College Coaches: Responsible For NFL Development Or Just Winning Games?

Drew GatewoodAnalyst IMay 4, 2010

BEREA, OH - MAY 01:  Colt McCoy #12 of the Cleveland Browns stretches during rookie mini camp at the Cleveland Browns Training and Administrative Complex on May 1, 2010 in Berea, Ohio.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The spread offense has revolutionized college football—the high profile offenses are what has become the focal point on talk radio and TV.

Players like Colt McCoy and Tim Tebow are heralded as great college players until they arrive at the NFL combine.

This right of passage puts these college greats under the microscope, magnifying their weaknesses. These weakness, such as throwing motion and lack of time spent under center could be easily fixed during their college offseasons.

This brings up an interesting question across the college landscape.

Should a college coach try and get his players to the NFL, or set the team up for success and jeopardize the players’ chances at the next level?

The easy answer is no.

He (the coach) should build a team to win, and try to not focus on the players NFL dream, after all his pay check comes from the school he coaches for and not the NFL.

The counter to that thinking is that down the road it may eventually catch up in the recruiting realm. Pro style quarterbacks will avoid schools that have used spread offenses in favor for schools that play to their strengths.

I do not necessarily agree with that thinking considering a player like John Brantley gives Florida a wrinkle this year that it has not had in several seasons.

That added dimension gives both the team and the player an added benefit. The team becomes more dynamic on offense. The player because of that certain skill set now gets more playing time.

On the other side of this argument is Terrelle Pryor, a running quarterback who went to Ohio State, a pro style offense.

Pryor has been quoted as saying he chose the Buckeyes over Oregon, Michigan, Penn State and Florida because he wanted to develop into more of a passing quarterback.

In his three years starting he has made strides, but Pryor will never be a Peyton Manning under center. His decision, much like Brantley’s has sent him to a team where his adaptation to the offense will be directly influenced by the present coach.

Could Colt McCoy and Tebow used more time under center?

Of course, but would that have drastically changed their team’s offenses? Doubtful.

Texas and Florida would still have won just as many games during their star quarterbacks tenures with them splitting time under center versus the shotgun.

If they showed success under center, just like they did in the shotgun both would have been first round picks last month.

Has this hurt Texas’s or Florida’s recruiting?

Not at the moment, but if Brantley sits more than expected it could for Florida.

If Tebow or McCoy have successful rookie seasons in the NFL, the talk of their throwing motion and lack of experience as a traditional quarterback will be silenced as will the talk about their respective college coaches development approach.

Did Mack Brown and Urban Meyer put Tebow and McCoy in the best situation to succeed at the next level?

No they did not.

Did they put them in the best situation to succeed as college quarterbacks in their respective offenses?

Absolutely, and after all is said and done both Meyer and Brown did their jobs as college coaches, and that was to win.