In American football, a game manager is a quarterback who, despite pedestrian individual statistics such as passing yards and touchdowns, also maintains low numbers of mistakes, such as interceptions and fumbles. Such a quarterback is seen as a major factor in neither his team's wins nor their losses; his performance is good enough to not negatively affect the performances of other players on his team, even if he himself does not have the skills to be considered an elite player.[1][2] Game managers often benefit from strong defense and rushing offense on their teams.[3][4]

Arizona Sports said that "game manager" was "a term that often comes with negative connotations of a non-talented, play-it-safe type of quarterback".[5] The New York Times called it a "backhanded compliment".[6] The San Francisco Chronicle wrote, "As consolation ... Quarterbacks are called game managers only if they're winning."[7] The Associated Press opined, "But like any cliche, [game manager is] oversimplified". Former Indianapolis Colts president Bill Polian laughed, "Every quarterback is a game manager, it's what the job is all about".[1] Nick Saban said, "I don't think you can be a good quarterback unless you're a really good game manager".[8] The Los Angeles Times noted that although Trent Dilfer was not an elite quarterback, the 2000 Baltimore Ravens won the Super Bowl with a dominant defense and Dilfer as a game manager.[4] Peyton Manning, who was a five-time NFL Most Valuable Player, transitioned into a game manager role with a defensive-oriented Denver Broncos squad in his final season in 2015, when he won his second championship and became at the time the oldest quarterback to win a Super Bowl, at age 39.[9]

See also


  1. ^ a b Goldberg, Dave (November 13, 2008). "More to a QB than managing". USA Today. Associated Press. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014.
  2. ^ Sullivan, Tim (November 13, 2011). "Though not flashy, Smith now a 'game manager'". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Archived from the original on December 19, 2013.
  3. ^ Maxymuk, John (2008). Strong Arm Tactics: A Historical and Statistical Analysis of the Professional Quarterback. McFarland. p. 18. ISBN 978-0-7864-3277-6. Retrieved January 16, 2012.
  4. ^ a b Farmer, Sam (January 28, 2012). "In the NFL, it's (almost) all about the quarterback". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on January 29, 2012. Retrieved January 28, 2012.
  5. ^ Zimmerman, Kevin (2019-10-16). "Kyler Murray's growth coincides with that of Kingsbury, teammates". Arizona Sports. Retrieved 2019-10-17.
  6. ^ Bishop, Greg (January 15, 2012). "Smith, for Once, Is a Reason for San Francisco's Victory". The New York Times. p. SP3. Archived from the original on June 22, 2022. Retrieved February 27, 2017.
  7. ^ Knapp, Gwen (2012-01-12). "Drew Brees really pays Alex Smith a compliment". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved January 29, 2012.
  8. ^ Zenor, John (November 1, 2012). "Saban: Game manager label is high praise for QB". Associated Press. Archived from the original on November 21, 2012.
  9. ^ Voisin, Ailene (February 7, 2016). "Was this Peyton Manning's 'last rodeo'?". The Sacramento Bee. Archived from the original on February 9, 2016.