In a recent video we released on YouTube, entitled Michael Vick, says, “Systems make Quarterbacks; when asked about Mr. Irrelevant Brock Purdy,” a viewer asked a thought-provoking question: So did Any Reid’s system make Mahomes? After a great answer from a fellow viewer, we decided to take some time to tease this answer out and add some context to answering this great question.
Putting a Great QB in a great system leads to Tom Brady (6 rings with the Patriots) / Joe Montana (4 Super Bowl wins with the 49ers) / Mahomes (In the AFC Championship Game every year he has been a starting quarterback), or Drew Brees and Sean Payton, examples of a dynasty type of situation, and long-term success.
Putting an average to a good level of talent at quarterback in a great system leads to good to great success. Still, it’s primarily short-lived. Matt Ryan went to a Super Bowl and won MVP with the Falcons as Kyle Shannahan was the Offensive Coordinator. Jared Goff went to a Super Bowl with Sean McVay, Alex Smith with the 49ers, and then again with the Chiefs had great success with Harbaugh and Andy Reid’s system. In those cases, the system and the players around the quarterback do a lot of the work, but if the quarterback is not horrible, you can continue to win and succeed.
The best example is Matt Stafford. He was a superbly talented quarterback in Detroit but experienced little major success in a flawed system. He then took that great talent and went to the Rams. His remarkable talent + Sean McVay’s system led him STRAIGHT to a Super Bowl in Year 1. Another example would be Drew Brees, who, early on in his career, thrived with his incredible talent and Sean Payton’s Offensive system. He went to a Super Bowl, won multiple Offensive Player of the Year awards, and held almost every NFL passing record. However, later in his career, when he could no longer throw the ball as far or be healthy throughout an entire season, the system did most of the work; when he missed games, the backup quarterbacks had great success. Teddy Bridgewater went 5-0 in his absence the following year, and Taysom Hill went 4-1 when Brees was out. Sean Payton’s system did a lot of the work.
Michael Vick was not off base when he highlighted Kyle Shanahan’s system. The system is so great it’s turned Shannahan’s Coaching Tree into one of the legends, producing Mike McDaniels and this year’s hottest Head Coaching candidate, Houston Offensive Coordinator and former Kyle Shannahan assistant Coach Bobby Slowik.
Systems make Quarterbacks, and Brock Purdy is benefitting from a great system. Yes, he has talent as well, but the system matters.