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?