This position group always receives quite a bit of focus, but in this particular year, I think that there may not be a better selling point other than a former highly successful Red Raider and a coach that coached a Heisman candidate at one school and a Heisman winner in consecutive years. That’s quite a sentence, but if you have any reservation about how well the quarterbacks will do this year, then I’d suggest remembering that Kingsbury seems to be able to work very well and he works quickly.
Having not seen but one scrimmage, I’m still really comfortable with Michael Brewer and I think I have been for a couple of years. He won’t be perfect by any means, but I think he has the noggin to understand what Kingsbury will be asking of him. As much talent as Davis Webb has, I don’t think that Webb really separated himself from Brewer or really even remotely jumped ahead of him. Granted, he was essentially a high schooler this spring, but a 50% completion rate compared to a 60% completion rate is fairly significant.
So rather than take just one game, I’m taking all three scrimmages and compiling the statistics so that we have a more clear view of how well both Brewer and Webb actually played through the course of the spring. If you don’t think that one quarterback separated himself, then you’re not paying attention.
Over the three scrimmages, Brewer completed 60.3% of his passes, had 1 interception and 9 touchdown passes for 766 yards and 7.2 yards per attempt. Webb completed 51.8% of his passes, had 2 interceptions, 5 touchdown passes for 461 yards and 5.5 yards per attempt. To me, this really isn’t even that lose. The winner this spring, not just over one game, was Brewer.
And personally, I’m really not counting out Clayton Nicholas as the #2 starter behind Brewer, despite the fact that Nicholas had very little scrimmage time. The biggest chunk of time that he had was during the spring game and Nicholas looked sharp. But he had only 2 pass attempts in the two prior scrimmages. He’s proud and wants to do well just as much as Webb and Brewer. Maybe the best thing that Kingsbury and staff needed to do with Nicholas is light a fire under him to do the things that Kingsbury always seemed to mention about Webb, which was Webb’s desire to stay in the film room and do as much off the field as humanly possible.
Brewer’s biggest improvement probably needs to be completion percentage and getting the ball down the field. I still, to this day, don’t think that Neal Brown was a bad offensive coordinator, but he definitely had a different style. Part of that style was trying to allow your receivers to make plays horizontally rather than vertically. I think it will take some adjustment for Brewer to re-train himself to get the ball down the field. By doing this, I’m somewhat thinking that he won’t have as high a completion percentage, but I can live with that.
And I do think, especially after re-watching the spring game, that Brewer will be given the opportunity to run a bit more and I do think that this is tougher for a defense to handle. At the very least, it affords the quarterback a certain bit of opportunity.
As far as Webb, take a breath. Enjoy the summer and get better. There are certain things that happen as a result of time and experience and no matter what Webb does, he’s not going to be able to gain those during the summer. Still, to do what Webb has done is certainly encouraging. Webb will, eventually, be just fine. I am very sure about that. Now it’s just a matter of maturing.
I get the feeling that Nicholas needs to do the little things to get back in Kingsbury’s good graces. I don’t think this race is really over, other than I do think that Brewer is in the lead by a pretty wide margin.
The purpose of this chart is to demonstrate the depth and eligibility remaining for returning players. Any year marked black is a year that the player has available. A true freshman has five years of eligibility to include a possible redshirt year.
|Quarterback Eligibility Remaining|
KEY TO 2013
The key to the entire season usually rests with the quarterback play and this season really isn’t going to be any different. As mentioned above, the biggest key for this team will be how quickly Kingsbury can help Brewer adjust. The key to Brewer’s success will be largely dependent on how well the offensive line plays and how well they protect him. Brewer’s mobility and ability to feel a defense and step up in the pocket will be something he adds to the offense, whereas I do think that Doege lacked that sort of self-awareness last year.
The other significant key to 2013 is staying healthy. There are just three quarterbacks on the the team. That’s it. I know it would seem unlikely that all three quarterbacks would suffer an injury, but this team cannot afford really any injuries to any quarterbacks this year. Three total quarterbacks is the reason why Kingsbury can be seen throwing to receivers in some of the drills. They need some guys who can help and throw.