“I don’t know that they can’t play in our league, but it becomes more of a projection when you’re trying to determine if a guy can go in a huddle, call a play, go to the line of scrimmage, make an adjustment, take a snap, read a coverage and deliver the ball,” Smith said.
It can be a touchy subject for quarterbacks because they’re simply operating out of the offense that’s in place at the school. At Baylor, for instance, Bryce Petty rarely had to run through a call or work under center. That changed at the Senior Bowl, where the Tennessee Titans coaching staff made him play from under center and call plays from a huddle.
“You don’t know things until you live it out. You can hear about it as much as you want, but until you’re actually in there and doing it, you have no idea,” Petty said. “It’s a learning curve a little bit, going from what we were doing at Baylor to what we’re doing now, but it’s all part of the process.”
Petty may have been the benefactor of participating in the Senior Bowl. It was an opportunity some quarterbacks, like Marcus Mariota of Oregon, turned down despite playing in offenses that rely heavily on cards.
“He taught me so much that I was able to have enough information for four years,” Fowler said. “He was just a great coach. A player’s coach type of guy. He’s smart. I was hurt when he left but I knew he was going to do great things.”
Now with Quinn owning the eighth overall pick in the draft, maybe he and Fowler can reunite and do great things together in Atlanta.
“I feel like, as a rookie, you have to come in and be versatile,” said Duke tackle Takoby Cofield. “Unless you’re going to come in and be a day one starter, you have to come in and know, at least, how to play the opposite side. So, if you’re a left tackle, you have to at least know how to play the right tackle spot.