Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Quarterback competition my @$$...

For the first time in several years, I opted not to attend the Gopher Spring Football game last Saturday.  I suppose this makes me a bad fan, but I've been called worse.  Heck, I'm a Gopher fan, and I've sat next to Iowa fans in the Metrodome... of course I've been called worse.

In any case, for a change of pace the local resident Gopher football experts at the local dailies had some opinions.  I was reading Marcus Fuller's comments in the Pioneer Press when I came across something...
QB Stats from Gopher Spring Football Game...
Adam Weber: 8 of 20, 144 yards, 
MarQueis Gray: 4 of 8, 66 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT 
(Moses Alipate also got 4 attempts in the action, but for his sake I'm going to keep him out of this discussion.)

I guess I see a few problems with these numbers.

First would be the continuing trend of Adam Weber's apparent inaccuracy.  Youngblood reports that the receivers were dropping some balls, so I'll have to just assume that some of Weber's incompletions can be blamed on them.  And I also get that it's JUST a spring game.

But I can't be the only one that, despite what we saw last year, is expecting big things out of Adam Weber this fall.  Weber has been the leader in the clubhouse to win the QB job all spring, and Fuller and Youngblood and anybody else with a pulse who follows Gopher football at all has known it, and has pointed it out as much as possible.

The only way MarQueis Gray was going to win the job from Weber was if Weber's play was so egregious and Gray's play was so spectacular during spring practices, that the coaches just couldn't ignore it, because I can promise you that JUST egregious play by Weber would not have been enough for him to lose the job... THAT was proven throughout the 2009 season.  The fact that there was a supposed "quarterback competition" this spring is just a farce.  

The only quarterback competition on this team was the one that Gary Tinsley and Kyle Theret have going to see who is going to lead the Hennepin County Hens football team against the Ramsey County Ramblers in the Minnesota Penal League Championship Game.

Which leads to my next problem with those numbers.  But before I tell you my next problem, I am going to tell you why you are possibly going to object with this problem, and then I am going to tell you why you are wrong.

You are going to say that Weber got more time with the starters and this is supposed to somehow make us feel better about how the numbers turned out for Gray.  But the reason you are wrong is because THAT is exactly my point and I'll thank you for proving it.

If this was really a quarterback competition, if Gray was really going to get a fair shot at winning the job, if these two athletes were really on an even footing this spring, and if the coaches really were going to wait until AFTER the spring game to make a decision on who the starting quarterback would be... then why do we get this sentence from Adam Rittenberg's recap of the scrimmage: "Three-year starter Adam Weber got most of the work with the first team offense..."  And, whether Freudian or not, he actually just two sentences later calls Gray the "backup."

Rittenberg also goes on to say "...all signs point to Weber, who stepped up his game this spring after a subpar junior season."  I'm going to leave that last little nugget alone, but what about the phrase "stepped up his game"?  How do we know this?  Based on his performance in "live" competition when he completed 8 of 20 passes?

And truthfully, you didn't have to be at the game (which again, I wasn't, and I'm planning on sleeping pretty well tonight), and you didn't need to see the comments from Fuller, Youngblood, Rittenberg, The Daily Gopher, Down With Goldy, I'm In Love With A Fringe Bowl Team, or me, or anyone else for that matter, to realize that in the end, there really was no quarterback competition.

All you have to do is look at throwing attempts in the spring game, and you know everything you need to know.
Adam Weber: 20
MarQueis Gray: 7

Now look, I'm not going to sit here and tell you that Adam Weber didn't deserve to win the job, because he probably did.  And I'm not going to tell you that MarQueis Gray did enough to win the job, because he probably didn't.  But that isn't the point.

The point is that I don't believe for one single second that there really was really a quarterback competition this spring.  And I doubt I'm alone in this thinking.  I'm not about to claim a conspiracy theory, but I believe that Tim Brewster has known all along that he would name Weber the starter.  He hired Jeff Horton under the pretense that Horton would not install a completely new offensive scheme, isn't it possible that Weber was part of the package?

But before we get into Roswell-like territory, I digress.

Gray had this to say to Marcus Fuller after the scrimmage:
"Hopefully, it's going to be hard for the coaches (to decide).  I think I had a great spring, so it's up to the coaches now."

Sadly enough, it appears that MarQueis Gray may have been the only one who really believed Tim Brewster when he said that there was a competition for the starting QB job.

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