|ESPN.com: Great State Debate||[Print without images]|
In the Great State Debate, five states stand above the rest in the caliber of quarterbacks they produce -- Alabama, California, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas. Here is the argument for why California should win.• California's strength at the position spans generations. There are old-timers in the Pro Football Hall of Fame like Norm Van Brocklin and Bob Waterfield, there are current NFL greats like Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers, and last summer, three California high school quarterbacks were among the Elite 11 finalists. No other state had more than one. • California has better depth of top players at the quarterback position than any other state. Aside from Pro Football Hall of Famers such as John Elway and current superstars such as Brady and Rodgers, this would include solid players who've quarterbacked their teams to Super Bowl titles, such as Trent Dilfer (Aptos). This would also include players who had outstanding NFL careers but weren't Hall of Famers, such as John Brodie (Oakland Tech), Joe Kapp (Hart), Pat Haden (Bishop Amat), Mark Brunell (St. Joseph), Steve Bartkowski (Buchser) and Billy Kilmer (Citrus). And then there's even Aaron Garcia (Grant), who's the greatest Arena quarterback of all time. • Elite coaching is everywhere and is second to none. In the NFL, California native Bill Walsh revolutionized the game with the West Coast offense and development of coaches who spread the system. Probably the best of Walsh's former assistants is Mike Holmgren, a Super Bowl-winning coach himself who was a quarterback at Lincoln of San Francisco. This coaching extends to all levels, even to private tutors who have been known to groom first-round NFL draft picks.