A few weeks back, in a book that he recently released, Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians went all-in against the college spread offense and how poorly it prepares quarterbacks for the NFL and his argument attracted a lot of attention. Arians even went as far as to say that being a quarterback in a college spread system does nothing to develop leadership abilities.
Well, on PFT Live, Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury offered a quality rebuttal to Arians' remarks by pointing out the recent successes of spread quarterbacks in the NFL.
"Just look at some of the players playing at a very high level now at a young age, and it speaks for itself. Dak Prescott jumps out. He had one of the greatest rookie seasons in NFL history last year, and he played in a spread offense at Mississippi State. Cam Newton played in the spread and the list goes on," Kingsbury passionately explained.
"Jared Goff was the first pick in the draft and he played in one, Patrick Mahomes...all three that went in the first round this year played in one.”
Kingsbury went on to shut down the notion that guys coming from spread systems are at an immediate disadvantage once they arrive in the league.
"I don’t agree with that sentiment. He has a lot more years in the NFL than I do, but I think if you play to their strengths, and you give them stuff that they do well, then they have a chance to succeed. If you put them in a brand new system that they’ve never done, never been under center, never done all these different things, obviously there is going to be a bigger learning curve."
While many believe Arians' argument has merit, Kingbury brings a unique background to weigh in on the topic. After setting all kinds of Texas Tech, Big 12, and national passing records in Mike Leach's Air Raid system, Kingsbury spent a few years in the NFL with the Patriots, Saints, and Jets before going to NFL Europe and then Canada. In 2008 he started off his coaching career in an offensive quality control role with Houston, and his coaching journey has been on a fast-track ever since.
Texans head coach Bill O"Brien also happened to weigh in on the topic as well, siding with Kingsbury while using DeShaun Watson as an example.