Wednesday, May 30, 2007

And then there were 3...

In a brief statement released today, Coach Weis was unable to narrow the list of quarterbacks down to two, instead merely eliminating sophomore QB Zach Frazer from the competition. In his release he stated:

"Evan ran the operation the best, Jimmy threw the ball the best, and Demetrius made the most plays. For these reasons, they will compete for playing time."

Frazer, to nobody's surprise, just didn't cut the mustard. Not that he isn't a talented QB. He would start almost anywhere else in the country (except perhaps USC, Michigan, Texas, Louisville, and a couple other schools with established QBs). And, in fact, he probably will when he decides where to transfer to. (Does anyone REALLY think that he is staying around, especially with Dayne Crist coming in to compete next year?)

And Coach Weis summarized succinctly exactly what I've felt all along. Evan's experience means that he is the most capable of running the offense. Jimmy is the best pure passer in the bunch, but lacks the experience and time under Coach Weis to be the all-around package needed. Demetrius' overall athletic ability (which has people constantly DCE'ing him to receiver) places him in the position to have the most flexibility with the ball in his hands.

Going forward into summer, I expect that the chemistry and development of the team will have as much to do with who is the starting QB than the actual play of the three contenders.

If the team remains mistake-prone due to inexperience, Sharpley is most likely to get the nod, as he can manage a game. He can correct blown assignments and alignments, audible out of a mismatch and recognize blitzes. As I've said before, if this team were to take the field right now, I'd expect Sharpley to start.

If the team progresses rapidly and displays some signs of maturity and know-how (especially on the offensive line and in the receiving corps), then Jimmy will get the nod. With all cylinders operating at capacity, Clausen is exactly the kind of gear to really make this offense run smoothly. Flawless mechanics and quick reflexes make him a pinpoint passer, and given time, he WILL beat you.

If the team isn't making mistakes, but physically the offensive line fails to come together, or if the receivers don't develop into true passing threats, Jones is your man. He makes plays with his feet, and can get out of sacks and move in the pocket and scramble to give the receivers more time to get open. He can also force the defense to respect his run, leaving one less defender in the secondary.