PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan) — Former Steelers and Bills general manager and current senior adviser to the Philadelphia Eagles, Tom Donahoe, joined The Fan Morning Show on Friday to offer his thoughts on the Steelers, the NFL playoffs and various other football topics.
Donahoe said that it’s hard to admit that a player is over the hill and can’t perform at a high enough level anymore, but says that knowing when to cut ties is part of a general manager’s job.
He said it takes time and patience to evaluate a young player because projections simply can’t predict the challenges a player will run into at the next level, but that things tend to become more clear over time, as they did with Jason Worilds.
He says he doesn’t like the idea of making quarterbacks such an integral part of the coaching search, because the coach is there to advise the whole team, not just the quarterback.
However, he says he does think that Ben Roethlisberger has earned the right to have more of a say in what goes on with the offense, even though he thinks letting Roethlisberger choose his offensive coordinator would be going too far.
Donahoe continued to say he also thinks that the heightened prominence of spread offenses makes it easier to evaluate quarterbacks’ skill sets this year. He stressed the importance of seeing a quarterback live and talking to his coaches when you’re evaluating him. He says he feels that the evolution of the college game has created a larger pool of quarterbacks to evaluate than we’ve ever had before.
He sees Chip Kelly’s ability to adapt to personnel as a major strength.
He also thinks that Kordell Stewart’s career would be totally different if he was entering the draft now, because everybody would want him due to his skill set, as dual-threat quarterbacks are a popular entity right now.
He has the 49ers as his Super Bowl favorite right now because of how much they’ve improved over the course of the season. On the AFC side of things, he sees the Broncos as the favorite, because he thinks that Peyton Manning will rise to the occasion with the twilight of his career drawing near.
Finally, he likes Johnny Manziel’s heart and play-making ability — and although he worries a lot about his size, maturity and durability, he doesn’t think that those things will keep him out of the first round.
The interview can be heard here: