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Does the Spread Formation Mean the Death of NFL QBs?

Does the Spread Formation Mean the Death of NFL QBs?

  • TX9R
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 8,022
Everything goes in cycles. Rule changes have a big effect. Guys like Bill Walsh who exploit them first get a jump on the rest, but eventually everyone catches up and figures out how to stop something because everyone is running it. Interesting article on the spread:
http://sports.espn.go.com/highschool/rise/football/news/story?id=4339959

Something of note is that the guys who have really excelled at it have been running a form of the spread as early as 6th grade, so really it's easy to see why the transition in the pros is difficult, these guys have grown up playing this way. I think the next few years will determine how many teams run it in college, at least big time programs. If there isn't a guy who comes from the spread that has success in the NFL soon, I think you'll see teams that run a pro-style offense have a distinct recruiting advantage, at least at the QB position because guys will want to be prepared to succeed in the NFL.

I think this will happen though because until recently the teams running it were doing so to make up for a lack of talent. More big time schools with big time talent are running it now and at some point QBs that are just destined to be great will come out of that offense and the whole spread argument will be a thing of the past. I have a hard time beleiving that Bradford, McCoy, and Tebow will ALL be busts so it could be very soon.
Originally posted by Overkill:
It certainly makes it harder to draft a QB that can come in and perform at a reasonable level, but I wouldn't say it "means the death of NFL QB's".

Not True.
It simply means that the NFL is slowly but surely going to migrate to a more spread-style offense.
As Texasniner said, until recently, it was the smaller poorer schools who used the spread to compete with the 'big time' schools that used pro-style offenses ... those days are over.
Today Michigan, Florida, Texas, Oklahoma etc etc all run variations on the spread and the better talent that comes from those schools are going to force the NFL to change.
Originally posted by cestmoi:
Originally posted by Overkill:
It certainly makes it harder to draft a QB that can come in and perform at a reasonable level, but I wouldn't say it "means the death of NFL QB's".

Not True.
It simply means that the NFL is slowly but surely going to migrate to a more spread-style offense.
As Texasniner said, until recently, it was the smaller poorer schools who used the spread to compete with the 'big time' schools that used pro-style offenses ... those days are over.
Today Michigan, Florida, Texas, Oklahoma etc etc all run variations on the spread and the better talent that comes from those schools are going to force the NFL to change.

I highly doubt the NFL is going to change just to get their rookie QB's on the field earlier (especially if they implement a rookie salary cap). The only way the NFL will adopt the spread offense en masse is if it proves effective at the pro level, which it hasn't to this point. The only NFL teams that have successfully adopted systems even remotely similar to the spread did so with great talent at both the QB and WR spots. Not every team has that...

The spread offense is simple. That's why it can be run effectively as early as the 6th grade. That's also why it's so hard for college QB's to adjust to the pros. They're asked to make more reads, etc. Even in pro style "run & shoot" type offenses. Simpler is better due to time constraints at the college level that simply aren't there at the pro level. Defenses are also much more complex at the pro level, making it that much harder for simple offenses to work.

Spread QB's are less prepared for the pros, so they typically have a harder time making an impact early on. That's all I'm saying.
  • TX9R
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 8,022
Oh I don't see the spread ever being used primarily in the NFL any more than the run n shoot is. But you can bet teams will use spread packages at times. The point I was making is that because it is becoming SO prevalent in college, there's bound to be a talented QB who comes from one and has success in the NFL. It may be a harder adjustment at first, but all QBs should sit the first year or so before starting in the NFL.

Just because a guy may be better prepared from a system standpoint, it's very rare someone thrust in right away has success short or long term. The ones that do generally make the HOF, not like they are a dime a dozen. Last year was a crazy fluke and for every Matt Ryan there are 10 Heath Shulers and Rick Mirers (who actually started off pretty well).

I think it's a teaching thing. A guy with all the tools who can think on his feet and make sound decisions should be able to have success. The problem is they don't get good coaching, consistency, and are thrust in too quick (see Alex Smith or David Carr on how not to do it) It's not the system, it's the situation (see Tom Brady, Matt Cassell)
Originally posted by TX9R:
Oh I don't see the spread ever being used primarily in the NFL any more than the run n shoot is. But you can bet teams will use spread packages at times. The point I was making is that because it is becoming SO prevalent in college, there's bound to be a talented QB who comes from one and has success in the NFL. It may be a harder adjustment at first, but all QBs should sit the first year or so before starting in the NFL.

Just because a guy may be better prepared from a system standpoint, it's very rare someone thrust in right away has success short or long term. The ones that do generally make the HOF, not like they are a dime a dozen. Last year was a crazy fluke and for every Matt Ryan there are 10 Heath Shulers and Rick Mirers (who actually started off pretty well).

