Baylor senior QB Nick Florence has played plenty of college games before he put Sunday night's beatdown on SMU, but any perceived dropoff between the new Bears QB and RGIII may not be quite as far as feared. He passed for 341 yards and four touchdowns against SMU. Now do it again, and again and again and then we can talk RGIII.
There will be a drop, but it may not be quite as big because the head coach of Baylor is proving again and again he is at least the equivalent to Mike Leach in terms of creating system quarterbacks.
There may not be better coaches who find and create space the way Art Briles and Leach can for their quarterbacks and skill people.
Texas Tech's best teams under Mike Leach in the nine-plus seasons he was in Lubbock he never once had a quarterback who went on to find riches and fame in the NFL. He didn't have a collection of stiffs, but Leach consistently found quarterbacks who could thrive in his system. Graham Harrell was arguably the best passer Leach had in Lubbock, and Harrell was never an NFL guy.
(BTW: Serious shout out to a Big Mac Blog reader/hater who correctly pointed out that Harrell is on the Packers' roster. He is 27 with one year of credited NFL experience. He was undrafted and spent some time in the CFL before he was cut. But an NFL check is an NFL check, so ... well done.)
Since Briles took over as head coach at Houston, Briles has recruited a higher caliber of quarterback than Leach had. Briles has recruited Kevin Kolb, Case Keenum and RGIII. Florence may not be in the same category, but what we are seeing between Houston and Baylor is that Briles can do the system quarterback as well as if not better than Leach.
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