By Tom West for Vikings.com
LAKEVILLE, Minn. — Growing up, Sage Rosenfels was an accomplished athlete in several sports, but the cerebral and physical aspects for playing quarterback held a special appeal.
Now, after retiring from a decade-long NFL career, Rosenfels works with the QB Collective, a group of former players and coaches who are dedicated to teaching young quarterbacks the mental and mechanical parts of the game.
In late June, the QB Collective held its first camp in Minnesota at Lakeville South High. Joining the staff for the event was Vikings Offensive Coordinator Kevin Stefanski, Vikings QBs coach Klint Kubiak and former Vikings QB Brooks Bollinger along with Rosenfels and others.
"The goal of the QB Collective is to allow high school quarterbacks a chance to experience what it is like to be trained by some of the best quarterback minds in the country," Rosenfels said. "I got involved through Richmond Flowers, who came up with the idea after his four-year coaching career in Washington when he worked with Mike Shanahan, Kyle Shanahan, Matt LaFleur and Sean McVay.
"After a short playing career as a wide receiver, he quickly realized through coaching in Washington that, if he would have seen the game from the lens of an offensive coordinator, he would have played twice as long, even if he had half the talent," Rosenfels added.
Rosenfels hopes that the QB Collective will continue to utilize its coaching and playing connections from the NFL to provide a level of coaching and instruction that is unique to the position. While physical fundaments and technique are taught, concepts of plays and the game and other aspects of quarterbacking — leadership, adaptability and teamwork — are emphasized.
Rosenfels is hoping that the camp continues to occur in Minnesota and offer significant value in the region.
"This was our first event, and we plan to hold it again next year," he said. "We try and identify the top kids in the region. There is a limited number of kids that we allow to come to the camp. It's invite only."
Rosenfels also participated this week in the fourth-annual QB Collective Invitational, a camp in Los Angeles for 80 of the nation's most-talented high school quarterbacks.
Not all football camps are created equal, and QB Collective is hoping to capitalize on experiences by its coaches that can't be found elsewhere.
"I think the position has changed in that more and more kids have invested vast resources for private training that has helped many kids become more refined before they get to college than in previous decades," Rosenfels said. "You see more true freshmen playing at a high level in college football than before.
"I think it's hard for high school kids to sift through the hundreds of camps out there to find the right one that is best for their future," he added. "Many camps are about recruiting or showcasing. Our camps are more about education and teaching, allowing kids to learn and hopefully maximize their potential because of a deeper understanding of the game and the position."