Originally Posted by JB1089
The Lions decided Stafford was going to be the offense before they ever knew how good he was.
Pass attempts during his rookie year:
26 (injured during the game, missed the rest of the year)
Stafford threw more passes in those 10 games than Sanchez did all year. He threw 5 INTs in one game. The next game he threw 51 passes.
They were getting blown out on a regular basis, they went 2-8. Stafford threw 20 picks in those 10 games. He only managed 6.0 ypa and a 53.3% completion rate. They never stopped throwing the ball. They never tried to scale things down. The only priority was developing Stafford. It's the same approach that the Colts are taking with Luck, pass attempts: 45, 31, 46, 55, 44. Completing 53.4% of his passes for 6.7 ypa. And he's going to keep throwing it, all year long.
We were never going to do that with Sanchez, never. That wasn't the kind of offense we planned on having and it's not the kind of offense that Rex Ryan wanted. We were trying to win a Super Bowl with a rookie QB, and didn't want to let him throw away game after game in exchange for accelerating the learning curve. We decided to stunt the growth of our QB in exchange for wins.
Stafford and Luck were thrown into typical rookie QB situations though, getting drafted by a god-awful team that has little else and must immediately rely on the new QB as the savior. Sanchez went to a 9 win team that probably had 12 win talent (but was undone by Favre's meltdown the year before). He had a support system in place already for success. A good comparison is Russell Wilson this season. He went to a team with a good D and strong running game. Up until yesterday, he had not been asked to do much.
I wonder which approach is better. Because Sanchez got to taste playoff games and success very early, something that is simply not possible for guys like Stafford and Luck who were thrown into horrible situations. You would think that playoff experience would have accelerated growth but not the case. Maybe a young QB does need to be thrown into the fire and have the team built around him if you want him to develop.