Here’s an interesting piece about Carson Wentz, the Eagles’ quarterback, who came out of North Dakota State. The Eagles were particularly enamored with the system Wentz played in at NDS.
The ultimate prospect in Childress’ eyes is a quarterback that ran some spread concepts in college that can be incorporated into the offense for whatever NFL team he plays for.
The NFL game has become much different from college football because of the way the offense gets into a huddle and has a play called. In college, many of these quarterbacks are playing fast break style football without a huddle and calling plays with hand signals.
While it may seem sexy at the college level, this kind of football can hurt a prospect’s adjustment to the NFL.
“[College spread quarterbacks] never had to say ‘red switch right closed end right split z halfback flat’ — they don’t know who to talk to when and when to take a breath,” Childress said. “You don’t realize how big a problem the center-quarterback exchange is until the ball is rolling on the ground at practice and you’re saying ‘Oh my God.’”
Carson Wentz is the rare prospect that was able to make adjustments at the line of scrimmage, call actual plays in the huddle and execute some spread concepts. Childress mentioned Wentz as one of the prospects that will benefit from running a scheme in college that blended spread and pro-style concepts.
I’m not so much interested in Wentz per se as I am in whether the real difference these days in what goes into calling a college offense a spread or a pro-style attack is the type of responsibility placed on the quarterback’s shoulders.
Listen to what Wentz says about this.
While many knock Wentz’s college playing days because North Dakota State is an FCS school, his scheme there actually gave him an advantage over others. Wentz pointed out how his time in college will help him make the jump to the NFL.
“You know, it helped me tremendously,” Wentz said at his introductory press conference in April. “I think the transition for me will be a lot smoother than most would think and than [it might be for] most other prospects.
“At North Dakota State, I was in charge of a lot of things at the line of scrimmage, a lot of play-action pass; I was in charge of the audibles, run game checks, you name it. I think that helped me tremendously, set me up for an easier, smoother transition.”
I don’t know about you, but to me that sounds a lot like comments we heard from players such as Matt Stafford when he transitioned from Georgia to the NFL. Maybe the spread ain’t nothing but a state of mind. If so, how does that translate on the recruiting trail when you’re chasing quarterbacks who have dreams of playing on Sundays?