Iron 52: Breaking Down Birmingham’s QBs

Iron

It’s here! The season is just a few days away, and the teams have cut their rosters down to the final 52.  I thought it would be about time to do an in-depth roster analysis and some predictions. I will be going position by position and introducing you to all the 52 players on the roster. I’ve found the most interesting stories and comebacks just by doing a little digging.

Today’s post is on the quarterback room in Birmingham. Barring any last minute free agent pickups, I expect this is how it the depth chart  to end up for The Iron:

Iron Quarterbacks: Luis Perez(#12), Keith Price(#8), Blake Sims(#6).

Starter: Luis Perez

Luis Perez
Credit: Birmingham Iron

Speaking of interesting stories, let’s talk about Luis Perez. While Perez hasn’t caught on with the pros just yet, he has a history of success with the Texas A&M-Commerce. He’s only 24, young by QB standards and has excellent accuracy. He hits open receivers and has great awareness. He won the d2 equivalent of the Heisman Trophy and numerous other awards that I’ll let Wikipedia list here:

  • National champion (2017)

  • Harlon Hill Trophy (2017)

  • 2× First-Team All-Lone Star Conference (2016, 2017)

  • Don Hansen Honorable Mention All-American (2016)

  • Don Hansen’s 2nd Team All-Super Region 4.

  • Second Team All-American (2017)

  • 2× First Team All-American (2016, 2017)

  • J.W. Rollins Award as the Lone Star Conference Offensive Player of the Year

  • Associated Press First Team All-American

  • Association First Team All-American and Ron Lenz Division II Offensive Player of the Year

He does have some weaknesses, he’s not very mobile and doesn’t have a great arm. This might be an injustice but think of a Kyle Slotter situation. I think he’s a high-end game manager, think Alex Smith. Ultimately it was a number game for the d2 Star with the Rams.

He has become a team leader, and a person other teammates can stand behind. He’s our QB1.

I can’t talk about Perez without talking about his Journey. It might be the best thing you read all week. I wouldn’t be able to do it justice, so I’m going to link a video by NFL’s Peter Schrager. http://www.nfl.com/videos/good-morning-football/0ap3000000947927/The-story-of-Rams-QB-Luis-Perez


Depth QBs:

Next up is Keith Price.

Keith Price
Credit: CFL

Price was a very solid quarterback for a major D1 program in Washington. He’s drawn a lot of comparisons to Atlanta Offensive Coordinator Michael Vick. He’s a fast mobile QB.

According to Withthefirstpick.com, “Price is right-handed while Vick was a southpaw and both have shown the ability to make some impressive throws but also miss passes that become problematic.  They both end up taking too many hits for their own good, though Price has been more resilient with his toughness. Price may not have quite the arm strength or the speed Vick has had, but he is far from average in both areas of his game.”

My philosophy is if nothing is working throw in the fast QB and let him create some yards. Price can do just that. I think he has a good chance to get some playing time depending on how the offensive line holds up, which is always hard to tell during the offseason. 


Blake Sims

Blake Sims
Credit: Birmingham Iron

This was a name I wasn’t expecting to see. Not because he’s a bad player, just didn’t expect him to be listed as a quarterback. Yes, he played QB at Alabama and had a lot of success there as well. But he’s been listed on as RB on NFL rosters. Let’s take a look at his accomplishments:

Career highlights and awards
Capital One Bowl champion (2011)
BCS National Champion (2012, 2013)
SEC Champion (2012, 2014)
SEC Championship Game MVP (2014)
Second-team All-SEC (2014)

In 14 starts during the 2014 season, he passed for 3,487 yards, 28 touchdowns, and ten interceptions. He lost in the semifinals to Ohio State, which later won the championship.

To say Sims isn’t dedicated to football, would be just plain false. He has now played on over six teams in 4 leagues, in 3 countries. He’s spent time in the NFL with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Atlanta Falcons, with the Wollongong Devils in Australia’s National Gridiron League, and the CFL’s Toronto Argonauts and Saskatchewan Roughriders. That a lot of travel for 2015-2017.  (Note: He played running back for the Buccaneers) Now let’s take his game:

Here’s NFL.com coming out of college;

“An undersized move quarterback who can make plays outside of the pocket, but often buys himself time only to make a rushed, inaccurate throw. Has enough arm strength to threaten defenses over the top. Though up and down at times, Sims has demonstrated enough potential to warrant a look as a late-round pick or priority free agent in a very weak QB draft class.”

The strengths they list could fit right in at the AAF:

“Extremely quick feet. Able to escape trouble and convert third downs with his feet. Showed discipline to stay in pocket and trust protection. Hard to sack. Nifty side-stepper who can elude, regroup and make the throw. Has enough zip on passes to make high levels throws.”

He could work in a pro offense, and I think he is an excellent mix of both QBs ahead of him. I think at one point he could beat out Keith Price for that number 2 spot. 


Overview:

That’s it for the QB room. With both depth QB’s being relatively similar, I could see them trying to acquire a young developmental QB at some point. Overall, I think all 3 have strengths and weakness, but Perez should be the starter. He’s inexperienced, but for only playing QB for five years, he’s as good as anyone else in the league. Let’s hope he can have some more perfect games. 


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