04-23-2005, 10:25 AM
Ring of Famer
Join Date: Dec 2002
Aaron Rodgers - Another Jeff Tedford NFL Bust?
The track record is not promising:
Akili Smith - Bust
Trent Dilfer - Stiff
AJ Feeley - Stiff
Joey Harrington - Bust in progress
Kyle Boller - Bust in progress
David Carr - Jury still out
Cal coach's QBs enter the NFL well-trained
By Jarrett Bell, USA TODAY
BERKELEY, Calif. — After Aaron Rodgers capped a dazzling workout with a tight, 72-yard spiral to the end zone, Jeff Tedford turned and faced the NFL power brokers standing on the sideline. The body language was confident and energized.
Cal quarterback Aaron Rodgers will likely be the latest NFL player groomed by coach Jeff Tedford
"Anything else?" the University of California football coach asked with a booming voice heard throughout a near-empty Memorial Stadium.
Rodgers, considered by the San Francisco 49ers for the No. 1 slot overall in this weekend's NFL draft, was extremely sharp in the crisp air of a mid-March morning. He routinely threw with a flick of the wrist and little wasted motion — even on the deep throws.
But the session's orchestrator wanted to be sure the VIPs had seen enough. So Tedford briskly walked down the sideline with speak-now-or-forever-hold-your-peace urgency.
He looked toward 49ers coach Mike Nolan, motioned to Miami Dolphins coach Nick Saban and even pointed to the man watching from the goal line, Cleveland Browns general manager Phil Savage. Miami and Cleveland pick second and third.
"Everybody got what they need?" Tedford said, drawing favorable nods.
Fait accompli. Maybe.
Rodgers, 21, will likely become the sixth Tedford-coached quarterback drafted in the first round in 11 years. Yet the group has nary a Troy Aikman, Daunte Culpepper or Peyton Manning.
Sure, Trent Dilfer, the first Tedford quarterback to strike first-round gold, won a Super Bowl with the defense-dominated Baltimore Ravens and made a Pro Bowl appearance with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. And the Houston Texans are thrilled by the progress of David Carr, who spent his first season at Fresno State under Tedford and was the No. 1 pick overall in the 2002 draft.
But Akili Smith, drafted third overall by the Cincinnati Bengals in 1999, was a bust. A one-year wonder at Oregon when Tedford was an assistant there, Smith is in NFL Europe as property of the Buccaneers, trying to revive his career.
Joey Harrington? Chosen third overall by the Detroit Lions in 2002, Harrington has made slow progress and ignited boos in the Motor City. The signing of veteran Jeff Garcia in March fuels speculation that Harrington, whose passer rating rose to 77.5 in 2004 from 63.9, could be benched.
Baltimore, which let Dilfer walk in 2001, took California's Kyle Boller with the 19th pick in 2003 and is still hoping he blossoms. Boller, another Tedford quarterback, was the AFC's lowest-rated starter in 2003 (62.4) and second lowest in 2004 (70.9).
The lowest-rated AFC quarterback in 2004? That would be Miami's A.J. Feeley (61.7), an Oregon product also coached by Tedford.
"It kind of baffles me. But I don't look at them as not being successful," Tedford, 43, says. "Most of them are starting. So they're doing something right. Maybe they're not in the Pro Bowl, but there are only so many teams out there and they are competing.
"And they're still young, except for Trent, the grandfather who's going to get another kick at it."
Rodgers scoffs at this pattern of Tedford-coached quarterbacks.
"I'm not any of those guys," he says. "I'm a different guy."