After spending 15 seasons playing quarterback at the professional level with four different NFL franchises (Pittsburgh Steelers, St. Louis/Phoenix Cardinals, Miami Dolphins, and Dallas Cowboys) and a USFL franchise (Birmingham Stallions), it's safe to say that Cliff Stoudt
knows a thing or two about the quarterback position.
During Stoudt's time in the pro's he
earned two Super Bowl rings as a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers
has put his
tremendous knowledge of the position to good use as he
has been tutoring a handful of Central Ohio high school quarterbacks with the hope that he
may help them attain their goals on the football field, however high those goals may be.
"Some of these kids I can make better high school quarterbacks," Stoudt
explained."Some of the kids I can hopefully help them get to the next level, if you will, whether it be Division III or II or I-AA or the big time, but every kid can be helped.The main thing is that unlike baseball where you have a pitching coach or a fielding coach there aren't coaches in football on staffs that really teach quarterbacks how to throw.It's not an easy thing to do, there's a lot that goes into it and I don't try to overwhelm them."
With so much knowledge of the game, it would easy for Stoudt
to overwhelm his
students but he's
got a system in place that helps bring them along at a steady pace.
"I will pick one thing per night and then I'll pull in Plan B the next time and then something else the next time," he
explained."My sessions are 10 hours long.We have 10 one-hour sessions and by the end of that, they've got everything I've taught and then they've got to spend a lot of time working on it themselves."
Stoudt's sessions have been so helpful that many kids are coming back for more than one 10-hour session.
"I've got kids like Ryan Gannon that's back for his third summer," Stoudt
Another part of Stoudt's
philosophy is that each quarterback is different and thus needs to be taught differently.With that being said, there are a few basics that he
tries to instill in each of his
"The main thing is, you heard me talking about trunk rotation," he
said."A lot of the kids learn to throw by taking a long stride towards the target and it's just like a golf swing, you've got to get your hips into it and get a good leg drive and really your arm just goes along for the ride if you do it right.I don't want to pound the same thing down everybody's throat because everybody plays differently but things like trunk rotation and using your legs, trying to get a high release to maximize your height, that's pretty standard but I also try to take each kid and see what he
does naturally and try to work with that."
The physical aspect of the quarterback position isn't the only focus that Stoudt
has in his
teachings.Stoudt also helps develop the mental aspect of the position and often times will play the role of psychiatrist in his sessions.
"What was it that Terry Bradshaw said?Football is 50-percent physical and 90-percent mental?"Stoudt
teaches quarterbacks from all over Central Ohio, two of his top students come from his very own household with his sons Zack Stoudt and Cole Stoudt.
"This is the third year I've worked with Cliff
," Gannon explained.
"I've been working with (Cliff) once a week for about eight weeks," he
Getting back on the football field has made Cosgray extremely anxious and that is something that is being worked on in his sessions with Stoudt
...In addition to working with quarterbacks in the evenings, Stoudt also serves as Vice-President of Next Level Football, which is an organization that runs high school football camps and combines.