FRISCO, Texas – Scott Linehan does not have an extensive history working with rookie quarterbacks.
Berlin started against the Cincinnati Bengals on Dec. 9, 2007 and completed 17 of 28 passes for 153 yards with one interception in a 19-10 loss. Starter Marc Bulger was unavailable because of a concussion. Gus Frerotte could not play because of a shoulder injury.
It was the only start of Berlin’s career.
Stafford, however, was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2009 draft and Linehan was his offensive coordinator. He played in just 10 games as a rookie, going 2-8. For the season he completed 201 of 377 passes for 2,267 yards with 13 touchdown passes and 20 interceptions.
How did he do in his season opener? He completed 16 of 37 passes for 205 yards with no touchdowns and three interceptions in a 45-27 loss to the New Orleans Saints.
Linehan said he will draw on his experiences with Stafford to help with Prescott.
“If the guy is ready, he plays,” Linehan said. “He’s not necessarily playing like a rookie or anything like that. He’s got a lot of experience. I think all those years playing at Mississippi State and the SEC, that’s got him ready to play. It’s not going to be a big arena to go out there and play in front of 100,000 people. And I felt the same way in Detroit with the guy I coached there. It does help to have these guys to have played in these big-time arenas before they got here.”
It took Stafford some time to get settled as a starter after two injury-plagued seasons to open his career. He had Calvin Johnson to work with, like Prescott has Dez Bryant. But Stafford did not have the running game or offensive line the Cowboys have.
Linehan has been impressed with Prescott’s accuracy as well as his composure.
“He has a really good blood pressure for the position,” Linehan said. “Never gets too high, too low. Stays really at a good even keel. He’s pretty wound up good when it comes to [being] a competitive kind of guy, but that doesn’t get beyond that. He stays really even keeled and that’s a huge part for a young player.”