“The NFL is going to draft the best player at quarterback.”

There’s plenty of derp to go around in this Dennis Dodd piece (I know, I know) responding to this bit of criticism from Bruce Arians about spread option quarterbacks at the next level:

“So many times [in the draft] you’re evaluating a quarterback who has never called a play in the huddle, never used a snap count. They hold up a card on the sideline. He kicks his foot and throws the ball. That ain’t playing quarterback. There’s no leadership involved there.”

Wait, he’s not done.

Spread offense quarterbacks, Arians said, “are light years behind.”

Dodd chastises Arians for his boorishness, saying he should know better.  Why?  Because Tom Brady plays out of the shotgun… or something.

“I tell everybody I think the new pro-style is the shotgun,” Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez said. “You can take a sixth-grader and take 10 minutes to take a three-step drop under center. But to take a kid and teach him how to catch and throw a quick game out of the shotgun, now that’s a learned skill.”

Hey, look, this is all really stupid.  Dodd coaxes the obvious out of Rodriguez – “To judge the success or lack of success based on what system they’re in … it’s whether they can play or not.” – but Arians doesn’t necessarily disagree with that.  He’s just saying that it’s harder for purposes of the draft to evaluate players coming out of systems like Arizona’s.

The real issue here is that spread gurus like Rodriguez and Malzahn, whom we heard extolling Nick Marshall’s quarterbacking skills for any NFL personnel guy listening, want to have it both ways.  They want the right quarterbacks to run their systems so they can win at the college level.  But they don’t want to scare away talented kids with talk that their systems will be an impediment to playing on Sundays after that.


Filed under Strategery And Mechanics, The NFL Is Your Friend.

15 responses to ““The NFL is going to draft the best player at quarterback.”

  1. James Stephenson

    But is a detriment. It takes someone with extraordinary skill, Cam, to succeed and a lot of people will say he has not succeeded.

    The problem is the damn offense. You run that little option, the QB reads one half the field and if the guy is not wide open run, or even worse, that little pop pass with O-Linemen running down the field. That can not happen in the NFL and if you only read one side in the NFL and run, you will get injured. Even a QB the size of Cam is learning that the hits take a toll.


    • I’m not a Cam Fan but dang “…lot of people will say he has not succeeded”
      In his rookie year, Newton broke numerous rookie and all-time NFL records for passing and running the ball. He became the first rookie quarterback to throw for 400 yards in his first game, shattering Peyton Manning’s first-game record by 120 yards. He also broke Otto Graham’s 61-year-old record for passing yards by any quarterback in an NFL debut.[4] Newton would go on to become the first rookie quarterback to throw for 4,000 yards in a season,[5] as well as the first rookie quarterback to rush for 700 yards.[6] He also ran for 14 touchdowns, more in a single season than any quarterback in NFL history, breaking Steve Grogan’s 35-year-old record.[7]


      • DawgPhan

        Has thrown for less yards each year. Never won a playoff game. Rushed for less yards each year. Has 3 seasons with a losing record. Has overall losing record.

        So great first year for his own personal stats, but a losing record and then worse personal stats each season there after with just 1 winning record and 2 seasons with losing records.

        You are right. He has been highly successful.


        • gatorhater27

          Judging a QB (or any other player) by the number of games his team wins is silly, imo. (Not directed at you, just a general pet peeve of mine.) Like wins and losses credited to pitchers in baseball, it’s a meaningless stat.


  2. I think RichRod forgot that the shotgun started in the NFL with Dallas as a passing down innovation to get Roger Staubach into the pocket quicker. The problem is that spread QBs don’t get experience reading defenses, making line checks, and calling audibles. It’s one read (maybe 2) and run. The other thing is that the passing routes aren’t a pro-style game with the deep out/back shoulder throw.


  3. We need to bookmark this discussion for several years down the road and ask Nick Marshall from his prison cell( he does have issues with private property rights) if going into the NFL as a trained defensive back might actually been his best option, as opposed to an unskilled quarterback.?
    Trying to get to the NFL as a QB from a spread option program is like trying to find a good Jewish Barbecue joint ,actually you can do it, but you ain’t playing the odds.


  4. Rebar

    I think the pro system is much more complicated than the college spread system and that is one area where quaterbacks from the spread are weak; Malzahn likes to brag that Auburn basically has 4 plays with different variations. The pro quarterback has a much more intimidating play book.


  5. W Cobb Dawg

    Seems to me the spread teams are winning a lot of big games in cfb. And it doesn’t appear their recruiting is doing appreciably worse than the pro-style schools. How many cfb championships did the top pro-style QBs have in college? Mannings = 0, Brees = 0, Luck = 0, Stafford = 0, Flacco = 0, Romo = 0, Rivers = 0, Rothlisberger = 0, etc. (Brady won as a backup QB)

    I guess my point is, I don’t see a correlation between having an nfl-calibre QB in college and winning the big college games. Arians can bitch about it, but his complaints should be falling on deaf ears when it comes to college coaches doing what’s best for their programs.


    • I agree with you, but even Nick Marshall had visions of becoming an NFL quarterback. I think we’re going to see the answer to the question with Marcus Mariota.

      College coaches have to do what they do best. For the Gus Bus, HUNH spread is his thing, but don’t get defensive when a pro-style coach tells a potential QB recruit that going to Auburn may not be good for his long-term job prospects as an NFL QB.


    • Dog in Fla

      Yes but for recruiting purposes the NFL Feeder Programs need to make an effort to go through the motions at the QB position such as when Irwin hired Scott Football Points Tom Brady Loeffler to teach Timmy how to throw like a QB during Timmy’s senior year