First round QBs in the NFL Draft may disappear.

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Not that long ago most NFL teams gave a rookie QB 2 or 3 years to mature and learn the game. However, that has changed in recent years and it may be changing again.

First round QBs are expected to start quickly and some of them are able to do that. The recent success of Roethlisberger (PT), Sanchez (NJ), and Ryan (AT) make us forget the list of those that have crashed and burned in recent years.

We start with 2007 because it is too soon to evaluate players being a bust from the 08 or 09 drafts.

2007-1st pick JaMarcus Russell Oakland Russell has thrown a total of 18 TDs and 23 picks since joining the league. He has a career passer rating of 65.2. In the 2010 draft the team traded for Campbell to replace him.

2007-22nd pick Brady Quinn Cleveland He didn’t get thrown into the game immediately but that still didn’t help him. In 3 years he had a rating of 66.8. He was traded to Denver this year for a bucket of water. They were so impressed with Quinn that they used a 1st round pick on QB Tim Tebow.

2006-3rd pick Vince Young Tennessee His first 2 years he was the starter and had passer ratings of 66.7 and 71.1. He got benched in 08 and the first part of 09 but came back after learning a little more about the game and had some success.

2006-10 Matt Leinart Arizona He started in game 5 of 06 and threw 11 TDs but 12 picks. He ended that year with a QBR of 74. He was named the starter in 07 but was done after 5 games with a QBR of 61.9. He has started 1 game since. He will have to fight for the job this year because the Cards traded for Anderson after Kurt Warner retired.

2006-11th Jay Cutler Denver Cutler was quite successful in his first 3 years with QBRs of 88.5, 88.1 and 86.0 before wearing out his welcome forcing a trade to Chicago. There he threw 27 TDs but 26 picks and a QBR of a mediocre 76.8.

2005-1st overall Alex Smith San Francisco Smith started the last 5 games of 05 and all of 06. But 7 games into 07 he was pulled for an undrafted FA. Even with a QBR in 09 of 81.5 his career number is 69.2. In his first 3 seasons he threw 19 TDs but 31 picks.

2005-25th Jason Campbell Washington Campbell sat out 05 but started 7 games in 06, 13 games in 07 and every game since. Despite improving his stats each year, he was traded to the Raiders this season for a 4th round pick in 2012. That is the equivalent of a 6th round pick this draft.

So in the 3 seasons we looked at, there were 7 first round QBs picked and only Cutler has been successful enough to be named a replacement pro bowler after a couple of others backed out. Young may be on the upswing after sitting for a year and a half. The rest were pretty much busts. Those busts set their teams back several seasons except the Cards that had future Hall of Fame QB Warner in reserve.

So what is the problem? There are several factors that are making the drafting of a QB in the first round less likely now and perhaps prohibitive in the near future.

The first cause is cost. The price of a QB as the 1st pick in 2010 will be 50 million in cash guarantees. Bradford will get that even if he never plays a down for the Rams. The Rams were willing to take offers to trade down but even in an uncapped year there were no serious bids for the pick.

The more pressing issue is the spread offense of the College game. More and more college teams are using a version of the spread and QBs that play 3 or 4 years in that system are not at all prepared to come to the NFL.

The pass patterns that the spread runs are very limited. The most frequent pattern is the bubble screen. There are very few teams that use the route tree like that of the NFL. The favorite pattern in the NFL is the skinny post. Very few college QBs even know what that is.

WRs are wide open in college but are not open at all in the NFL. As a result, QBs are not forced to make the throw to the back shoulder of a WR. There is accuracy in college but that does not relate to accuracy in the NFL.

The average QB is in the shotgun 90+ percent of the time. They never have to worry about the 3, 5, and 7 step drop back. Footwork is critical to accuracy and almost none of the QBs coming into the league have consistent footwork.

The CBs that an NFL QB faces every week are better than any that a college QB in his career. The college kid has seldom seen a rotating zone or combination man/zone D. Those are used every week in the NFL.

