What are intangibles in football?

Intangibles in football are things that cannot be measured yet they are very important in a quarterback’s success. These are not physical factors but more so traits a player may or may not possess.

When a quarterback holds his head up high on the sideline and continues to motivate his teammates that is not something you can measure.

There is no combine event for a quarterback’s leadership but most NFL scouts will tell you this is a crucial factor in a quarterback’s success.

Intangibles make up the personality and actions of a quarterback. While everyone is quick to appreciate a cannon of an arm or speedy legs they may not be realizing the intangibles at work.

Examples of intangibles in football players

To get a better understanding of what intangibles are in the NFL we are going to break down some examples.

Calm and collected

Being a quarterback in football is an extremely stressful position. These players are thrown into the most difficult position in the sport and also must lead the players around them.

If a quarterback finds himself quitting on his game or sulking on the sideline the team will feel it too. It is up to this position to keep a positive outlook and keep their players motivated.

Having this intangible skill is going to help the quarterback both on and off the field.


One incredibly important aspect of being a professional quarterback is coachability. If a quarterback is not able to learn, adapt, and grow from his coach then he will not succeed in the league.

Very few quarterbacks come into professional football and can play effectively. Most will need plenty of work on their mechanics, footwork, and ability to read defenses.

Having the ability to be coached is not something that scouts can measure very effectively before drafting.

This makes the interviews with quarterback prospects very important as they want to know what it is like to work with these players.


Another classic intagible in football players that cannot be measured is effort. When watching a football game it is plain to see how much a difference effort can make.

You can have all the physical tools in the world but if you do not apply them to their fullest extent someone is going to beat you out.

High-effort players are always going to give everything they have on each play.

This can be seen with running backs who continue to churn their legs after being hit by several defensive players.

Or by wide receivers like DJ Metcalf chasing almost 100 yards after a player before he returns an interception for a touchdown.

Work Ethic

One more intangible trait that can go a long way for a football player is work ethic. In order to effectively understand your craft and perfect you need to know it inside and out.

Football players at the professional level must have a full understanding of their playbook to play effectively.

Players that spend more time learning and practising their job tend to play better.

Some players in the NFL get away with athletic talent but that is not the case for most.

In order to be a great player in the NFL an intangibles like a good work ethic is almost always required.

Leave a Comment