So, the Gary Crowton hiring as offensive coordinator looks to be official. Along with it comes John Dunn, a former LSU Graduate Assistant who will be Maryland’s tight ends coach. As an aside, Dunn is most known for calling a spike ball play with one second left to lose LSU’s game against Ole Miss in 2009. Here’s how Crowton and Dunn, with a little help from Les Miles, handled those marvelous last seconds of a comeback effort:
"The Tigers were divided over what plays to call, lost 17 seconds when the team tried for a timeout and didn’t get it, and there was admittedly no backup plan when LSU went for the end zone on the last play of the game and came up short at the Ole Miss 5 with 1 second left."
So then, naturally, with 1 second left, instead of going for the game-winning field goal, they spiked the ball. Naturally.
Now, I’m trying to be optimistic about the Crowton hire – mostly because I don’t like ulcers and there’s nothing I can do about the hire anyway – because I do trust Randy Edsall. There has to be something he sees in the guy that would be cause to hire him to run the offense, and it’s something I’m just not seeing. Maybe in a new conference, Crowton’s “offense” will finally flourish.
Something caught my eye in one of the stories on Crowton awhile back in the Washington Post, and now that the hiring’s official, I wanted to examine it.
"During his career, Crowton has coached seven quarterbacks who have gone on to be selected in the NFL draft."
Seven quarterbacks? Pretty impressive, right? Well, wait. Why wouldn’t they mention any of them by name? He coached Boston College for a while, he must have had Matt Hasselbeck, right? Or maybe someone else of note?
Well, I took the time out of my day to find those seven quarterbacks, just for you all. And it’s an impressive list of who’s who of NFL backups and who-the-hell-is-that-guys. In chronological order:
Glenn Foley – Boston College. Drafted in the seventh round of the 1994 NFL Draft, Foley spent five years with the Jets and one with the Seahawks before joining the New Jersey Gladiators in the Arena Football League. Finished his career with nine career starts and a 67.2 quarterback rating with 12 touchdowns against 16 interceptions. Truth be told, that’s better than most seventh round draft picks.
Tim Rattay – Louisiana Tech. Drafted in the seventh round of the 2000 NFL Draft, Rattay spent six years with the 49ers and then bounced around with the Buccaneers, Titans and Cardinals for two years. He is currently the backup for the UFL’s Las Vegas Locomotives. Finished his NFL career (barring a bizarre comeback) with 18 starts, and a 81.9 quarterback with 31 touchdowns against 23 interceptions. According to his Wiki page, he holds the NCAA Division I-A record for average passing yards per game (386.2), is behind only Colt Brennan with 12,643 yards of total offense, is “in the top five of every offensive category” (I did not know he caught that many passes), and broke school records as a senior with 4,943 yards and 46 touchdowns. Crowton gets major props for Rattay.
Brandon Doman – BYU. Drafted in the fifth round of the 2002 NFL Draft, Doman spent three years in the league with the 49ers, Bills and Redskins. In his senior season at BYU, he threw for 3,542 yards with 33 touchdowns against eight interceptions. There are no NFL stats for him anywhere. He is currently the offensive coordinator at BYU.
John Beck – BYU. Drafted in the second round of the 2007 NFL Draft (at the age of 26), Beck has played in five games in his NFL career – all with the Dolphins in his rookie season. He now seems to be destined for the life of a second/third-string quarterback. In his BYU career, he threw for 11,021 yards with 79 touchdowns against 34 interceptions (including two straight 3,700+ yard seasons).
Kellen Clemens – Oregon. Drafted in the second round of the 2006 NFL Draft, Clemens has been the backup for the Jets ever since, with brief spells as an unsuccessful starter (five touchdowns against 11 interceptions in his career). Crowton only had one year with him at Oregon, and in that year his production stayed around the same as his previous two – around 2,500 yards with about 20 touchdowns.
Dennis Dixon – Oregon. Drafted in the fifth round of the 2008 NFL Draft, he’s been a backup for the Steelers for the past three years, and has played in a total of four games. Crowton had him for one year, and it was not the near-Heisman winning one. Instead, it was the year before, when he threw more interceptions than touchdowns, and averaged 6.7 yards per attempt.
Matt Flynn – LSU. Drafted in the seventh round of the 2008 NFL Draft, he’s been a backup for the Packers for the past three years, and has played in 29 games (my formulaic writing in this post is formulaic). He has 497 yards total in those 29 games (I somehow doubt that 29 game total is accurate, but both Yahoo and NFL.com have it), and has three touchdowns and three interceptions. In his senior year at LSU, Flynn threw for 2,407 yards with 21 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
So, not exactly an impressive list. To be fair to Crowton, how they do in the pros doesn’t really matter for our purposes, because we’re more interested in how they perform at the college level. All of this does, however, speak to the “development” of his quarterbacks during his time there. And, to be honest, I’m more impressed than I thought I would be, just based off the collegiate stats. However, would you rather have a team with a successful offense, or a successful quarterback? I thought so. The former tends to lead to the latter, not the other way around.