One thing I've noticed about Tedford players in the NFL is how fundamentally sound the best of them are. Lynch, Rodgers, Jackson, Mebane--for the most part all of them work hard and play smart, minimizing their mistakes and playing within the system. Marshawn is a much better run blocker than I remember him to be at Cal, Rodgers is more precise and makes few mistakes in a close game, Jackson has been otherworldly when given the right chances. Hell, even Boller and Carr looked decent in the time they were given before they were screwed over by their coaches and offensive linemen.
Contrast that with talent from other big schools, where players like Vince Young, Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush were unstoppable in college but now struggle to even get on the field in the NFL. Much of the credit has to go to Tedford for developing talent and instilling the basic fundamentals to succeed in the NFL.
But you have to wonder if the same smarts that makes these college players NFL pros in the long run will keep Tedford teams from earning BCS bids?
It takes a lot of growing pains for players to get smart--look at how long it took Syd'Quan to develop into the type of player he is now. Last year's collapse hinged on talented players making ill-advised decisions--missing routes, improper blocks, bad throwing. And we've seen similar failings at Maryland, where the team seemed to be on the wrong page and not adjusting properly to the complexities of the Tedford offense.
You have to figure there will be growing pains like this with most Tedford teams as they struggle to grasp its complexities, and we'll have plenty of anxious seasons where we come tantalizingly close to a BCS Bowl but fall short. Do you guys think the waiting is worth it?
For the record, I'm fairly pleased with winning seasons and developing solid NFL talent. That's what a good college coach that's not at a football factory is supposed to do. But I wonder how many people would beg to differ.