What Does Game Manager Mean In Football?

If you watch football you may have heard an announcer refer to a quarterback as a “game manager”. Though for many football fans they have no idea what this means. Luckily this article is on hand to break down game manager quarterbacks.

What Is A Game Manager QB?

A game manager is a quarterback that doesn’t blow you away with his play making ability but can still get the job done. One simple way to put it is a game manager quarterback isn’t going to win you the game but they won’t lose you the game either.

These types of quarterbacks can often win games when surrounded by a good team. But they are rarely able to carry a mediocre roster by themselves.


Football IQ is typically the biggest strength of a game manager qb. They are known for their ability to read defenses and not make mistakes.

This is one of the reasons this style of quarterback wins with a quality roster. A strong defense and running attack can allow for a game manager to pick up a fair amount of yards without turning the ball over.

It is also more likely than not that a game manager qb will have a good personality. Often times these players didn’t have the talent to exceed in football which means they often had to work twice as hard to get there.

This is not always true but game managers tend to have be known for being quality locker room guys. They also tend to understand the simple aspects of the game well such as when to spike the ball, or throw it away.


The weaknesses of these quarterbacks tend to center around their playmaking ability. It is very rare that this type of qb will wow you with a play.

They often lack the athletic ability to make elite plays. This means you will rarely see these quarterbacks make long throws or break a tackle and run for a first down.

Game managers also lack the arm strength of most quarterbacks. This makes it much more difficult to fit the ball into tight windows and make deep throws.

This is another reason why these quarterbacks rely on their football IQ. Quarterbacks like Josh Allen or Patrick Mahomes have elite arm strength which allows them to throw wide receivers open.

A quarterback with weak arm strength is going to have to throw the football to receives much earlier as their ball speed is much slower.

Example Of Game Manager Qbs

The good news about learning about these qbs is that you’ve likely watched then your whole life. The NFL has plenty of game manager quarterbacks that have made fantastic careers despite lacking some physical attributes.

Andy Dalton, Case Keenum, and Alex Smith are all example of game manager qbs. You will notice that all of these quarterbacks lack the elite arm strength you see from top tier quarterbacks, like Allen, Mahomes, and Rodgers.

These quarterbacks rely on smarts and short range accuracy to excel as quarterbacks. You will also notice that these are the sorts of qbs that can win you a shootout.

Yet all of these qbs have made the players and most of them have won playoff games. This is because this style of quarterback is able to play the game within their capabilities and still come out on top.

Can A Team Win With A Game Manager QB

If you ask any coach about winning the vast majority will say you need an elite quarterback. But once every few years you will find a game manager qb will find his way to the big game. And if the rest of the roster is good enough a game manager can win you the superbowl.

An example of this would be the 2000 Ravens. This super bowl winning team won it all with a fairly mediocre performance from qb Trent Dilfer throughout the year. In fact, in the Superbowl itself Dilfer threw for 153 yards and one touchdown.

This doesn’t mean a game manager is going to be your path to the Superbowl. But it does show you if you a have a strong enough roster you can overcome a weakness at any position.

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