Wednesday, October 10, 2007


It would be nice to believe that this space hastened the demise of Akili Smith as a CFL quarterback.

The one-time No. 3 overall NFL draft pick was cut today by the Calgary Stampeders after posting the sterling passing line: 22-of-47, 219 yards, five interceptions and no TDs in limited playing time. Hey, don't make fun of Akili; make fun of the football scouts and draftniks who put him on the receiving end of a false idea of what makes a NFL quarterback.

The CFL's Akili heel is about to be exposed


Dennis Prouse said...

The U.S. college system produces a lot of Akili Smith types, especially now that the shotgun spread has become so popular. Some dude named Graham Harrell is putting up obscene numbers at Texas Tech this year running a pass whacky system like that. The phrase now is, "system quarterback", a guy who excels because of the system he is in, and the competition he gets to play. (Keep in mind that Kevin Feterik, son of the former Stamps owner and one of most widely derided QBs in CFL history, is still one of the best QBs statistics wise in BYU history.)

Back in the day, both Andre Ware and David Klingler came out of John Jenkins' run and shoot at the University of Houston, putting up insane numbers that, to put it mildly, they struggled to match at the pro level. Obviously Akili Smith was another one. More recently, Timmy Chang came out of Hawaii's pass happy offence with NCAA records for yards passing, but failed his pro auditions miserably. There is a kid named Colt Brennan who is now tearing it up as Hawaii's QB and generating some Heisman buzz, but due to the flameout of so many other shotgun spread QBs in the past, people are doubting he can make it in the pros.

What everyone forgets is this -- there are 119 Division I NCAA teams. That means that for at least a few games a year, good teams get to fatten their stats against some pretty weak opponents. (The running joke about Steve Spurrier's lack of success with the Redskins is that he didn't have Vanderbilt on the schedule anymore.) In the pros, you don't have any soft games like that. Check out what happens to the pass-whacky shotgun spread teams once they get to a significant bowl game, i.e. playing a top ten type opponent. The air comes out of the tires awfully fast.

sager said...

The shotgun spread teams usually adopt that approach out of necessity; they can't get the elite talent.... it worked for Florida last year, although they were really an option team in a four-wideout set.