Skip to content

Drew Stanton thinks NFL has a QB development problem

AP

Cardinals quarterback Drew Stanton entered the league as a second-round pick of the Lions in 2007 and has spent the last decade serving as a backup in Detroit, Indianapolis and Arizona.

Stanton has seen a lot of quarterbacks move through the league over that time and that experience has left him with strong views about how the league handles the development of young quarterbacks. Like a lot of other people, Stanton believes they aren’t doing a very good job and points to the move away from having a third quarterback on the inactive list on Sundays as a particular problem.

“It’s so hard to develop as a quarterback in this league nowadays,” Stanton said, via Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com. “The NFL is, unfortunately, heading into a bad trend. When I first got in the league, you could be an inactive third on game day like I was when I was younger. That transitions into now, they’re trying to save spots and get guys to the practice squad.”

Stanton’s coach Bruce Arians made it clear that’s the case in Arizona when discussing Cardinals backups Stanton, Blaine Gabbert and Trevor Knight. Arians said keeping a third quarterback on the active roster comes down to whether he’s “the best player, regardless of position” and the fact that quarterbacks don’t play special teams plays a role in that decision.

Even if the league were to revert to the old inactive arrangement, there would still be limits on how much work quarterbacks down the depth chart get with teams preparing their starter to win games every week. That’s one of the reasons why there have been frequent calls for a true developmental league in the vein of the departed NFL Europe, although those calls haven’t led the league to take action at this point.

Permalink 36 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Arizona Cardinals, Home, Rumor Mill
36 Responses to “Drew Stanton thinks NFL has a QB development problem”
  1. kneedragr says: Jun 23, 2017 11:17 AM

    Pretty much you either have it or you dont. There are not a lot of QBs that ‘developed’.

  2. 700levelvet says: Jun 23, 2017 11:23 AM

    It’s a business… Perform and you’ll get paid….millions do it everyday…

  3. guiness17 says: Jun 23, 2017 11:29 AM

    There are some notable exceptions. Kurt Warner most often mentioned. Aaron Rodgers spent several years on the bench after looking not so good his first pre-season. One of these guys is in the HOF, the other likely will be one day.

    kneedragr says:
    Jun 23, 2017 11:17 AM
    Pretty much you either have it or you dont. There are not a lot of QBs that ‘developed’.

  4. dartmouthstevens says: Jun 23, 2017 11:41 AM

    He does have a valid point. Some people can learn by watching “taking mental reps” some people need to learn by doing.

    If the NFL were to create 32 Arena Football teams. Pay each of the 28 players a living wage (say 5K/week for 12 weeks), they would have a chance to develop some of the skill positions. Who cares if they make money? The minor league baseball teams don’t make money. The majors fund them. Soccer has different levels where contracts are bought and sold. Hockey has the minor leagues. All of them funded by the top tier (directly or indirectly)

    Teams would be interested in putting their “developmental” players there. Assuming that the players were protected, it would be to the teams advantage. Having $10 tickets (like my local minor league baseball team) would like daddies bring their kids to a game without breaking the bank.

  5. aarons444 says: Jun 23, 2017 11:43 AM

    Old news, Drew.

    This problem started a decade ago.

  6. redandgoldhitman52 says: Jun 23, 2017 11:50 AM

    Nfl is for the pros. It’s your job to be a good qb not the NFL. If you need a developing program then your not good enough to be in the NFL and you should probably stay in college an extra year to work on your skills.

  7. aarons444 says: Jun 23, 2017 11:51 AM

    There are some notable exceptions. Kurt Warner most often mentioned.
    =====

    Tony Romo
    Jeff Garcia
    Jake Delhomme
    Erik Kramer
    Jon Kitna… all undrafted

    Mark Brunell
    Matt Hasselbeck
    Rich Gannon
    Trent Green
    Brad Johnson
    Marc Bulger
    Matt Cassell
    Elvis Grbac
    Tom Brady.. 5th round or later

  8. nukejohnson says: Jun 23, 2017 11:57 AM

    Stanton is getting beat by Gabbert. He is done!!

  9. usedjock says: Jun 23, 2017 12:10 PM

    dartmouthstevens says:
    Jun 23, 2017 11:41 AM

    He does have a valid point. Some people can learn by watching “taking mental reps” some people need to learn by doing.

