Arguably SBW transformed Rugby Union (for the better) with his offloading, in the way Jonah Lomu transformed what a rugby winger could do. Could SBW do the same for American Football?
Lomu was ready to sign up with the Dallas Cowboys as a running back when he was encouraged to play one last rugby gameby Eric Rush and so sealed his fate and the first global rugby superstar was born.
American Football allows passing backwards or sideways (according to the ground, not the direction of the players hands) anywhere on the field. Behind the scrimmage line (where the players line up at the start of a play) the ball can be thrown forward (generally the role of the quarterback, but not exclusively). If the quarterback is throwing short it will normally go to a running back with long throws tending to go toward the sidelines to a wide receiver. And when the throw is complete, the receiver is tackled and so endeth the play.
Perceived wisdom is that the cost of a turn over in American Football is so high that is not worth the risk of dropping the ball during a pass between players in motion. However, benefits of yardage are so high that surely, if looked for, trained and coached accordingly, there are low risk opportunities to be exploited? And the long quarterback throws are not necessarily a high percentage choice anyway.
There is also a view that it is too hard for the pass receiver to focus on both catching the ball and, at the same time, be aware of defending players around him. This of course, is what rugby players are expected and trained to do all the time. Given the focus of the defending players (once the quarterback has passed) is on the pass receiver, there are generally a number of offensive players free. 
Think back to rugby league say 20-25 years ago. Practically no one passed until the final play in a set. Perhaps it was the increase in rugby union players migrating to league in the 90s that helped spark a significant change? The passes increased, the tempo picked up significantly, the skill level improved and the game became way more exciting.
The question, therefore remains, could an athlete with the talent of an SBW or Israel Folau, playing as a wide receiver, catching the quarterback’s throw, and offloading in field to a strong, fast running back in the mould of Julian Savea revolutionise American Football? Or is it that short plays work well for television advertising and the almighty sponsorship dollar is really what drives the coaches call?


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