It's the offseason and I'm kinda bored, so just thought I'd post this and see what thoughts are out there on this subject.
What if I told you there was a QB who by the end of his fourth year in the league had put up these numbers: 522 completions on 1,079 attempts, 6,739 yards, with 41 TDs vs 73 interceptions.
Who could it be? A young, hapless Joe Ferguson? Vinny Testaverde? Vince Ferragamo? Jamarcus Russell in a parallel universe?
No...it's Terry Bradshaw!
I know, I know, no need to get riled up. It was a way different game back then. Furthermore, the Steelers started winning in his 3rd year, and a winning team can tolerate cruddy QB stats way more than a losing team can.
Also, the Steelers had invested a high pick in the young man and clearly wanted it to pay off.
Would he have survived his rough first two years in today's NFL? When a coach takes over on a losing team, in general, if he's not showing signs of improvement by the 3rd year, he's on the hot seat. It's a rough job, and it's not exactly a stable career. I think many coaches tend not to have too much patience with young players simply because they can't afford to. Also, in Bradshaw's case, the numbers were not yet there, but he had the alpha mentality that other QB busts didn't have.
That's probably one of the hardest parts of coaching. How much slack do you give rookies and young guys to take their lumps and grow? Not enough, you lose out on a great player, maybe. Too much, you lose games and are out of a job.
I also know it varies by position. A young safety probably gets less scrutiny than a QB.
I just wonder how many guys might have turned the corner with a little more patience. It's a thought experiement, because there's no way to know.
I can't wait for training camp and more stuff to talk about! Happy Summer Rumblers!