Combine Notes: Arians On Tempo QBs; Maxwell Update

Photo courtesy of USA Today

Photo courtesy of USA Today

As the value of Marcus Mariota is debated, one topic that comes up is the fact that he did not run a pro-style offense at Oregon. As such, there is a leap of faith involved that he will be able to execute on this level in a way that he has never been asked to before.

Bruce Arians on Thursday was asked whether the idea of college systems versus pro systems are outdated concepts at this point.

“No,” he said, “because so many times you’re evaluating a quarterback who has never called a play in a huddle, never used a snap count. You hold up a card on a sideline and he kicks his foot and throws the ball. That ain’t playing quarterback. There’s no leadership involved there. Now, there might be leadership on the bench, but when you get them now and you give them verbiage and they have to spit that verbiage out, use a snap count, change a snap count, they are light years behind. Light years behind.”

The card-reading, foot-kicking style presumably refers to tempo offenses like Oregon’s, a style that Chip Kelly brought with him to Philadelphia. Mariota’s transition to the Eagles offense would not be a dramatic one, of course, because of the similarities. Arians point speaks more to those who suggest Mariota would not be ready to be a starter for most of the other NFL teams from Day 1, as he would face a steep learning curve. Whether that would prevent some of the QB-needy teams from pulling the trigger on Mariota is to be determined.

On another note, Arians was asked whether cornerback Antonio Cromartie will test free agency.

“I think he should,” said Arians. “I think all those guys should. We obviously want him back.”

Byron Maxwell update

We asked Seattle general manager John Schneider whether Seahawks corner Byron Maxwell will hit the market.

“Byron is one of ours. It would be hard to see him leave but I would think his market would be pretty strong,” he said. “He’s a heck of a kid and a heck of a player. But we’re going to keep doing things like the way we started here. We’re going to keep drafting people and playing younger people and trying to keep the players that we can keep. We’ll work on trying to identify the players that we need to reward, and will make those tough decisions about players that are under contract that you may have to let go to create cap room.

“We’re not changing anything we do. And so if Byron does move on, hopefully we’ll have another young Byron Maxwell out there.”

That sounds like a GM that would bring Maxwell back at the right price, but recognizes that the market may get beyond their price point.