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" Why do so many standout USC QBs make mediocre (at best) pros ? " ? ? ?


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Why do so many standout USC QBs make mediocre (at best) pros ?





Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart shined at USC but have not found the same success in the pros.


Pete Carroll was asked a simple question: What happened to Matt Leinart in the NFL ?


Why did his career crash and burn ?


"Stupid question," Carroll said with a smile.

Carroll was at the Indianapolis scouting combine, in a corner of

the RCA Dome, and launched into an impassioned defense of Leinart

and, then, another USC quarterback, Matt Barkley, who would later

fall in the draft at terminal velocity into the fourth round.







In some ways, what Carroll would say next wasn't

just a defense of Leinart, it stands as a defense of the USC

quarterback system, one that he coached to national championships

but has since failed to replicate the collegiate excellence on the

NFL level.


In fact, one of the great mysteries

of both college and the NFL is that while other Pac-12 schools

have historically generated Pro Bowlers and NFL Hall of Famers at

quarterback -- make that other schools, period -- USC quarterbacks

have mostly failed in the pros. Trojan quarterbacks have won 11

national titles, six during the Super Bowl era, but no USC quarterback

has played in a Super Bowl.

Numerous schools have produced Super Bowl quarterbacks. Ten have

produced multiple Super Bowl

quarterbacks -- Delaware, California, Maryland, UCLA, Alabama,

Notre Dame, BYU, Stanford, Purdue and Washington State.

USC? None.

USC's NFL quarterback struggles are relevant because they pertain

to one of the most intriguing stories of this upcoming and future

seasons. If the Philadelphia Eagles

can crack the Da Trojan Code, then Barkley could break the streak

of bad USC quarterbacking in the NFL. Barkley actually has a

solid shot at playing time since Mike Vick is constantly injured

and Barkley is playing for a coach with a quarterback friendly


"Without a doubt I have confidence I can

come in right away and make an impact, or just help the team in

whatever way I can," Barkley told 97.5 The Fanatic recently.

History says differently. Recently USC quarterbacks haven't just

failed to make an immediate impact, they have failed to make

almost any impact despite tremendous success in college.

But back to Carroll's passionate defense of Leinart and Barkley.

"I think [Leinart] is a very good quarterback and has just faced

some tough circumstances," said Carroll. "He's still young. I

wouldn't give up on him. He can still turn things around.

"I think Barkley is going to be very good. He's a smart guy and

he's athletic. He's going to shock some people with how quickly he

adapts to the NFL."

In the Super Bowl

era, USC quarterbacks have won 22 outright or shared conference

championships (for brevity these numbers don't include vacated

wins or titles). That's the most of any school in the country.

Then, those players go to the pros and, mostly, carry a clipboard.

Yet, with far less talent, historically other Pac-12 schools have

produced massive quarterbacking talent in the NFL. Stanford has

John Elway (Hall of Famer) and Jim Plunkett (almost Hall of


Washington produced Warren Moon and UCLA

Troy Aikman (multiple Super Bowl winner and Hall of Famer). Drew

Bledsoe and Mark Rypien both played at Washington State and both

played in a Super Bowl with Rypien winning.

The great Dan Fouts went to Oregon. Steve Bartkowski played at Cal

and was the 1975 NFL rookie of the year, a two-time Pro Bowler

and is one of only nine players in NFL history to throw 30

touchdowns in a season consecutively at least once, joining Tom Brady,

Peyton Manning and Dan Marino, among others.

In fact, among Cal's solid track record of NFL pros is Aaron Rodgers, a

Super Bowl winner, and maybe the best quarterback in football today.

These are the USC quarterbacks who have played in the pros:

Paul McDonald, Todd Marinovich, Rob Johnson, John David Booty,

Carson Palmer, Mark Sanchez, Matt Leinart, Sean Salisbury,

Rodney Peete, Pat Haden, Vince Evans, Bill Nelsen, Matt Cassel

and Pete Beathard.

That is not exactly a list of NFL greats. On it is a player more

known for what he did with his cell phone (Salisbury), a criminal

(Marinovich), and a butt fumbler (Sanchez).

Haden was solid, Peete was reliable but mostly a backup and Palmer has

at times been good and in other moments absolutely awful.