The worst part of the spread is that QBs never have to make more than 2 reads of the defense. Bradford was not even looking at the D prior to the snap. He was always looking for the coach’s call from the sideline. It takes time to learn to do pre-snap reads. An NFL QB has to know where the pressure is likely to originate and has to adjust to it.

The more the rookie 1st round QBs cost the more pressure there is to put them under center Day 1. But given the complexities of the NFL defenses and the lack of NFL offenses in college, the more expensive QB is less prepared to come into the league.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He is a regular contributor on Cleveland Sports Radio http://www.sportstalkcleveland.com/ Monday afternoons at 1 Eastern. He has also published several novels on

and edits .

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  • Author:
  • Published: Nov 26th, 2009
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Happy Thanksgiving—The NFL Provides the Turkeys

Happy Thanksgiving—The NFL Provides the Turkeys

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Happy Thanksgiving to all.

What we learned from last week.

QB Vince Young has turned the corner—Not yet.

Looking at the 4 straight wins of the Titans, many would assume that Young is now an NFL quality QB. Young has given the O a shot in the butt however it is more from his ability or his threat to run than from his passing. Against the Texans he had 116 yards passing.

He has improved his mechanics. His footwork is much better. He is planting his feet before he throws and is not throwing as often off his back foot. That has improved his accuracy. He has been over 50% in every game and over 60% completions in two.

Unless he continues to improve his passing, defenses will adjust to the Young led O and stop this version of the team as well.

The Browns find their O but have lost their D—Not yet.

You and I could move the ball against the Lions even if you were having a bad day. The O of the Browns Sunday means nothing. However, we did see indications that QB Quinn can throw deep but he must work on accuracy.

The Bengals will play up to their competition or down to the Raiders.

This is a team that is just starting to learn how to win again after being the joke of the NFL. It will take them a couple of years to get used to putting their foot on the throat of a weak opponent and winning the game.

The Turkeys served up by the NFL

GB @ DT – UCH! Forget the tradition. Detroit won’t be a competitive team any time soon. Put some team in that won’t make us lose our dinner.

OK @ DA Couldn’t the NFL have found a more accomplished team to match against the Boys than the Al Davises?

NYG @ DV The Broncos are hanging on for dear life and the Giants D will force them further down into the muck. Giants win even without a running game.

Indy @ HO This is the last chance for the Texans to prove they are better than a 500 team. To do that they have to beat the Colts. They are not better than a 500 team. They will lose and end up with a new coach next season.

PT @ BA This is the battle of reserves because these teams are really beaten up. The Steelers called me early this week asking if I would play backup QB because Roethlisberger was banged up last week and Batch was out with a bad wrist. They also could be missing S Polamalu and G Kemoeatu.

The Ravens will also be struggling with injuries to C Birk, LB Lewis and S Reed. Look for the Steelers to win IF big Ben plays.

Game of the Week—NE @ NO The Saints get the first real test of the season. The key will be how well a bad Pat D backfield deals with the passing of Brees. The Saints should win but this is the type of game that the Pats seem to steal.

Stinker of the Week—SE @ STL Ram QB Bulger is hurt and the O line is not good enough to create running lanes against air. Seattle is no gift to football fans.

Please take a moment this holiday to think about those that are on the other side of world risking their lives to make us safe. May the men and women of our military stay safe.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

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  • Author:
  • Published: Nov 5th, 2009
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Tuesday QB (on Thursday) for week 8

Tuesday QB (on Thursday) for week 8

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The Browns begin to clean house.

The GM George Kokinis was frog-walked out of the facility. He should have been preceded by Head Coach Mangenous who is guilty of a lot more of the disaster than GK. There is no way describe the mess that Mangini has created. The team was better under the previous administration. The ex-Jets that were brought in particularly those that came at the cost of the 5th overall pick have been less productive than they were last year.

The total absence of offense is not going to be solved over night. In NFLDraftdog last week I outlined a plan to at least patch the holes in the program and get back some fan interest. The team does not have any idea who it is on O. It really doesn’t matter because they can not run or pass effectively. The QBs are running for their lives.

