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Saturday, August 23, 2008

It's Russell Wilson at QB

Well, I'm a little surprised. After planning to redshirt Mike Glennon for the season earlier this week, I thought Tom O'Brien would choose experience over the unknown heading into the South Carolina game. But he's stated all along that his decision would be based on who he thought gave the team the best chance to win, period.
“The decision always came down to who we thought would give us the best opportunity to win a football game. Right now, our offense and the way we are structured it will be Russell Wilson. That was the deciding factor.”

Interesting language here: "...the way the offense is structured." Is he saying that State's offense, at this stage, suits a mobile quarterback better than a dropback passer? We've known that the Pack's offensive line has been a work in progress ever since his arrival. Perhaps it's still too far away to give a quarterback like Evans enough time to be effective.

I think if O'Brien had a good offensive line, Evans would be the starter. Experience counts for so much in college football. None of the five quarterbacks blew the staff away with their offseason work, obviously. That it was such a neck-and-neck race to the end of fall practice tells me that Evans and Wilson were and are still very close in ability. What may have ultimately tipped the scales in Wilson's favor is his escapability, his ability to roll the pocket and his greater effectiveness when tucking the ball to run--all positives when your lineplay is subpar.

When watching the game Thursday, pay particular attention to how well the offensive line plays. South Carolina has one hell of a defense, but if the offensive line struggles against them, it could very well mean the job is Wilson's for the rest of the year--or at least until the line gets shored up. Evans just doesn't have the physical tools to operate behind a sieve-like line.

Regardless of the line play, Evans will still see some action in the first half, according to O'Brien:
"Somewhere in the first half he's gonna have to go in and play – he's done too much for this program and he's a good enough player. Somewhere Russell is going to get a little tired in that first quarter or first half – just the emotion of the night and trying to get it done your first time out. He's gonna need some time to sit and rest a little."
It will be an opportunity to see if Evans' surgically repaired shoulder has improved his ability to throw the ball any. If it has, then it should be interesting to see how this ever-evolving quarterback scenario unfolds from there.

One hopes, however, that we're still not trying to resolve it three or four weeks into the season.

1 comment:

  1. I was surprised as well. I hope this isn't an indication of how good (or bad) the offensive line is, though.