Originally posted by DaFaro49ers:
Originally posted by mrgneissguy:
Well, what the Ball State coaches did with him in his freshman year worked, but would never fly in the NFL.
The starting QB was a senior who, while not great, was a very solid QB, especially considering what BSU normally had, and went into the season as one of, if not the, top QBs in the nation for completion percentage. But early in the season, Brady Hoke (head coach) would put Nate Davis in for a series or two each game, in certain situations. At first I, and many other Ball State fans, were sitting there thinking "What the hell is the coach thinking?" I mean, there were a couple of games where we were winning, and it had been a long time since Ball State had won many games, and the coach would pull out Lynch to put in this freshman? Serious WTF thinking going on in the stadium. But it only took a few games to realize that Nate Davis was going to be very, very good. Sure, he was making freshman mistakes occasionally. But not many, and fewer every game. Over the coarse of the season, he got more series to lead the team, and his play improved every game until he eventually took over the starting job all together. One of his first full games was against an undefeated Michigan team in the Big House. In the first half, it looked like it was going to be ugly, but they hung in there, and late in the fourth quarter, down by only eight to the #1 team in the nation, he led them to goal to go. They weren't able to get the touchdown (I still say the receiver was mugged on his last pass into the end zone, but no flag) but he showed he was not intimidated and could play with the big boys.
You could literally see him growing every single game. Both QBs ended the season tied with the single season TD record for Ball State, which he then shattered the next year. But I can't imagine a team in the NFL doing that with their QBs. I doubt it would work well even if a team tried it. You'd have to have a special kind of person as the starting QB that could handle that mentally. In college, it's playing time you're sharing. In the pros, you're talking about a paycheck. Also, in this case, you would literally be telling Alex Smith that his days are numbered, and if "being thrown to the wolves" ruined him, imagine what that would do.
Walsh did this with Montana his rookie season. He picked his moments and put Joe into the lineup:
"Walsh’s offense emphasized short or middle passes, multiple formations, and motions. It was a complicated system, one that required a disciplined disciple to implement. Walsh knew that his prized rookie was up to the task, but was careful not to ruin his confidence by subjecting the young quarterback to untenable circumstances. When Montana did play in his rookie season and early in his second, it was in carefully selected situations. "We didn't want to throw him to the wolves," Walsh said. “We thought it was important to give him moments of success early, to build his confidence.” Midway through his second season, Walsh made the move and designated Joe the regular starter. He played well; completing 176 passes for 1,795 yards and 15 touchdowns. But it was only a small prelude of the successes that were to follow."