Owner Randy Lerner said he is going to bring in a “real” football man to oversee the entire operation. Now that would have been a good idea before you jumped to hire Mangenous and gave him all the power.

The Titans show a little life

QB Vince Young was 15-18 in his first start of the year. Even his meager 125 yards was enough to keep the Jags D honest and open up things for the running game. RB Johnson had an amazing game running for over 200 yards and 2 TDs. But lets remember it was against the Jags.

Suddenly the Broncos look very average.

As predicted here last week, the Ravens took the Broncos apart and put them back together wrong. The Denver O could do very little as the Raven D looked like it did during the Super Bowl years. Things don’t get any easier for Denver having the Steelers next on their dance card.

The Giant WRs are costing them games

The loss to the Eagles again pointed out the major weakness in the Giants’ O—WR. The wideouts just can not seem to make plays often enough to win against good defenses. That is what we predicted at the beginning of the season. It will get worse for the Giants before it gets better.

The Vikes are just too much for the Pack.

Again as predicted, the Vikes one weakness was the QB. Now that they have Favre, they are set to challenge for the NFC. They will have to battle the Saints and the Eagles but I like the Vikes chances.

The Rams WIN!

The Lambs finally got a win. It would have made more of an impact had it not been against a wounded Lion team.

The Cards are still inconsistent.

The secret to the Cards winning is the play of QB Warner. The secret to him playing well is the protection he gets or does not get from the line. Until the O line firms up the Cards playoff chances will depend more on the WEAK NFC West than their own play.

The NFL and the NFLPA want to negotiate in private!

That is the first good piece of news we have seen. They are meeting and have agreed to keep the issues out of the press and away from the public. The less we hear from them the better are the chances of reaching an agreement.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

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Tuesday QB for week 6 in the NFL.

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The Saints established themselves as a competitor for the top spot in the NFC with an impressive win over the Giants. There has never been a question about the Saints O because it has been among the best in the league for several years. The difference with the team this year is the play of the D. The D is allowing just 18.6 points per game and is much stiffer against the run than they have been. The Saints are now 5-0.

The Vikes pulled out a great win over the Ravens and then held their breath as the Birds missed a 44 yard field goal. The win puts the Vikes at 6-0 and also a possible top playoff seed. Two of the wins are directly the result of QB Farve. He has led them to an undefeated record so far with a passer rating of 109.5. Last year starter Gus Frerotte finished with a 73.7 rating. With the loss by the Bears, the Vikes lead the division by 2.5 games.

The Bengals stubbed their collective toes badly in a loss to the Texans. After beating the Ravens and Steelers in recent games, this was a letdown they could not well afford. They now are in first place only by the tie breaker with the Steelers. I am not convinced the Bengals can hold on to 1st but at 4-2 for a start, they have a legitimate shot at a playoff spot.

Most of the experts felt that the Cards would lose to the Seahawks. Not so fast. The Cards blew the Hawks out by scoring 24-3 points by the middle of the 3rd quarter. Card QB Warner went 32-41 for 276 and 2 TDs. Hawk QB Hasselbeck was only 10-29. The Cards tied for 1st place with the 49ers in the NFC West. The team will go as far as their running game and D take them. There can be no question about Warner. If the team can protect him at all and give him a chance to throw the ball he will kill any D he plays.

The Falcons won the wild card tie breaker against the Bears with a 21-14 win. The D played very well holding Bear QB Cutler to 27-43 and just 14 points. Cutler has to stop throwing interceptions in the red zone. The Falcons are going to be a tough out in the playoffs for any team if the D can stay healthy.

The Titans are a really bad team. Soon I will publish a plan to get them back to respectability. The problem is that the draft has produce only 1 real star over the last few years. Only RB Chris Johnson has had a major positive impact on the team. The drafting of QB Vince Young put the team in a hole they have yet to clime out from. The team was 13-3 last year and has a good shot to be 3-13 this season. Not the direction you want a team to go. The club got old fast because it has relied too much on free agents and not gotten much out of the draft.

