The quarterback derby: “We’re starting from the ground up.”

Don’t know if you caught any of the ‘Net buzz from the past couple of days, but it was feverishly reported in several quarters by folks who aren’t in the know that Jacob Park has practiced with the Ones.  Whoa, dude… you know what that must mean!

Turns out, it’s even true.  Because Schottenheimer’s rotating all three quarterbacks to get a feel for what he’s got to work with at the position.

This spring, Schottenheimer is rotating the quarterback depth chart every practice, each candidate getting a shot with the first team. For instance, Tuesday it was Ramsey’s turn to run with the first team, but on Thursday he will go to third team, the next day he’ll be second team, and so on.

This produces some challenges, admits Ramsey, as the first-teamers are more skilled and experienced and feature better offensive line blocking. But Schottenheimer wants every quarterback to have that advantage before he makes an evaluation.

That’s got to hurt a little bit for the once-presumed leader at the position.  And it sounds like it does.

“I had just felt comfortable (with the playbook) right when Bobo left,” Ramsey said, smiling ruefully. “I was like, ‘Yes, I got it.’ And sure enough I’m into a new system.”

So, what do Schottenheimer’s options look like so far in the spring?

  • Brice Ramsey.  You’d still have to think that Ramsey’s experience still counts, so I wouldn’t go so far as to say that he doesn’t keep an advantage over the other two candidates.  (Then, again, I’m not a coach who clearly thinks the competition serves a purpose right now.)  But Ramsey’s primary critique of himself is an obvious concern.  “The read, to my footwork, to what the play is, is the biggest thing for me right now.”  He’s had a long way to go from his high school system to running a pro-style attack and there’s still a way to go on his journey.
  • Faton Bauta.  We all know Bauta’s story.  He’s the mobile guy who’s arm strength is the weakest of the three.  Emerson says Bauta doesn’t describe the current situation as a fresh start, just a continuation of competition at the position.  (Although Weiszer quotes Bauta differently.)  If that’s the case, Bauta’s already lost the race with Ramsey once before.  You tell me what this sounds like:  “It’s always an unbiased competition. We’re just out there playing ball. If he’s the better man, all right. But I came in here and was telling myself, ‘Whatever, I’m gonna keep getting better as a quarterback, I’m gonna keep improving, and I’m gonna go as far as I can.’ ”
  • Jacob Park.  The least experienced of the three.  But that’s not what makes me nervous about Park.  This makes me nervous about Park:  “I created a lot of bad habits. I just (played) chuck-and-duck,” Park said.  That’s something straight out of the Joe “I kind of saw Norwood and was like, hmmm, but I decided to throw it anyway…” Cox school of winging it.  It may be entertaining, but I doubt the coaches share that point of view.  At least Park is aware that he has to change his approach:  “Now I’ve actually got to …make reads, sit in the pocket, pick up blitzes, not run around and chuck the ball all the time, make good decisions and throw completions,” Park said. “Now I’m playing actual fundamental football and not backyard football.”  The obvious question is, can he do all that by August?

I can see why Richt maintains a decision about the starter won’t come until preseason practice in late summer.  It will be worth watching G-Day for any indication the three are settling into the position; that may be a more important consideration than their relative physical merits.  As will any indication of leadership skills they show in the time between the end of spring practice and August.  Right now, your guess is as good as mine, or anybody else’s bulletin board speculation.

By the way, you can check out interviews with all three here.

25 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

25 responses to “The quarterback derby: “We’re starting from the ground up.”

  1. Merk

    We just need a QB who can hit the deep ball and throw a good screen pass. Combine those 2 things with Chubb/Michel/Marshall and the O will pretty much run itself.

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    • I’d argue that hitting the intermediate routes on time and in place are even more important for a Georgia QB.

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      • diving duck

        Right. Mason made so many huge third down completions of 7-12 yards last year to continue drives. Most of his touchdowns were fit beautifully into tight from short yardage.

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  2. Gravidy

    I’ll be curious to see the rotation for the spring game. Rotating every three days during spring practice is fine as far as it goes, but that won’t work for the spring game. Schott is going to have to run them out there in some order, and then we can all spend the entire summer obsessing over it. 🙂

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  3. 904Biscuit

    Since we’ve been taking so many other things from the Bama playbook, why don’t we take their view on QB’s as well? When was the last time they had a true stud QB? Sure, McCarron was pretty darn good as a senior but, he wasn’t a world beater as a Sophomore or Junior and they were still able to win championships. All we need is a game manager with the type of talent we have at RB and the experience we have at OL. Will we need the QB to hit on a couple of big throws here and there? Yeah, but we ain’t askin for Murr Man type stats. Please, oh please, oh please, just don’t throw as many picks as TD’s.

