try to make sure their quarterback takes as few hits as possible.
In many situations, this means that quarterbacks will not have any planned quarterback runs. This is also why you will often see quarterbacks slide or run out of bounds before taking a hit.
Lack Of Athletic Ability
Lack of athletic ability is another reason why quarterbacks do not run with the ball very often. If you have watched a lot of football you should know the sort of quarterback we are talking about.
Some quarterbacks are brought into the league based purely on their ability to throw the ball. Oftentimes these quarterbacks are not fast, durable, or agile.
In these situations, the best option for these quarterbacks is to throw the ball. Passing the ball is going to move the ball down the field more effectively which means that is what is going to be in the game plan.
These sorts of quarterbacks will still rush with the ball the odd time but only in dire situations in which it is noticeably the best option for the quarterback.
This reasoning for the lack of QB runs is most common amongst pocket passers and veteran quarterbacks.
Another reason that quarterbacks do not often run with the football is the game situation. Often times when watching a football game you may notice a large amount of open field in front of the quarterback.
This leaves many fans wondering why the quarterback doesn’t simply run with the ball and pick up some yards.
Depending on the situation in the game this may not be the best idea. For example, say a team is down by several touchdowns in a game. The defense may leave this portion of the field open as they will not mind giving up a small amount of yardage.
This is because the offense will need to move down the field quickly in order to make a comeback.
Additionally, when a player is tackled inbounds the clock will keep running. When a team is trying to make a drive during the last minute of the game keeping the clock running can lose you the game.
In order to avoid this teams will throw passes that take them down the field quickly. As well as passes near the boundary that will stop the clock if the player goes out of bounds.
If a quarterback decides to run with the ball it will likely cost the team far too much time.
These sort of in-game situations are often reasons why quarterbacks do not run despite it seeming like an obvious option on television.