Other notes:

Ownership of the Redskins have taken the play calling away from Coach Zorn. Jim, get a good Realtor because it takes a while to sell a house and you won’t have a job long if your team doesn’t start winning.

Jet NT Kris Jenkins was placed on IR which ends his season. The 3-4 is impossible to run without a quality player at that most critical position on the D.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

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Tuesday Morning QB for 10/06/09

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TN @ JK The Titans are in serious trouble. Just like the rest of those that watch and are fool enough to try to prognosticate NFL games, I thought the Titans would come around. They have had a ton of injuries on D and on the O line but that is no excuse. They are bad and there are no answers on the bench (see my column on Will Vince Young ever become an NFL QB?). The Titans are out of the playoffs for the first time in a while.

Jacksonville had their game blacked out. They are really struggling to get their attendance up. The only hope to keep the team in place beside a winning streak which won’t happen is to play some games in Orlando. They won’t do that and will end up moving. The 7 of you that have the NFL Network can see Jacksonville games after midnight on that channel.

BA @ NE The Pats took the one path to beat the Ravens that I have seen—Jump ahead and make them a pass first team. The 14 point 2nd quarter by the Pats put the Ravens behind and they gave up on the run. That was not wise because Rice averaged 9.4 yards per attempt but got only 11 carries. The loss pulled the Ravs even with the Bengals who they play next week. The Pats were able to pull even with the Jets in the loss column with their fall to the Saints. I still believe that the Pats are the class of the AFC East.

NJ @ NO The Saints untold story is their D. They stopped the Jet O cold and held them to 10 points. The O has carried the Saints for years but now under former HC Williams they are playing very well on D. Look for them to make the NFC South their personal playground. The Jets will be fine and should make the playoffs as a wild card behind the Pats. They are a good team but Sanchez has to have some time to become a NFL QB.

DA @ DV The luck continued but so did an above average effort by the D. The Bronco D has played above their heads and has contributed the most to their 4-0 start. Dallas is in trouble. Romo has yet to prove he can make it happen in tough spots. The playoffs are going to be tough for the Boys that are now in effect 2.5 games behind the Giants because they are 2 games back in the loss column and lose the tiebreaker. The running game is struggling because the passing game is not as effective as it should be. The O line is a problem but so are the backs. Neither Barber nor Choice got 4 yards a carry. That is the standard for an average running game.

SD @ PT The Steelers got another win by showing their grit. They held off the Chargers on a 2nd half rally that netted 28 points. The Steelers scored 10 in the 4th to win the game. Mendenhall got out of the dog house just in time to run for 165 yards and 2 TDs. He was the difference between this win and last weeks lost to the Bengals. The Steelers are now 2-2 but 1.5 games behind the Bengals. They should still get to the playoffs but will it be as the Division champ or a wild card. The wild card route is a tough road to get to the Super Bowl.

GB @ MN The Pack was able to keep Peterson under control and allowed him only 2.2 ypa. But by focusing on the running game, Favre went to work. He threw for 3 TDs and 271 yards. The Pack gave up on the running game too soon. Grant was averaging 4.6 per carry but got only 11 attempts. The Vikes are on their way to the 1st seed in the playoffs and that should carry them to the NFC Championship game.

TB @ WA The Redskins saved Coach Zorn from getting fired or worse. They stumbled to a 16-13 win over the totally inept Bucs. This was the stinker game of the week and lived up to that title. Between Johnson (TB) and Campbell (WA) there was only 276 yards of passing! If you were thinking that the Ds played really well, you would be wrong. Neither guy could hit the water from a sinking boat in the middle of the Atlantic.

CN @ CL Check out my full report on NFLDraftDog.com tomorrow.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

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  • Author:
  • Published: Sep 1st, 2009
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Tuesday Morning QB Analysis: Key issues of Week 3 PS

Tuesday Morning QB Analysis: Key issues of Week 3 PS

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Why hasn’t QB Vince Young developed in Tennessee?

