Yup, you heard that right. Now, let me explain.
I write this with cautious optimism (every Tech fan’s middle name, seems like). We’ve seen mediocre and terrible performances by the offense. We’ve seen terrible play-calling, terrible o-line play, and terrible decisions from a QB whom about half of DTN’ers wrote off as – well – terrible. But, unlike last season, when injuries and poor play led to the Sticks Sheffield show, Taylor Potts has not been relieved of his duties. We’ve seen Sheffield get a total of 3 plays thus far.
I don’t know what happened in the midst of that excruciating game in Ames, but something happened indeed. Be it mentally, emotionally, physically, or supernaturally – something just changed. There was timing, quickness, assertiveness, and drive in this offense. While it wasn’t enough to overcome costly mistakes that put us over a barrel, it was something to build upon.
My theory is that Taylor Potts has no "out" anymore. Last year, when he didn’t perform, at least there was a capable replacement. You see, he wasn’t forced to get better. Sheffield was his safety net. Don’t get me wrong, I sincerely believe he wanted to do great, he hated to struggle, and he wanted to win. But, he never had a chance to finish what he started. The coaches said "yeah, you’re struggling. We’ll take care of it for you," and he was benched. But now, these coaches have made it clear that they aren’t gonna bail him out of tough situations. You made some bad decisions? Tough, suck it up and make better decisions. You got sacked? Tough, learn to move around or next time will be worse. I called a bad play? Tough - use your safety valve route or get rid of the ball.
This, of course, comes with consequences. Two losses so far seems a hefty price to pay, especially with a senior QB. We’re less critical of those growing pains for young qb’s that can build on the experience for more seasons to come. I am holding onto hope that the point has been made, though. I’ll be the first to admit I wanted Sheffield to be our starting QB. I’d seen enough last year. I’d certainly seen enough after the UT debacle. But maybe, just maybe, we have a new Taylor Potts. Perhaps he’s been thrust into a leadership role that he’s finally realized he must take with this team. Like it or not, he is the QB, and he’s the leader of this offense. He’s by no means or measure perfect – no college QB is. He will struggle again, but I hope and pray to the Sweet Baby Jesus he can lead this team when that situation arises. We will soon find out.