Like It or Not, College Football Is Influencing the NFL – Sports Illustrated

Watching offenses like the Eagles (particularly the Nick Foles-led version), the Rams and the Chiefs suggests that NFL coaches have finally begun to the college game. They realize they’ll win more games if they stop complaining about the lack of preparation the current college game provides and just meet their drafted players where they are, instead of trying to force years of learning down their throats with suboptimal results.

As someone who covers college football, this was refreshing to watch. College coaches figured out years ago that it didn’t do any good to get mad at high school coaches for running overly simplistic offenses. The high-school coaches needed to win to keep their jobs, and they were going to run what worked. So most college coaches simply adjusted to the players they got, and NFL coaches are now doing the same—embracing offensive schemes that they once hated so much. While no one in the pro league would be silly enough to switch completely to Washington State’s Air Raid or New Mexico’s Pistol-based triple option, the incorporation of some of college football’s more creative concepts makes the NFL game more fun.

This confluence should make NFL fans’ fall Saturday viewing even more entertaining as they try to spot the next trend coming to their team. Here are a few things to watch for in the coming season.

Check the play-calling, then Check With Me

One of the biggest differences between the college and pro games is NFL teams’ ability to use a headset in one player’s helmet to radio in play calls. There’s no need for the giant posterboards with four photos and the screens that some college programs use to hide signals—those are taken care of in the NFL by the radio. But that doesn’t mean the NFL can’t

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