Young’s biggest problem is that he hasn’t developed the vision and anticipation for both his receivers and the coverage. Part of that is because he played in the spread at Texas. There he had wide open receivers running all over the field. He has to spend more time in the film room and understand that the NFL definition of “open” is about 1/8th the separation of the college version of the the same thing.

On the pick that Browns LB Hall ran in for the TD, Young never saw Hall. That is a perfect example of his lack of vision and recognition of coverage. On the next drive 5 plays 80 yards, the biggest single play was Young’s scramble. He can make plays with his feet. That will win some games in the regular season but not AFC South titles or Super Bowls. And those are the things that the Titans want most of all. The Titans need a passing QB that can run rather than a runner that passes a little.

This explains why Young has double the number of INTs than TDs. As you get closer to the endzone, the coverage is compressed due to less yards to cover. If you struggle reading coverages in the middle of the field, you will really struggle in the red zone just like Young does.

What is the key differences between Anderson and Quinn?

The ability to process information quickly and the touch and accuracy on the short pass or screen pass. The Browns are not going to have much of a running game this year. That necessitates the short passing game to replace the yards that the running game should generate. Quinn is much more accurate at circle patterns where the RB goes around the end and across the middle just behind the LBs, the screen pass, and the swing pass where the RB slants to the sideline.

There is no question that Anderson has the much stronger arm. But he tends to trust his arm too much and throws into coverage because he believes he can “squeeze” the ball in between defenders. That leads to some really nice completions. It also leads to a lot of interceptions which is something that Coach Mangini will not abide.

Scouting Report: Bret Favre v Texans

Any game that starts with your RB going up the gut for 75 yards and a TD is going to be a good one. There is nothing wrong with Favre’s eyes. He sees the field fine and processes information as fast as he always has. He moves instinctively and finds receivers down field with guys in his face. He still has the touch to drop the ball over the blitzing LB on a screen pass. He still has the hard count to pull the D offside on a key play.

He is not the rifle armed QB he used to be. He struggles to get the ball out on a line when he is falling back to avoid a sack. And to throw the deep ball he has to wind up and change his delivery. He also has to do that when he has to throw the fast ball in between defenders. He used to be able to throw the ball 50 yards on a line with a flick of his wrist. But next month he will turn 40.

He has a much better running game, O line and defense than he had in New York. Besides, half a Favre is better than any other QB on the Vikings roster.

Why does it take college WRs a couple of years to develop in the NFL?

Most top college WRs depend on physical ability and speed to get open against a lot of average DBs in college. They are so much better athletes than the average DB that they don’t have to work to get open on technique like running crisp pattern and making fakes before their break. In the NFL the DBs are equal in physical talent and speed. The only way an NFL WR gets open is to run precise patterns and make sharp cuts. He also has to always be aware of the line to gain and the sideline. That is a lot to think about for a young WR.

Another factor is the use of the spread offense in college. The spread doesn’t focus on patterns but on flooding zones and quick reads. In college someone is always open. In the NFL, the word open takes on a whole new meaning. Open in the pros is a half step or body position rather than a window a couple of yards wide like in college.

A third factor that is not often discussed is the hits that NFL receivers take. The first NFL hit by a corner or safety is as hard as the best hit a WR got in his entire college career. It takes a while to be able to considerate on the catch and not hear the footsteps of a 210 pound safety with his sites on your chest.

KC rookie head coach Todd Haley fires OC Chan Gailey.

There is no question that the Chiefs offense wouldn’t score against air. Gailey was part of the problem but there are a lot more troubles than him. You have a QB that is unproven. Yes Matt Cassel played well in New England. But the Chiefs don’t have Randy Moss, Wes Welker and the Pats O line. They have Dwayne Bowe (a great physical talent but very inconsistent) and Bobby (I’m always hurt) Engram and a very young O line.

You also have a very over rated RB in Larry Johnson who has missed 12 games in the last 2 years with injuries. Now your QB may be hurt. Gailey wasn’t your problem. Your team is your problem. It’s a good thing you are new because this group is bad enough to get any head coach fired.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

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