Rivers: Leadership the most important trait in a quarterback

Talk of Fame Network

The most important quality in a quarterback is not arm strength or accuracy or pocket awareness. No, according to Phillip Rivers, it’s the ability to lead – and Rivers should know. He’s the quarterback who led the San Diego Chargers to four division titles, five playoff appearances and one conference championship game.

He’s also led them to a 29-4 record over the last four games of the season.

“We all lead in our own different ways,” Rivers said on the most recent Talk of Fame Network broadcast. “The truth of the matter is: It comes with the position. The quarterback is the leader of the football team That’s our first job. It’s whatever it takes to win on that day. You’ve got to do whatever it takes to win at the position that day.”

Rivers is one of the game’s most dynamic, resilient and successful quarterbacks, but some persons don’t consider him an elite one. Their definition includes Super Bowl rings, and Rivers hasn’t yet been to a Super Bowl. So we asked him how he defines elite quarterbacks.

“It ultimately is about winning,” he said. “I do think there are some stats that are relevant; that directly relate to winning games. There are certain things ….if you want to look at yards; yards help you move the ball, get first downs and ultimately score points. And you can look at completion percentage. You can look at all those things, (but) they don’t always tell the whole story.

“Ultimately it’s about helping your team win, and doing whatever it takes. In some games that might be not turning it over, handing it off 40 times and throwing completions for three first downs. You only threw for 180 (yards), but you could have been elite that day for what the game called for.

“The ultimate thing in any sport is winning. It’s what everybody in this building wants to do that Sunday. A couple of traits an elite quarterback has to have is: You’ve got to be able to lead, and you’ve got to have toughness. If you can’t lead, and you ain’t tough, you don’t belong in that category.”