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Real Talk season 2 with QBV Episode #11: CFL/NFL QB McLeod Bethel-Thompson!

Updated: Feb 23, 2021

This week's guest on real talk has played all around the country and even in Canada! We sat down with Professional QB McLeod Bethel-Thompson, he has played in numerous professional leagues including the NFL. McLeod most recently was the starting QB for Aviators of the spring league, and before that has played for 5 different NFL teams, 2 CFL teams and one team in both the Arena Football League and the United Football League.

McLeod tape doesn't lie, he is a very talented QB and we are looking forward to seeing him in action again when other professional leagues return to play. He spins the football like the greats and is looking forward to rejoin a NFL team in the coming years.

He gives his insight on to what young QBs should be doing even with the pandemic, a little about his story as a Journeyman and some tips for young athletes deciding what school to go to after college.

Make sure to check out the full podcast on our YouTube page or search Real Talk with QBV on Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts and Spotify!

How was your most recent experience in the Spring league ?

“ A lot of things happened, I’ll speak about some and won’t speak about others but the biggest takeaway that I had was there’s a lot of really good football players and a lot of really good football coaches. And there’s a huge market and a huge need for a developmental league in the US. If there can be a sustainable football league or developmental league, it will make the CFL better, it will make the NFL better."

"A lot of guys step on the field on sundays in the NFL and not perform. There’s a huge difference between established vets to the next their of talent whether it’s QB or another position. They just don’t have the experience or the tools to perform at that level and college can only prepare you so much. So I learned that there’s a lot of good players that need that development, can use that time at taking snaps or spending time at every position and it will make the NFL better. There’s players out there and I hope there is a league that can be sustained.”

What have you been doing to stay in shape or stay ready?

“Everything in every way, I gone through all types of training, from heavy lifting, light lifting, to not as much lifting, to band work all of it. I try incorporate all different prices to what I do and how I train, and keep adding things to my game to get better. I think the best form of QB training is just going to a park and throwing a ball. I don’t there is any substitute for it."

"Throwing it over and over again, no matter if it’s to another person or a stationary target. There’s always something to work on, whether it’s the spin off the fingers. It’s like a golfer you know when the shot feels right and you're constantly chasing that. I go to the park a couple times a week and I toss the rock."

"Then I do different types of agility training or adding this to me my game, I just study trainers and performance experts l, there’s always something to add. I think the QB position is trying to find out who you are as a QB and finding what works with you. You have to do what works with you.”

What can QBs be doing now even with all the restrictions in place?

“It’s definitely hard but like I said the most beneficial stuff is the simple stuff. So if you do have a friend you can go to the park with and socially distance and throw a ball back and forth there is nothing better. If you don’t have a friend you can go to the park with, one of my favorite drills is laying on my back and grabbing the football and throwing it straight up in the air and feeling what it feels like coming off your fingers."

"Spin it up into the air and try to have it hit your face. next take your right elbow and touch it to the ground and then try to spin it off like that. That simple feeling of rolling off your fingers, that can be worked on by yourself in your backyard. Working on moving your hips, throwing weighted balls keeping that motion strong. Between that flick of the wrist and a strong core those will definitely help you become better.

What was the 2019 season like in the CFL what helped lead to your success?

“What a crazy season, it was a dollar coster of events in so many ways but I look at my CFL experience in three years. All three of the years I spent up there, going up there my first year and riding the Journey of a good club championship and then having two struggling seasons back to back years after. I kinda touched on it a little bit of what it takes to play QB from a physical, mental and spiritual level."

"Those three years in Canada tested me In those three areas. I had some really high highs and some really low lows. It taught me or refused me on myself, I can’t control a lot of things around me, but what I can control is who I am and how I wake up every morning and prepare myself. I’m really proud of the fact through all that emotional and stressful situation I improved as a football player. I found a way to get better, we all have a little voice in our head and it’s a negative I basically call it your inner b**ch."

"Everyday you have this voice that saying you can’t do something or what will happen if you fail. When you can defeat that voice and and attack the day with a clear head. It took me three years and I had ups and downs but I really did play a lot of good football and a lot of bad football. But I was proud of the way I fought through it, stats don’t lie, you know go back and watch the film. I’d put that tape against any body good and bad."

"I pride myself on being able to spin the football and I think I’m learning how to play the QB position better and better each year. I don’t know if I even answered the question but those were 3 crazy years and last year was a dollar coster. And In 10 years I’ll be writing a movie about that year and it will be better than any Hard Knox. It’s going to be the ins and out, the happy, sad, ugly, everything."

How was the transfer process for you?? Going from UCLA to Sacramento state?

“Man what a big question, but I think you have to go back before that to really know me and understand it. I loved football since I was about 6 years old, I grew up in the Bay Area of San Francisco and I went down down to watch my two older cousins play football down in Long Beach and Southern California football was no joke. I went to see a playoff game and I remember it vividly 20,000 people, under the lights it was something special. Plus my big cousins were my hero’s and I realized that’s what I wanted to do. Football is king."

"So from that point on I wanted to play football and my parents wouldn’t let me play. I kept begging them and her plan was for me to walk on in college. City college in San Francisco has a really good Junior program and she wanted to wait till I was fully grown then play. I had to tell her that’s not how it works, so finally when I was a sophomore in high school I started playing tackle football and transferee high schools to a school who had football. So after a bunch of crazy events I ended up starting for varsity as a sophomore and it was my first year ever playing football."

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