Some folks have the point of view that rookie quarterbacks should sit and learn. Some folks have the point of view that the only way a young quarterback can learn is by getting a ton of first team reps in practice and then playing real games. Do the numbers say anything about this?
“This is always going to be an impossible question to answer. We don’t live in a counter-factual world, and nobody knows what would have happened to David Carr if he sat on the bench for a couple of years. Ryan Mallett might benefit from having sat behind Tom Brady for three years, or he might just be the next Curtis Painter (or Brian Hoyer or Jim Sorgi or Rohan Davey).
That said, I’m pretty skeptical of the idea that a quarterback needs to sit and learn. There’s nothing wrong with sitting and learning, but I don’t think it makes a quarterback better. Aaron Rodgers was great right away after sitting for three years; had he started right away, he almost certainly would not have been that good, but I don’t doubt that he would have still turned into the superstar he is today.
One thing that isn’t really true: rookie quarterbacks aren’t really starting much earlier than they used to. In general, top picks always got a chance pretty early in their careers.”
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