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    • Actually reading McCarron’s stats, his So, Jr, and Sr seasons were about the same.

      Career Passing Stats
      Year Team G Cmp Att Comp % Yds Yd/A TDs Int Sacked Yds
      2010 Ala 13 30 48 62.5 389 8.1 3 0 2 18
      2011 Ala 13 219 328 66.8 2634 8.0 16 5 13 72
      2012 Ala 14 211 314 67.2 2933 9.3 30 3 22 162
      2013 Ala 13 226 336 67.3 3063 9.1 28 7 17 118
      Career 53 686 1026 66.9 9019 8.8 77 15 54 370

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  4. Keese

    We’ve got some real gunslingers at QB with a penchant for turnovers. Ramsey is the guy despite whatever they’re feeding to the media

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  5. HVL Dawg

    Park is going to be a hairstyle All-American, maybe even the hairstyle Heisman.

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  6. Spike

    Don’t count out Sam Vaughn.

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  7. Cosmic Dawg

    The main thing I like about Park is the guys on the D went out of their way to say he took his scout team duties seriously, worked hard, led his unit and had pretty terrific talent. I don’t recall as much enthusiasm in their quotes about the others, maybe I’m wrong. No idea who’s gonna be the best option, but I’m interested to see how Park comes along in the next few months.

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  8. Lakatos Intolerant

    Playbook knowledge, footwork, pocket presence, drops/reads/progressions, etc. Have any of the 3 shown the full package, or at least demonstrated they can get there (and soon)?

    I’m not sure Ramsey was the guy – meaning the clear #2 – last year, he was simply a better option than Bauta and Park was redshirting. And it’s clear from his comments above that he’s still struggling with confidence, probably moreso now that Schotty is here installing new ideas/terminology.

    Absent a polished option that has separated himself from the pack – which I don’t think we’ll have by the end of Fall camp – my prediction is we’ll go with the best athlete who is slick on his feet and also possesses the most intangibles…Jacob Park.

    Unlike some here though, I do have supreme confidence that we’ll trot out the guy who gives us the best opportunity to win. And it wouldn’t surprise me if the coaches decide on a time-share.

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  9. 69Dawg

    I’m thought CBS was not going to “change the terminology” better he learn ours than 45 learn his. If the QB is having a difficult time getting it then the rest of the O is up the creek without a paddle. I have a feeling we are going to miss Bobo a lot.

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    • Mayor

      Funny, I think Schotty is gonna make everybody forget how to even spell “Bobo.”

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      • EdDawg

        Hard to screw it up unless you get injuries at RB or WR, or Schott picks a Qb who throws too many int’s (You can beat the bad teams, but turnovers kill you vs ranked teams). You don’t have much experience at Qb or WR.

        Marshall struggled last year at 2 ypc, hopefully, he can find his old form and confidence again, he really doesn’t have anything to lose.

        This offense should score, like a lot. The backfield is loaded and experienced with Chubb & Co, and there is speed at WR in Chris, Isaiah and Malcolm–just little experience. Blazevich was solid at TE last year and brings good experience, and Chubb, Michel & Marhall are all excellent experienced pass threats out of the backfield, especially Sony @15 per reception in 2014 and Marshall did @14 a reception in 2013 and Chubb was @12 yards a reception. Chubb is off-the-charts spectacular, but have to avoid over-exposure and unnecessary hits, especially when games are won like when AM and Gurley got injured.

        A LOT of weapons.

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  10. EdDawg

    There’s what UGA needs, and then the way Richt usually goes.

    UGA needs a dual threat Qb, who doesn’t throw picks. Bauta fits that bill. The other two, Ramsey has no wheels, and both throw too many picks.

    From what I saw last Spring game, Bauta has an arm to throw some long td’s, completed a lot of passes, is extremely mobile, and was accurate to boot.

    But Richt rarely goes dual threat, he did in 2005 with DJ, and won the SEC.

    Every other season for 13 years, he went with the drop back passer, odds Ramsey HEAVY favorite.

    Plus, I’ve never recall Richt changing his mind at Qb in the off-season. He’s gone with experience every time.
    .

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  11. pete

    Just because Bauta is a ‘run first’ ‘dual-threat’ type doesn’t mean he has better wheels than Park. Park can be a ‘dual-threat’ much like Matt Statford and Aaron Murray were. In our system, the main job is pocket passing but if you have to..take off when the heat is on….

    By the way. It’s pretty impressive that you know more about what UGA needs in a QB than our coaches.

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