What Is A Quarterback In Football

In football, the quarterback is an offensive player that is responsible for passing the ball to his teammates. Quarterbacks are the most important player on the offense. And aside from the center they are the only ones that touch the ball every play.

Additionally, quarterbacks are the players that coordinate the team in the huddle. Prior to the play, the quarterback will let his teammates know what play they are running. The quarterback will also yell audible signals before the play to let his teammates know when the play is starting.


Passing The Football

When it comes to the quarterback position nothing is more important than throwing the football. In any given game the majority of yards the offense gains should come from passes thrown by the quarterback.

In order to advance the ball effectively, the quarterback must be able to find open receivers and get the ball to their location. Additionally, only one forward pass can be throw on each play, making the quarterback’s job even more important.

Organize The Offense

On top of passing the ball, quarterbacks need to be sure to keep their offense organized throughout the game. This involves explaining the play while in the huddle, communicating with players if they make a mistake. And in some situations calling audibles if the quarterback sees something in the opposing team’s defense.

The Cadence

One more responsibility of the quarterback position is the cadence. The cadence is the seemingly random words a quarterback yells before snapping the ball. These words serve several purposes.

They can communicate with the other players on the offense as to when the play is going to start. They can represent an audible which means the quarterback is yelling that he is changing the play.

And on some occasions, this yelling by the quarterback can be used to try and gain a free offensive play. This occurs when the quarterback yells as if he is about to start the play in order to get the defenders to jump offside.

Once the quarterback snaps the ball he is going to drop back into the pocket to prepare to throw the ball.

Quarterback Attributes

Arm Strength 

Arm strength is one of the most important attributes a quarterback can have especially as the highest levels of football. Though arm strength is more than just the ability to throw the ball far. 

Having good arm strength allows quarterbacks to throw the ball faster. This allows them to squeeze the ball into tight windows when defenders are only a few feet away.

Football IQ

Understanding the game of football is a necessity for a pro style quarterback. This position requires more strategic thinking than any other on the field.

Quarterbacks utilize their football IQ to determine which players they can throw to, which plays they will call, and when they abandon the pass and run with the ball.


Athleticism is another important factor for quarterbacks. Though not all quarterbacks are elite athletes you will notice that in lower levels of football such as high school the quarterback is often the best athlete on the team.

Athleticism plays into the qb’s ability to throw the ball but also benefits them in other areas. Whether it’s running away from a defensive end or a designed quarterback run, athleticism at this position is a huge plus.


The build of a quarterback is typically a tall lean body that does not have a ton of muscle mass. Quarterbacks are one of the smaller players on the offense in terms of weight and typically are only larger than the skill positions such as running back and wide receiver.

Height is the biggest factor at the quarterback position as it allows you to effectively see above the offensive line. That being said several shorter quarterbacks have found success in the NFL in recent years.


Positioning as a quarterback in football is very straightforward. You either line up directly behind the center so that he hands you the ball to start the play. Or you line up a few yards behind the center and he snaps you the ball. The quarterback will always line up directly in these positions unless the offense is performing some type of trick play.

Concluding Thoughts

We hope this guide to what is a quarterback in football has taught you everything you need to know about the position. If you have any more questions be sure to reach out and we will be happy to answer them for you.

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