    I completely agree that the NFL has a QB development problem and the only way some of these collage QB’s are going to learn to play in the NFL is by getting reps. I think this is especially the case now because I think the college game and the huge amount of spread offenses so poorly prepares them to play.
    And perhaps having some sort of minor league is probably the answer.

    I keep reading things from coaches and scouts that says that many college QB’s don’t know how to read defenses, are used to a very small playbook, never take a snap under center, and don’t have the footwork that is necessary.

  10. rje49 says: Jun 23, 2017 12:11 PM

    For the past several years I’ve felt that too much may be expected when starting rookie QBs. There is so much to learn and in too many cases they are given up on way too early. We all know there’s a heck of a big difference between college and the NFL but if a guy struggles, it’s on to the next guy.

  11. kamthechancellor says: Jun 23, 2017 12:31 PM

    Stanton’s been in the league 10 years and hasn’t developed. Unless you count classless sideline dancing that is.

  12. intrafinesse says: Jun 23, 2017 12:40 PM

    This is entirely the teams responsibility.
    Teams need to spend the effort to try and develop and evaluate young QBs.
    This includes giving them some playing time in real games.

    The other bigger problem is as college games shift away from NFL style games, with simpler schemes and more spread offenses / pick the match up you like, the pro game will suffer.
    There may come a point where teams have to radically dumb down their offense. It can take years for a young QB to learn to read defenses, and by that time their contract is up and they are free agents.

  13. intrafinesse says: Jun 23, 2017 12:43 PM

    >>I keep reading things from coaches and scouts that says that many college QB’s don’t know how to read defenses, are used to a very small playbook, never take a snap under center, and don’t have the footwork that is necessary.

    How can this be over come?
    Doe sit take a lot of work by the QB and QB Coach?
    Maybe an offseason non-contact developmental camp?

  14. spikeit2times says: Jun 23, 2017 12:45 PM

    Although I agree that the NFL does have an issue developing QBs; a minor (or developmental) league, like some are suggesting, would be disastrous to the NFL. If this existed, there would be an exponential increase in the number of severe and career ending injuries. Those injuries would then spark multiple new lawsuits for monies lost by those players because they then never make it to the pros. Soon; the NFL would be bankrupt.

    Also; the NFL does NOT compare to any of the other sports leagues in ANY capacity. People need to stop with the comparisons to what other leagues do.

    On the plus side of the idea; perhaps with a developmental league some team might actually give Kaepernick a contract to let him play in that league and we wouldn’t have to suffer PFTs incessant whining about him not being signed yet.

  15. lingsun54 says: Jun 23, 2017 12:49 PM

    Drew Stanton’s career turned on ONE came with Detroit. He was a third stringer who started on the road against Tampa Bay. Detroit had lost over 20 straight road games. Detroit won. Stanton played well. That got him jobs with other teams. A lot of 2nd and 3rd string QB’s don’t the opportunity. Stanton is right. Most teams don’t even keep a third QB.

  16. Slow Joe (Bucs fan) says: Jun 23, 2017 12:55 PM

    Stanton’s comment is self-serving, but that doesn’t mean he’s wrong. There are only 32 starting QB jobs in the world yet there aren’t 32 competent starting QBs to fill them. That is the most obvious clue that there’s a development problem.

    I think a lot of QBs that don’t fit the “perfect physical mold” never get developed, but had they been, would’ve been fantastic quarterbacks. There should be some kind of way for them to prove themselves. NFL Europe was fantastic for that, but I guess too expensive.

    I don’t know what the solution is, but someone needs to come up with one. I don’t see why a minor league can’t exist.

  17. redandgoldhitman52 says: Jun 23, 2017 1:08 PM

    Slow Joe
    College is the minor league. The problem is the GM’S are terrible at picking nfl ready players. Also too many players leaving college too early to chase the money when they aren’t ready for the NFL.

  18. cmoney20 says: Jun 23, 2017 1:18 PM

    Just show QB prospects film of Carson Wentz. As long as they play like him, they will never be criticized for airmailing passes over and over and over

  19. hawks1124 says: Jun 23, 2017 1:32 PM

    Probably wouldn’t have such a QB developmental problems if teams didn’t keep treading out proven mediocre QBs like they didn’t have a fair shake.

