A League of There Own

'he don't even know the difference between there, they're, and their'

Recently the Wall Street Journal published a piece about the problems with college QB's not understanding the nuances of the pro game. Essentially, the way the college game is played has churned out young guns who look at you with utter befuddlement when presented with basic pro concepts. It's a problem, because success in the NFL is dependent on solid QB play, and fewer and fewer are available who can play at the pro level right away.

Coach Pettine and Ray Farmer's opinions about this evoke great debate about how NFL offenses need to adapt to the way colleges are playing in overwhelming majorities. Some fear that this may not be possible due to the sophistication of modern defenses and thus pro-capable QB's are in dwindling supply.

This reminds me of some conversations that we've had around here in the past about the possibility of a development, or "feeder" league that would play during the offseason. I might go back and find the original 'chows which featured the discussions but the idea that I had for it at the time, which I am about to reiterate here, may help to solve the quarterback problem at the same time.

What if, instead of cutting loose all but ten of the 90 players that every team starts with, teams instead are able to keep those players (or at least, those that don't get claimed off waivers) on the practice squad all throughout the year? Instead of two cut days, you have one - the day after the 4th PS game. Those that clear waivers automatically are assigned to the team that waived them, and there is just a massive practice squad of 37 players.

When the offseason arrives, roster accommodations can be made so as to include specialists and so forth, but you basically assemble a depth chart with about 40 players. Beginning the week after the draft, each organizations' respective satellite teams play each other in a ten game regular season with no bye weeks. Each conference will produce two playoff teams and it will be the most vanilla championship setup imaginable, so as not to compete with the importance of the real deal.

We can squabble over the details of all that but this will serve to solve multiple things at once but none more important than this: to provide the league with the ability to take young QB's and let them play against pro competition with pro concepts offensively and defensively. There are other benefits as it relates to the development of all of the other position groups, but QB is the aim here. All players will have three years to either prove themselves and make a roster or they wash out, but not until after having played football steady for three years.

My original thought on this was to put the teams in their respective home stadiums so as to recoup some revenue from the overhead being expended on paying for the extra players and coaches. However, we've since had another discussion about how football could be spread worldwide, I'd like to incorporate this into a way it could be done.

Set up teams in 32 strategic places throughout the world where you want to cultivate football. Development huge media contracts in all those places so as to build market loyalty. If it catches on you start encouraging/advocating for football inter-scholastically`.

Eventually, the bonds that fans build with the individual players may compel them to follow them to the teams that they play for and foster expanded fandom for the big league back in the states. None of this is particularly important to me, mind you, but just offering how I think it could be done based on those aforementioned conversations. Like the feeder league stuff, I might endeavor to find those original posts and submit it in the comments section.

Also, and this is not for nothing, but it would give those of us die-hards some real football in the spring. After the draft, there is a long waiting period that would be much more enjoyable with some real ball played by real players who are always within a certain range of age. Most of the guys playing would not make the pro rosters, but some of them will, and this will also allow teams to have options for guys they drafted but who are slow in developing but worth keeping even if they can't contribute right away.

The ability to let QB's play and grow and develop without having to throw them at real NFL defenses could help to solve the problem outlined in the WSJ article. The other stuff is nice and there are a thousand ways to dress this thing however people think needs be, but this basic outline could accomplish multiple priorities at once, all for the betterment and long-term stability of the game. In the process, all kinds of lives can be enriched, opportunities afforded and boatloads of entertainment abound.

Why not?

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