What Bill Walsh Looked For (for reference purposes)

j-off-her-doll

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http://www.sportsxchange.com/DS97/walsh/WALSH2.HTM

This is from '97, and the game has changed since then, but pretty much all of it (I think) holds true:

To become a great quarterback, there must be instincts and intuition. This is the area that can be the difference between a very solid quarterback and a great quarterback. This isn't an area you can do much with as a coach. You can certainly bring a quarterback up to a competitive standard, but to reach greatness the quarterback must possess that inherently, ala Billy Kilmer, Sonny Jurgensen, Ken Stabler and Warren Moon.
 
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The single trait that separates great quarterbacks from good quarterbacks is the ability to make the great, spontaneous decision, especially at a crucial time. The clock is running down and your team is five points behind. The play that was called has broken down and 22 players are moving in almost unpredictable directions all over the field.
This is, I think, the most important thing that we've lacked in pretty much every single QB we've had post-Marino. And I don't see this trait in Tannehill either unfortunately
 

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I was looking at the other positions....pretty compelling stuff
 

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Walsh is a genius for inventing a system that rewards accuracy and timing. He only developed it because he was coaching for a Bengals team whose QB blew in the regular passing game. Before he was forced to change he was running a similar system to Oakland and SD deep balls. So he made do with what he had until they got Ken Anderson, who would have been a good QB in any system. Then Walsh goes to SF and sucks until Montana gets drafted. Now Walsh is a genius again. It's easy to look smart when you have Montana or Elway or Brady. I'm not really dogging Walsh, he made the right changes at the right time, but great players make coaches great.
 

j-off-her-doll

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Walsh is a genius for inventing a system that rewards accuracy and timing. He only developed it because he was coaching for a Bengals team whose QB blew in the regular passing game. Before he was forced to change he was running a similar system to Oakland and SD deep balls. So he made do with what he had until they got Ken Anderson, who would have been a good QB in any system. Then Walsh goes to SF and sucks until Montana gets drafted. Now Walsh is a genius again. It's easy to look smart when you have Montana or Elway or Brady. I'm not really dogging Walsh, he made the right changes at the right time, but great players make coaches great.
I think the strength of those San Francisco rosters is a testament to his eye for talent. Also, he found/developed two HOF QB's, and the franchise won 5 SB's with those QB's. In the 1981 NFL draft, he selected 3 DB's who would make the Pro Bowl at least twice (one of them was Ronnie Lott). In the '83 draft, he selected Roger Craig and Jesse Sapolu (4 and 2 All Pro selections respectively). In the '84 draft, he selected Guy McIntyre and Michael Carter (3 All Pros for McIntyre and 3 Pro Bowls for Carter). In 1985, he drafted Jerry Rice. In '86, John Taylor, Tom Rathman, Charles Haley, Steve Wallace (of those, Rathman is the only to not make an All Pro team - the others made at least 2 All Pros).

His ability to peg players that excel in his system is 2nd to none. And that's what this thread is about - his ability to find talent. We're talking about a guy who drafted arguably the best QB, WR, and DB of all time (think you can make a very strong case for Ronnie Lott as the best DB in NFL history).
 

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I guess the question is what was Walsh's genius? System or talent? I'm sure he wasn't the only guy looking at players. But once he got great players his system worked great. I'm really not trying to denigrate Walsh, just saying that there's more here than meets the eye.
 

j-off-her-doll

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To me the answer to that question is Yes, Yes, and Yes (genius/system/talent). To be that great for that long, you need all three.
 

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This is, I think, the most important thing that we've lacked in pretty much every single QB we've had post-Marino. And I don't see this trait in Tannehill either unfortunately
Yeah, I tend to agree with you there. I like Tannehill. I think he can be good. But, he doesn't seem to feel the rush really well which is what guys like Montana and Marino just did naturally. That instinct led to many big plays for Marino.
 

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I don't recall how much Walsh had to do with the draft. But, I'm sure he must have had final say and that's an impressive haul over that time period. I always felt the 49ers offense was predicated on big, physical receivers. Montana and Young were great, but there were a lot of short passes in the offense that players like Jerry Rice made into big gains. Accuracy and quick decisions were obviously the key. I've also wondered how Walsh would have fared over a long duration of time. His 10-year run was very impressive.
 

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Yeah, I tend to agree with you there. I like Tannehill. I think he can be good. But, he doesn't seem to feel the rush really well which is what guys like Montana and Marino just did naturally. That instinct led to many big plays for Marino.
No doubt he lacks this, and I'm glad this isn't in the main forum or these posts would be thumbs down instantly by several people. But the one trait he does have which he has shown several times this year is the ability to make plays with the game on the line, such as versus Atlanta and Cincinatti. Also, the ability to score in the red zone is a true leg up.
 
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