Ian Book passed all seven of Bill Parcells’ franchise QB benchmarks

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John Sigler
·3 min read
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It’s news to no one that New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton leans on his mentor Bill Parcells for guidance and advice, so it shouldn’t surprise anyone to see Payton applying the legendary coach’s rules for finding a franchise quarterback.

The Saints selected Notre Dame prospect Ian Book in the fourth round of the 2021 draft, and Book met all seven thresholds Parcells worked with. Some of these benchmarks may seem outdated or arbitrary, but they worked for Parcells. Let’s run down the list.

Must be a three-year starter

Nov 14, 2020; Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish quarterback Ian Book (12) lines up for a snap against the Boston College Eagles during the first half at Alumni Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Book redshirted his 2016 season in South Bend, but earned his first start in 2017 before earning the full-time gig in 2018, starting 9 of 12 games. He didn't miss a start through the 2019 and 2020 seasons.

Must be a college senior

Dec 19, 2020; Charlotte, NC, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish quarterback Ian Book (12) hands the ball off to running back Kyren Williams (23) in the first quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Parcells was wary of selecting underclassmen who left early to declare for the draft. Book stayed in school to max out his eligibility after redshirting his first year at Notre Dame.

Must graduate from college

https://twitter.com/Ian_Book12/status/1230614039325237249 Parcells liked quarterbacks who had earned a degree and could support their families outside of football, seeing it as a form of maturity. Book earned his degree in marketing in 2019.

Must start at least 30 games

Nov 14, 2020; Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish wide receiver Ben Skowronek (11) celebrates with quarterback Ian Book (12) after scoring a touchdown against the Boston College Eagles during the first half at Alumni Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Book finished his Notre Dame career having started 35 of the 47 games he appeared in, surpassing Parcells' benchmark.

Must score 2 TD's for every interceptions thrown

Nov 7, 2020; South Bend, Indiana, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish quarterback Ian Book (12) watches after fumbling the ball in the third quarter against the Clemson Tigers at Notre Dame Stadium. Notre Dame defeated Clemson 47-40 in two overtimes. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

This is fairly simple: Parcells liked quarterbacks who had more positive plays than negative, and Book passes that test with 75 touchdown throws against 20 interceptions (a 15:4 ratio). He also added 17 touchdown runs to his total.

Must complete at least 60% of his pass attempts

Dec 5, 2020; South Bend, Indiana, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish quarterback Ian Book (12) throws in the second quarter against the Syracuse Orange at Notre Dame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Book had a career pass completion rate of 63.8%. His worst year was 2019, in which he completed 240 of 399 pass attempts, a rate of 60.2%.

Must win at least 23 games

Nov 14, 2020; Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish wide receiver Ben Skowronek (11) celebrates with quarterback Ian Book (12) after scoring a touchdown against the Boston College Eagles during the first half at Alumni Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Book left Notre Dame with the school record for quarterback wins, going 30-5 as a starter. He was also undefeated at home, having won all 15 of his starts in South Bend.

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