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TwinIon

An NFL Development League is Actually Happening

9 posts in this topic

Starting in the summer of 2018, there will be a new path for players looking to get into the NFL, and I think it's an interesting proposition. First, I think it's important to understand what this isn't. It isn't meant to compete with the NFL at all. It isn't a full fledged minor league. It isn't meant to destroy or even really challenge college football.

 

Here's what it is:

Quote

• A four-team league based in Southern California. Each 50-player team will be owned/employed by the league, not individuals.

• Players can participate only in their first four years out of high school. This is an alternative to college. While the NFL still requires a draft-eligible prospect to be three years removed from his final year of high school, Pac Pro will allow players to join right out of high school, or after a year or two at a major college, junior college or whatever.

• Total compensation is about $50,000 per season. Each player will be paid equally. There is also full worker’s comp and, among other things, a tuition reimbursement at a community college should a player choose to use it in the offseason.

• Six regular-season games and two rounds of playoffs, so teams will play seven to eight games.

• The season runs each Sunday in July and August, finishing before the start of the opening of the NFL and college campaigns.

• Each team will have eight full-time coaches with pro and college experience, plus about eight part-time assistant coaches.

• Play will be pro-style, and based on development and evaluation. For instance, there will be no spread offenses. Quarterbacks will take snaps under center, need to call plays in the huddle and identify defenses at the line of scrimmage. There will be a premium put on one-on-one plays to get viable tape. For example, perhaps rules that prohibit crossing routes for receivers.

• Every player will play. While games will be competitive, with small rosters and brief seasons there will be snaps and opportunities for everyone, particularly in practice. No one is getting buried on a depth chart or losing a season of teaching while residing in a coach’s doghouse.

• Games will take place in smaller stadiums, perhaps at a community college or a Division III college campus 
• Pac Pro hopes to have the games televised nationally, although no media rights agreement is in place. ... The broadcasts, however, are likely to be non-traditional. There are only going to be so many fans of the teams, so the final score may not matter to most.   
• The eight-game season is far from the grind of the college season – which includes extensive full-contact practices both in the spring and during game weeks that not even NFL players face. Game tape and day-in, day-out instruction will be precisely what NFL scouts are seeking.

• If the league is successful, there are plans to expand to another four-team pod in Northern California, or one concentrated in the Midwest.

 

 

 

It certainly seems like everything is being designed as purely for NFL development as possible. In particular, the league owning every team means that they have little incentive for genuine competition. They seem to think that there's a particular benefit for Quarterbacks who end up playing only in spread offenses, never learning to read defenses or take snaps under center.

 

Personally, I was hoping for something significant that would attempt to challenge college football rather than live in its shadow. Something that might spur change in college football and be viable minor league system. Instead, they're working on a much smaller scale, one that seems much more likely to succeed. If they can get through a few years and prove that this system can develop NFL ready players, we might even get some interesting football out of it.

 

The biggest question I have about this whole setup is the "4 years out of highschool" limit. It seems like it could have been an interesting option for college players that might need another year of mental development, but I suppose you run a risk of a league dominated by not-quite-draft-worthy college grads.

 

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Raise the salary cap and expand each teams active rosters. Problem solved. 

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NFL Euro pt. 2

 

2 hours ago, Biggie_Rich said:

Raise the salary cap and expand each teams active rosters. Problem solved. 

 

That doesn't help shitty players get practice.

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8 minutes ago, Keyser_Soze said:

NFL Euro pt. 2

 

 

That doesn't help shitty players get practice.

Yeah it does when the teams practice during the week. Lol. 

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30 minutes ago, Biggie_Rich said:

Yeah it does when the teams practice during the week. Lol. 

It really doesn't.

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1 hour ago, Keyser_Soze said:

NFL Euro pt. 2

 

 

That doesn't help shitty players get practice.

It should be both. Expand rosters and have a developmental league. With all the restrictions they have now, practice isn't really enough.

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1 hour ago, Biggie_Rich said:

Yeah it does when the teams practice during the week. Lol. 

 

The CBA is set up to make bad players not improve.

 

http://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/13114418/practice-restrictions-hurting-quarterback-development-nfl

 

http://www.sbnation.com/nfl/2015/10/25/9610212/cba-nfl-nflpa-negotiations-practice-time

 

http://www.wsj.com/articles/how-teams-practice-when-they-cant-practice-1438033795

 

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Offenses, he said, can “run plays against the air, so that’s not a problem.” But he needed a way to get his defense to react to an imaginary offense.

“We got remote-control cars with little flags,” Del Rio said with a laugh. “We can’t have receivers or running backs running for us, so we just needed something that moved. We needed defenses to react to it.”

So on practice fields in Oakland, a post-route or a down-and-in route that would normally feature a fast, actual-human such as Amari Cooper, the team’s first-round pick, might be run by a toy car. The technique has also been used by Philadelphia Eagles coach Chip Kelly.

 

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Del Rio said his main source of frustration with the practice limits is that the college game—which now focuses more on the “spread” offense, rather than what’s referred to as a “pro-style” offense—has players coming into the league less prepared for complex schemes.

“I see linemen that don’t even know how to get in a stance. You see quarterbacks who don’t know how to take a snap or operate a huddle. That’s where it really stands out,” he said. “You have to grow players and they aren’t spending time with coaches.”

Coaches have long complained about lack of practice time—even before the 2011 CBA—but the new rules have led coaches such as 49ers head coach Jim Tomsula to wonder if it’s time for a developmental league to help younger players who can’t scrimmage with their team as much. Tomsula was a longtime coach in NFL Europe, which shut down in 2007, and would welcome its return.

 

Old article but you get the gist of it, not everyone gets to practice, the practices are limited and not everyone gets the same kind of practice.

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