“… a pro-style concept that hints at where the sport is going.”

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?



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

10 responses to ““… a pro-style concept that hints at where the sport is going.”

  1. The spread is run to the line with a basic play called – zone read or an RPO – then look over to the sideline as five people hold up cards that mean nothing and something at the same time. The QB has one or two reads and then is told to make a play with his feet.

    You’re right … a pro style offense is one that puts a lot of responsibility on the QB to call the play, get people into the right spot, make the checks and audibles, and execute.


  2. James Stephenson

    Ah yes, the old Cam Newton-John Gruden interview, call a play Cam. And Cam says: Ah, you putting me on the spot coach. We go to line look to the sideline and see 36 and that’s a play.


    • Mayor

      You beat me to it JS. How does the linked article account for the success in the NFL of a QB like Newton who is as dumb as a brick. And he’s not the only one.


  3. dawgtired

    “If so, how does that translate on the recruiting trail when you’re chasing quarterbacks who have dreams of playing on Sundays?”

    Well you know this is just what the ‘spread-running-coaches’ needed to be said publically. They’ll be all over it on the recruiting trail. They’ve been trying to convince kids the last few years that they can STILL make it in the NFL if they run the ‘spread’ in college. Now they have a little more to work with.

    I wasn’t sure it ever really mattered anyway. We learn as we go in life at most every thing we do. Whether it be sports or jobs…


  4. Bigshot

    The problem is that most of the QB’s in this state run a spread. It is a way a team with less talent can beat a team with more. The question is, is it the job of a college coach to prepare people for the NFL or win?


    • If your philosophy is a pro-style offense, you probably have to recruit nationally for a QB. Deshaun Watson was a pro-style QB who played in a spread system. He would have been fine in Athens. Just as Aaron Murray would have been successful in Urban Meyer’s Florida offense.


  5. Atticus

    It doesn’t matter what system a QB plays in if they have talent and the mind to make reads and they know how to lead. Look at the top 10 QBs the last 10+ years. Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Aaron, Rodgers, Ben Roethlisberger, Phillip Rivers, Eli Manning, Russell Wilson, Matt Ryan, Cam Newton, Matt Stafford. Different systems, different talent sets. The system doesn’t make the QB but so far its the guys out of more traditional pro-style or hybrid offenses that are the next hall of famers.


  6. doofusdawg

    Stetson Bennet could have a huge impact on our offense in 2017… especially if we get Werner on staff. I could see a rpo package put in… or at least some zone reads where he steps back and chunks it down the seam.

    The big question in my mind is whether or not the 10th coach brought in will have experience with dual threat quarterbacks.

    Regardless… Stetson needs to put on some good weight in a hurry. He’s not coming to Athens to not play… and we have no other running threat at quarterback for 2017.


  7. Trbodawg

    Articles like this make me wonder why Aaron Murray isn’t starting somewhere. I guess being just barely 6ft tall makes a difference.


    • Mayor

      IMHO NFL executives are, for the most part, idiots. They evaluate people based on how tall they are, how fast they run , how high they jump, etc. They don’t evaluate based on skill, will to win or leadership qualities. I’ll never forget when the Falcons GM Frank Wall at the time was asked at a post draft press conference why he didn’t draft Marcus Allen he replied: “Marcus Allen has no burst.” The next season Oakland, which drafted Allen, won the Super Bowl and Allen rushed for 199 yards (a record at the time) and was named MVP. For years after that I sent Wall a letter every year after the draft that was one sentence: “Marcus Allen has no burst.” Allen is in the Hall. Wall, long since fired, is someone nobody can remember. There is a reason why organizations like the Pats, the Steelers and the old (not current) 49ers won so much–they had better management and it showed on the field.