I think it's a teaching thing. A guy with all the tools who can think on his feet and make sound decisions should be able to have success. The problem is they don't get good coaching, consistency, and are thrust in too quick (see Alex Smith or David Carr on how not to do it) It's not the system, it's the situation (see Tom Brady, Matt Cassell)

I agree - teaching and talent trumps system. And so many teams run the spread now that its a only matter of time before somebody with actual talent (not just statistically enhanced faux talent) comes out of a spread offense to make a big impact on the pros. Teebow, Bradford, McCoy - any of these guys could do it.

I also agree 100% that most QB's should sit & learn, Matt Ryan's are rare, etc.
Again, all I meant is that (compared to a guy that comes from a pro style offense) a spread QB will have a harder time adjusting to the NFL.
[ Edited by Overkill on Jul 21, 2009 at 2:09 PM ]
  • TX9R
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 8,022
Originally posted by Overkill:
Originally posted by TX9R:
Oh I don't see the spread ever being used primarily in the NFL any more than the run n shoot is. But you can bet teams will use spread packages at times. The point I was making is that because it is becoming SO prevalent in college, there's bound to be a talented QB who comes from one and has success in the NFL. It may be a harder adjustment at first, but all QBs should sit the first year or so before starting in the NFL.

Just because a guy may be better prepared from a system standpoint, it's very rare someone thrust in right away has success short or long term. The ones that do generally make the HOF, not like they are a dime a dozen. Last year was a crazy fluke and for every Matt Ryan there are 10 Heath Shulers and Rick Mirers (who actually started off pretty well).

I think it's a teaching thing. A guy with all the tools who can think on his feet and make sound decisions should be able to have success. The problem is they don't get good coaching, consistency, and are thrust in too quick (see Alex Smith or David Carr on how not to do it) It's not the system, it's the situation (see Tom Brady, Matt Cassell)

I agree - teaching and talent trumps system. And so many teams run the spread now that its a only matter of time before somebody with actual talent (not just statistically enhanced faux talent) comes out of a spread offense to make a big impact on the pros. Teebow, Bradford, McCoy - any of these guys could do it.

I also agree 100% that most QB's should sit & learn, Matt Ryan's are rare, etc.
Again, all I meant is that (compared to a guy that comes from a pro style offense) a spread QB will have a harder time adjusting to the NFL.

I agree. The fact is, until one gets drafted not in the top 20 or so it could be a while. The biggest problem is guys getting thrust in too early and having too many expectations, mostly due to the amount of money their making. GMs and coaches want to see what they have too soon. The pro style guys may have an early advantage, but long term they may not truly develop in to a pro-bowl calibur player.
Originally posted by TX9R:
Originally posted by Overkill:
Originally posted by TX9R:
Oh I don't see the spread ever being used primarily in the NFL any more than the run n shoot is. But you can bet teams will use spread packages at times. The point I was making is that because it is becoming SO prevalent in college, there's bound to be a talented QB who comes from one and has success in the NFL. It may be a harder adjustment at first, but all QBs should sit the first year or so before starting in the NFL.

Just because a guy may be better prepared from a system standpoint, it's very rare someone thrust in right away has success short or long term. The ones that do generally make the HOF, not like they are a dime a dozen. Last year was a crazy fluke and for every Matt Ryan there are 10 Heath Shulers and Rick Mirers (who actually started off pretty well).

I think it's a teaching thing. A guy with all the tools who can think on his feet and make sound decisions should be able to have success. The problem is they don't get good coaching, consistency, and are thrust in too quick (see Alex Smith or David Carr on how not to do it) It's not the system, it's the situation (see Tom Brady, Matt Cassell)

I agree - teaching and talent trumps system. And so many teams run the spread now that its a only matter of time before somebody with actual talent (not just statistically enhanced faux talent) comes out of a spread offense to make a big impact on the pros. Teebow, Bradford, McCoy - any of these guys could do it.

I also agree 100% that most QB's should sit & learn, Matt Ryan's are rare, etc.
Again, all I meant is that (compared to a guy that comes from a pro style offense) a spread QB will have a harder time adjusting to the NFL.

I agree. The fact is, until one gets drafted not in the top 20 or so it could be a while. The biggest problem is guys getting thrust in too early and having too many expectations, mostly due to the amount of money their making. GMs and coaches want to see what they have too soon. The pro style guys may have an early advantage, but long term they may not truly develop in to a pro-bowl calibur player.

Exactly. Fix the rookie pay structure and I think most of the current pressure to start young QB's goes away. I'd love to see them pare down rookie contracts and actually give some of these guys a fighting chance.
I think more accurately, the Spread in College makes average QBs look wayyy better then they actually are (At least to fans).
The Texas Tech Offense (and QB Taylor Potts)

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