Yes, but it is slang. People not familiar with the use of "quarterback" in sports may not understand.
It fits one of the definitions here: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/quarterback
Student or Learner
Could I use the verb "to quarterback" as in "Country A is quarterbacking a separatist movement in country B."?
I just needed to know if I could use it to convey a negative connotation.
It's not just slang, it's very specific to Am English. There's no-one quite (at all) like a quarterback in any English* sport. American football is watched on satellite TV (and even played) by a growing minority in Britain, but in BE, even to someone who knows about gridiron, "quarterback" isn't a verb.
* That's not an Anglocentric slip. There are sports played in Scotland and Ireland (even in Wales, maybe) that I don't know about.
Last edited by BobK; 09-May-2014 at 11:17.