Washington Redskins legend Joe Theismann thinks NBA star LeBron James has what it takes to be a great NFL quarterback.
In an interview with Fox Sports Florida, Theismann, a two-time Pro Bowl quarterback-turned NFL analyst, said he wouldn’t be surprised if James became a signal-caller after his career in basketball comes to end. Moreover, Theismann is willing to tutor James in the ways of the quarterback.
"I would love to work him out and also serve as his agent," Theismann, 63, said in the phone interview with Fox Sports Florida. "I'll go wherever he wants this summer. He could play another four years in the NBA before seriously trying the NFL. ... There are not a lot of 38- or 39-year-old basketball players, but there are 38- and 39-year-old quarterbacks, so there's always time for him."
Theismann’s idea stems from a question posed to James, who is 28, on Friday. The reigning NBA Most Valuable Player had thrown several long passes to Miami Heat teammate Dwyane Wade, including one that set up in a lay-up during a Game 1 victory over the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference finals. After the game, a reporter asked James if he believed that he could have played quarterback if he hadn’t turned to basketball.
"I think so," said James, who played quarterback and wide receiver at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School in Akron, Ohio, before deciding to concentrate on basketball. "I have the ability. I can see and read plays. I study a lot, so I know defenses and things of that nature. So I would have been pretty good if I had decided to go for it."
Theismann concurs with James’ assessment, and already has a rough outline of how he’d attempt to develop the 6-foot-8 star into an NFL quarterback. “The first thing I would do is teach him the snap. Then I’d take him through drop backs, quick hitches, throwing the deep ball. Wouldn’t that be a great piece of footage to see, LeBron throwing the football? Whether he could play quarterback, that’s one of the great ifs in sports.”
"I wouldn't count him out. He's the most tremendous physical specimen in all of sports," Theismann said about James. "I think he's certainly talented enough. He's intelligent.”