Brady Quinn participated in the NFL Veteran Combine this past weekend, along with 104 other former or aspiring NFL players. While every participant was hoping to make an NFL team, Quinn sees a better opportunity for players to showcase their skills: an NFL spring league.
“Obviously you got to tie it into like what the NBA does, for example, with basketball,” Quinn said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “Have a developmental league, a D-League. You try to make it for guys who have experience or are maybe free agents or whoever really is trying to showcase their skills. You put together four teams. Instead of 100 guys at the veteran combine, you got 200. Maybe you got 50 a roster, and they all play each other. (It could be) a round-robin schedule for a few times in the spring during the downtime where it’s maybe before March Madness and enough after the season where it keeps kind of the viewership rolling and it keeps that 365-days-a-year football schedule – like all the owners want – still going.”
Quinn, Felix Jones, Michael Bush, Michael Sam and Adam Carriker, among others, participated in the veteran combine. The event brought in an audience wanting to see if certain former players still had what it takes to play in the NFL. But wouldn’t a spring league be a better – and more entertaining – judge of that?
“Everyone’s made a lot of this week,” Quinn said. “The combine being set up for guys to run 40s – and I don’t care if they’re coming out of college or if it’s now – the 40-yard time is tremendously overdone. It’s so seldom you ever see a player who has the opportunity to run down the field 40 yards without anyone impacting his space or causing him to move or stop his feet. So that, to me, has always been a misnomer. It’s just a baseline comparison obviously.
“But look, you’re trying to compare some of these (former) running backs,” Quinn continued. “Look, these guys have experience. So when they’re fighting for jobs with rookies, the key for them is that experience in utilizing that wisdom that they gained throughout their years playing in the NFL to get that spot over that rookie. The rookie might time out faster in the 40, (but) these guys actually might know when to cut. They might know how to cut – because of the experience that they have – or how to pick up a certain blitz or identify it in some of the protection schemes, (whereas) the rookie might struggle with seeing that kind of stuff. It might mess up his assignment.
“I don’t know that the combine for veterans necessarily shows all those skills and attributes. I think the perfect thing in the future would be a spring league.”