Really, if you’re a high school football player who believes you’re good enough to play on Sundays one day, how could you not be impressed with the way Nick Saban relates to NFL scouts?
Category Archives: The NFL Is Your Friend.
Shorter Verbatim Matt Hayes: “As much as it pains me to admit this perfectly imperfect sport must move closer to the look and feel of the cold, antiseptic NFL, it’s the only way to save it from itself.”
In other words, we have to destroy college football to save it.
There are times when I wonder if we deserve being able to enjoy things.
This can’t be good.
And if this is the best he’s got, Roger Goodell is an idiot.
N.F.L. Commissioner Roger Goodell, speaking at a conference in New Orleans this month, said the sport was “safer than ever” because of awareness about injuries.
“I had a concussion playing baseball, and they didn’t do anything about it,” Goodell added. “We’re smarter about how long we practice.”
The reality is that the problem starts long before the pros get players.
Youth leagues and high schools have followed the N.F.L.’s lead and reduced contact in practice, but most serious injuries occur in games. Safety standards also vary widely. Many schools, for instance, still do not require trainers and emergency workers to be present at games. Coaches are sometimes unable to recognize the symptoms of concussions and unwilling to take players out.
Long term, that doesn’t bode well for the colleges or Goodell’s league. Ignore it at your peril, fellas.
UPDATE: More thoughts from Charlie Pierce.
This (h/t Gatorhater27) doesn’t sound too good.
Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi said the new crop of college quarterbacks were flummoxed by a simple question about an “under” front, one of the most common defensive alignments. “Whoa, no one’s ever told me ‘front’ before,” he remembers one prospect saying. “No one’s ever talked to me about reading these defenses.”
Buffalo Bills general manager Doug Whaley said he had the same results when he asked prospects a question about defenses shifting from a common scheme called “cover 2” to an equally mundane tactic called “cover 3.” Hue Jackson, the offensive coordinator from the Bengals, said he had to dumb down his questions, while Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton said some QBs failed to grasp things as basic as understanding a common play call. “You have to teach these kids the absolute basics,” he said.
Even Baylor’s Brice Petty, who resented not being picked until the 103rd selection in the draft, claiming he “was thrown away like I couldn’t learn it,” acknowledges having a few holes in his game, even coming from that ridiculously prolific offense he was in.
Petty admits to grappling with tasks such as hearing and calling the play, identifying defensive backs in coverage and identifying which player in the defensive backfield was the “mike” linebacker, the central part of the defense whose location teams base their offensive line protections on. “As crazy as it sounds, at Baylor, we did not point out the ‘mike’ linebacker,” Petty said.
Petty was unfamiliar with making adjustments to the play or the formation before the snap.
“Honestly, I wish I’d done a little bit more as far as being proactive to get into a pro style [offense],” he said, singling out the need to decipher fronts or coverages. “It was things I have never seen before.”
I can see why St. Louis Rams general manager Les Snead speaks of the apocalypse: ‘It’s doomsday if we don’t adapt and evolve.’
So what’s a mother of a professional league supposed to do?
NFL officials agree that the new wave of quarterbacks will need more time than previous generations, but some fret that today’s roster limits and time constraints may prevent them from getting the time they need to learn or develop. “It might become like major league baseball now, where you take a guy that you think will be able to play in three, four, five years,” said Pettine.
I think that’s what they have the minor leagues for, buddy. Of course, those things cost money and you guys sure do like your player development freebies.
Hey, has anyone considered the possibility that the spread is college football’s secret attempt to force the NFL to drop its three-year-after-high-school eligibility requirement?
Chock full of preseason goodness.
- There sure are a lot of live bulldog mascots.
- Phil Steele threads the needle with this “Mark Richt isn’t on the hot seat, but…” post.
- The NFL hypocritical? No way.
- Does Georgia have the SEC’s easiest path to the CFP?
- Here’s a pretty cool story from David Hale about stadium oddities.
- Patrick Garbin snags an interview previewing the 2015 season with Pulpwood… nah, not that Pulpwood. The real one.
- I knew talking to a dietitian about tailgating tips was a bad idea.
- Sports on Earth’s SEC preview is a pretty good read.
- Boy, talk about your bad decision: once upon a time, Kansas had a choice between Charlie Weis and Gus Malzahn.
- And here’s a list of ten games the CFP selection committee will be keeping a careful eye on. Georgia-Alabama is in there.
The story about the NCAA reconsidering its rule about letting basketball players declare for the NBA draft but allow them the opportunity to return to college under certain conditions with their eligibility intact is interesting for what it says about what the NCAA is struggling to do with its amateurism protocol.
But I wonder how much of an impact it would really have if the policy were extended to football, as SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey has hinted might be under consideration. Take a look at this chart:
% of student-athletes who declared for NBA draft, but were not selected
- 2015 – 34.04
- 2014 – 36.36
- 2013 – 37.7
- 2012 – 30.6
- 2011 – 30.95
% of student-athletes who declared for NFL draft, but were not selected
- 2015 – 25.6
- 2014 – 37
- 2013 – 30
- 2012 – 18
- 2011 – 23
In 2014, the percentage of college football players actually declaring early but not being drafted exceeded that of college basketball players, but look what happened this year. And if you’re wondering why, it’s because the NFL got more persuasive about the odds.
The decrease in players leaving school early for the NFL came a year after the league altered its evaluation process – limiting schools to just five draft-eligible underclassmen it can request evaluations for and altering the information that players receive.
Previously, five different grades were handed out by the NFL Draft Advisory Board: As high as the first round; as high as the second round; as high as the third round; no potential to go in the first three rounds; and no potential to be drafted.
That was cut to three categories this year: first round, second round, and neither – which is the board advising the player to stay in school.
Look, as much as these coaches like to say it’s a rule change that favors the players, it’s really about the rule favoring college coaches, by letting them keep the talent around longer. The question I have is how much a change by the NCAA would really matter, given the effect education has had. Let’s face it – it’s not like the NFL needs these kids to come out a year early. If they don’t, it’s one less year they get paid.
Seattle’s offensive line coach Tom Cable isn’t a fan, either.
… Cable said that the proliferation of spread offenses in college has made it harder for players to adjust in the NFL, particularly the offensive linemen under his charge. That, in turn, has made it harder to evaluate players as they prepare to enter the league.
“Unfortunately, I think we’re doing a huge disservice to offensive football players — other than a receiver — that come out of these spread systems,” Cable continued. “The runners aren’t as good. They aren’t taught how to run. The blockers aren’t as good. The quarterbacks aren’t as good. They don’t know how to read coverage and throw progressions. They have no idea.”
Judging from his record as Idaho’s head coach, I’m not that convinced Cable’s got an idea. But the more this stuff circulates, the more it grows into a real thing. Expect more pushback from spread coaches; at this point, they’ve really got no choice.