  20. tremoluxman says: Jun 23, 2017 1:38 PM

    It comes down to money. The NFL and the owners don’t want to spend and reduce their profits by creating a development system sort of like in MLB. Sure, they have the colleges as a de facto development league, but most college players at all positions are not ‘pro ready’. The only exceptions are WRs and RBs or a QB or two.
    Most OL players aren’t 3-point stance players. Few offenses are pro-style. WRs by-and-large don’t run precise pro routes. DBs are way too ‘handsy’ in play.

    I think a developmental league or system that teaches the fundamentals of the pro system would improve the on-field product a great deal. Better offense and better defense.

  21. truepurplefan says: Jun 23, 2017 1:46 PM

    I have as much respect for anyone ! But as a former QB never to have gone to college or play much high school. I will tell you this , Playing QB at any level takes ( Both ) not either or Learning at a young age. I know that to be a Great QB it begins in pee wee and pop warner learning the fundamentals of the position how to set your feet, How to throw on balance ,how to play from the pocket, and accuracy. Also good coach’s at all levels should know,how to teach these aspects of the position ,when a player at any position knows this when they enter Junior and senior high school they should have these aspects down pat.
    Then when they get to college is when the learning of reading defenses comes into play,as in basketball you can’t be a Great player if all you are taught is run and gun through all your player time .
    To put all this on an NFL team to teach is stupid and uninformed ,Of course the Pro’s will suffer if there player outlet is Dumb’ed down …. College football has become nothing more than a NBA type of game. That is why so many players are lousy coming out of college and must be retrained when getting to the NFL !!!

  22. RegisHawk says: Jun 23, 2017 2:08 PM

    The problem starts with the quality of QBs coming out of college.

  23. hockeyflow30 says: Jun 23, 2017 2:12 PM

    The problem is really that coaches and GMs have too short a leash. Expecting these guys to build winners in under three years is a gigantic mistake. An owner needs to hire the right people, together, and say here’s a six year contract to build what you want.

  24. mogogo1 says: Jun 23, 2017 2:12 PM

    Years past all the way through the 80s it was commonplace for guys to sit for a few seasons before becoming the starter–and that was when offenses were considerably simpler. Nowadays offenses are far more complex but a top pick is frequently starter from Day 1 and if he’s not starting by season 2 you’ll start hearing in earnest he’s a bust.

    Drafting is also quite a bit different today than it used to be. In decades past a big name in college would usually translate into being drafted high in the NFL–doesn’t mean he’d turn out to be great but he would typically be experienced in big games and have most of the fundamentals down. Today we see lots of high picks used on guys like Mitch Trubisky with limited starter experience who didn’t even take snaps under center in college but they’re expected in short order to fill the traditional pocket passer role the NFL demands.

  25. charliecharger says: Jun 23, 2017 2:14 PM

    Most QBs need to actually be on the field to fully develop into what they’re going to be. I think the biggest issue is deciding who is actually going to get an opportunity to play. Take Kurt Warner for example. He bounced around for a while before he was given an opportunity to actually get on the field, and that only happened by accident (an injury to Trent Green). Had Green not gotten injured, Warner may never have been given an opportunity.

  26. harrisonhits2 says: Jun 23, 2017 2:34 PM

    “or developmental) league, like some are suggesting, would be disastrous to the NFL. If this existed, there would be an exponential increase in the number of severe and career ending injuries. Those injuries would then spark multiple new lawsuits for monies lost by those players because they then never make it to the pros. Soon; the NFL would be bankrupt.”

    You couldn’t be farther from the truth. One is that those sort of lawsuits never came about from NFLE so why would the come about from a new developmental league? Second, as long as the players are informed about potential for injury there can be no lawsuit.

    The concussion suit happened because the league went to extreme lengths to conceal and deny the effects of concussions. That’s why they got sued. Informed risk is an entirely different situation.

  27. zaphod424242 says: Jun 23, 2017 3:17 PM

    Domestic developmental winter/spring league. Can supplement OTAs/minicamp for the fringe players. Play in warm-weather/indoor venues leading up to the draft. If built up enough can be farm league teams that use the parent club’s systems.

    Teams can make draft decisions based on the progress (or lack of) their younger players.

