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In the oversaturated world of NFL coverage, one thing fans don't often get to see is a group of star players, in an off-the-field setting, talking about their profession, telling war stories, as we imagine they do when reporters aren't around and cameras aren't rolling. So in July, with dozens of NFL stars among the celebrities teeing it up for charity at NBC's annual American Century golf tournament in Lake Tahoe, SI approached five premier quarterbacks under the age of 30 and asked them to participate in a roundtable discussion. Cincinnati's Carson Palmer and Dallas's Tony Romo (both entering their seventh season), Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger (sixth), the Packers' Aaron Rodgers (fifth) and Atlanta's Matt Ryan (second) all agreed.
What were they like? My impressions: Roethlisberger is as opinionated as a two-time Super Bowl champ should be. Palmer is thoughtful and honest. Romo is serious, smart and circumspect. Rodgers and Ryan are bright but were reserved, likely in deference to their more experienced colleagues. "This was great," Palmer said as the quarterback summit broke up. "We ought to do it more often."
Same time next year? I'm in.
JULY 17, LAKE TAHOE, NEV.
PETER KING: O.K., you're a general manager scouting passers. What is the one trait that today's NFL quarterback has to have?