Monday, February 6, 2012

The Quarterback Problem

Every year the top teams in the NFL tempt the very best young college quarterbacks with huge signing bonuses. Multi-million dollar contracts are the norm.

The hope is that they will reproduce the form and talent they displayed on the college circuit. But of course history has proved that previous form means nothing. So many stars in the making have fallen by the wayside after making the move.

But football is football isn't it. Well, yes and no. Sure the basic rules are the same but the standard most certainly isn't. Neither are the tactics. Nor is the skill-level of the opposing players.

This is the quarterback problem. There are certain roles where almost nothing you learn about a candidate can serve as a predictor of how they will perform once they're hired. Sure, the job-title may be the same, but the organisation, the people, the rules of engagement, the expectations, are going to be different.

This is the classic problem facing anyone who hires staff. They have to make a judgement. In the NFL there is nothing like being an NFL quarterback except being an NFL quarterback. You can't predict, you have to make a judgement and past history has often proved to be an unreliable guide to future performance.

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