  28. jetblakc says: Jun 23, 2017 3:31 PM

    One big part of the problem is that we use college as the minor leagues.

    dartmouthstevens nailed it. The NFL needs it’s own minor league so that people coming out of HS looking to play pro football can dedicate themselves to learning how to play in the NFL.

  29. arvinkp says: Jun 23, 2017 4:14 PM

    I thought the NCAA was the NFL development league

  30. dionoil says: Jun 23, 2017 4:26 PM

    Why has no one developed a VR qb training simulator? It would be expensive, but cheaper than a developmental league. It seems unlikely that it’s harder to play qb than to be fighter pilot.

  31. aballinhighgrass says: Jun 23, 2017 4:49 PM

    truepurplefan says:
    Jun 23, 2017 1:46 PM

    I have as much respect for anyone ! But as a former QB never to have gone to college or play much high school. I will tell you this , Playing QB at any level takes ( Both ) not either or Learning at a young age. I know that to be a Great QB it begins in pee wee and pop warner learning the fundamentals of the position how to set your feet, How to throw on balance ,how to play from the pocket, and accuracy. Also good coach’s at all levels should know,how to teach these aspects of the position ,when a player at any position knows this when they enter Junior and senior high school they should have these aspects down pat.
    Then when they get to college is when the learning of reading defenses comes into play,as in basketball you can’t be a Great player if all you are taught is run and gun through all your player time .
    To put all this on an NFL team to teach is stupid and uninformed ,Of course the Pro’s will suffer if there player outlet is Dumb’ed down …. College football has become nothing more than a NBA type of game. That is why so many players are lousy coming out of college and must be retrained when getting to the NFL !!!

    *********************
    What you meant may have been brilliant, but what you wrote was a collage of horrible grammar and syntax. I’m not trying to be mean. I just wish you spent just a couple of more minutes organizing your thoughts before you typed. I really would have liked to understand what you wrote and meant.

  32. dangerbru says: Jun 23, 2017 4:56 PM

    The NCAA is a different sport at this point. The best athletes play quarterback, and and they don’t learn the pro game at any level. From pee-wee on. Either buy the AFL, or pay a college conference to run an NFL style football program. Pay all the expenses. The MAC would work.

  33. pryrates2020 says: Jun 23, 2017 5:17 PM

    The problem isn’t the way the league treats QB’s, its the way they treat defenders, especially corners. There are way too many pass interference penalties. They need to let the corners play and that will go a long way toward devaluing the QB position. And it will make RB’s more valuable and bring an offense and team back in balance.

    But that would reduce scoring so the league won’t do it.

  34. laserw says: Jun 23, 2017 5:57 PM

    What a crock!

    The college system is to blame – pathetic schools like Alabama and Baylor who run offenses that are as un-pro style as possible are the reasons QB’s aren’t ready to play in the NFL – there are so many fraud QB’s who are really running backs who think they can throw that it seems the NFL does not develop players – the problem is these players need to go through remedial prep that is not what the pro game is all about.

  35. wordsmith513 says: Jun 23, 2017 8:10 PM

    More than any other position I would look at tools and scheme when drafting a QB for an NFL team. I think getting a successful NFL QB is about the marriage of the player, the coach, the scheme, and the tools. Then the development begins. With AR it took 3 years. With Bart Starr he didn’t do much of anything under two previous coaches, Lombardi arrives with a new offensive system and Starr comes alive. Brady is about the best perfect storm you can find between player, coach, and system. Payton Manning adapted himself to the colt scheme. He took the playbook and digested it in the month between mini-camp & TC. When he got to TC he could call audibles on the first day. He also had the verbiage and system down cold. There is more than one way to slice the turkey, but in the end there are a certain few requirements that must be satisfied for a QB to work well in the NFL. I am sure NFL teams think they are doing the right thing when they select QBs. Maybe most don’t realize what else it takes.

  36. wizwix says: Jun 23, 2017 11:01 PM

    To me, the solution to the NFL’s quarterback development dilemma might be helped by something like this:

    Expand the size of rosters to 51 players + 4 QBs.
    Require each team to roster at least 4 QBs.
    Each QB would still be eligible to count toward the cap as per normal rules.
    3 QBs must be active on game day.
    Teams may hold additional QBs on the practice squad.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!