Oakland Raiders offensive coordinator Greg Olson has spent 11 years in the NFL and 15 years at the college level working with guys like Drew Brees at Purdue and Josh Freeman with the Tampa Bay Bucs. Working with young, talented quarterbacks is where Olson has made a name for himself, and the situation in Oakland with Matt McGloin and Terrelle Pryor is no different.
The Raiders have showed flashes of promise throughout their 4-11 season, but inconsistency from their young quarterbacks has plagued them all year.
Olson pointed out during his presser yesterday that they'll sit down with management and ownership at the end of the season (just as every other NFL team does) to figure out what direction the franchise needs to head in the quarterback department, but he also educated media members in attendance on his experience of seeing guys develop at different rates, depending on their circumstances.
"Every player develops at a certain rate of speed, and a lot of that depends on the team he gets drafted to."
"If you go back to a guy like Drew Brees, who really sat out his first year, and then his second and third year his interceptions were higher than his touchdowns. So sometimes there is are different developmental phases for different players."
"You can always go back to Troy Aikman, who was 1-15 his rookie year. Or look at Russell Wilson at Seattle, who's had an fantastic year, which raises the expectations of all these young quarterbacks coming in, and it's an unfair assessment because it is a very, very difficult position to play, and as much as we all want to win right away, and we want instant results, when we started this season we knew we were a little bit challenged here as a football team."
"So these two quarterbacks, Terrelle, and Matt McGloin, they're both young quarterbacks, and they can't shoulder the load at this point, so we have to make sure that there is development there at least."
That's a good, gentle reminder to struggling coaches, teams, and programs, that even the legends of the game had rough beginnings. Development is what's really important.