This statistic is one of the more damning for the Trojans. At

least 15 times that group of USC quarterbacks won either a

national championship (outright or share), a Heisman or made a

Rose Bowl appearance. None won a Super Bowl

and only a handful made the playoffs. There may be no other

programs in history that had such dominance on the collegiate level only

to watch those players get atomized in the pros.

Why have USC quarterbacks experienced almost unprecedented success

in college while experiencing almost unprecedented futility in the


A variety of college and NFL sources including

several NFL scouts, team executives and assistant coaches,

provide four main theories.


The Spoiled Brat Theory

It goes like this. Recent USC quarterbacks in particular grow up

with a silver football in their mouth. Not all. But many. They

grow up pampered both at home and in their sport. They only time

they experience adversity is when the CD player on their dad's BMW

doesn't work.

This is part stereotype, part unfair

but also part accurate, according to several NFL scouts. "The

feeling is that some of them are coddled," said the scout, "and

mentally soft."

Then when they get to the toughest

of sports leagues, their minds crumble under the weight. At least,

that's the theory.


The Weather Theory

"The sheer number of USC quarterbacks who have come to the NFL and

struggled is alarming," said Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com senior

analyst who also writes for CBSSports.com. "Because many of these

quarterbacks possessed the physical traits to be successful, some

scouts believe the warm weather and big man on campus mentality

makes Southern Cal passers less prepared for the rigors of the


The warm weather. This is the most believed

theory by scouts. It contributes to making the quarterbacks soft,

the theory goes. There are holes in this theory, of course,

especially since Troy Aikman played in the same weather at UCLA

but still made it to the NFL Hall of Fame.


remember the list of schools that produced quarterbacks that

appeared in multiple Super Bowls, maybe the toughest thing to do in

sports -- the University of Delaware, California, Maryland, UCLA,

Alabama, Notre Dame, BYU, Stanford, Purdue, and Washington State. Five

of those schools -- Delaware, Maryland, Notre Dame, BYU, and

Purdue -- play in cold weather. Some brutally so. Washington

State, located in Pullman, has averages in December of 24 degrees

for a low and almost eight inches of snow.

Not scientific but also far from insignificant.


The Great Coaches Theory

Two words: Norm Chow. He was an assistant at USC and throughout

his college career helped to develop an army of quarterbacks,

including Steve Young. He's one of the brightest offensive minds

in college football history. At USC, over the decades, the Trojan

coaching staff has been loaded with assistants and head coaches

like Chow.

"USC has had so much coaching talent it's

become a system school," said one NFL scout. "Then they have to

leave that system."


The Uber-talent theory

This is one of the most palpable theories. While many college

quarterbacks were surrounded with great talent throughout history, USC

took that to a level surpassed by few. Rob Johnson played with

Keyshawn Johnson and Tony Boselli. Leinart played with Reggie Bush.

Every USC quarterback seems to have had a fast 6-foot-8 wide

receiver and elite running back. USC quarterbacks played with

Heisman winners Charles White and Marcus Allen.


belief is that Trojan quarterbacks are surrounded by so many great

players, and many times are drafted by the worst NFL teams, they don't

know how to elevate the players around them because in college

they were always the ones being elevated.


comes another USC quarterback to the NFL. Barkley went in the fourth

round but the expectations aren't so lessened. People will be

watching not just to see if he can replace Vick, but witness if he

can break a nasty curse.


> http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/story/22203387/why-do-so-many-standout-usc-qbs-make-mediocre-at-best-pros



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What about the HO theory?  Once they leave USC, they also leave the USC Graduate school of HOs, where they are all volunteer curriculum enhancers.  A significant drop in confidence follows this.


The San Fernando Valley depends on the flow of new porn talent from USC.

Edited by ThisYearsModel
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Soft Cali-fruits who grow up playing in 78 degree weather on high school teams that attract the nearby ghetto's best bussed-in athletes. The minute they face adversity, they long for mama's teet. Biatches.

Edited by T0mShane
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to go along with the spoiled brat theory, most of these guys get offers to USC in 10th grade. it's like they are annointed and given everything without having to struggle for it. meanwhile UCLA gets the guys who have huge senior seasons but USC already gave their scholarships away. UCLA has been killing it lately with pro prospects, beastly guys like Datone Jones 

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