Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Evan, Jimmy, and Demetrius Still in the Hunt at QB

Big news today from Coach Weis. After telling the Notre Dame faithful all Spring that his plan was to narrow the quarterback competition from four candidates to two by the end of May, Charlie has called an audible and changed his plan at the line of scrimmage.

It was announced today that Sharpley, Clausen, and Jones would continue to battle for playing time this Fall, with Zach Frazer as the odd man out. From Coach Weis:

After concluding spring ball evaluations, Evan Sharpley, Demetrius Jones and Jimmy Clausen remain as the main contenders. Each of these three young men brought something unique to the QB competition. Evan ran the operation the best, Jimmy threw the ball the best, and Demetrius made the most plays. For these reasons, they will compete for playing time.
Wow. First of all, I feel bad for Zach Frazer. He announced very publicly in the Spring that he was confident that he was the leading candidate for the job. I guess not. While most reports had Frazer throwing the ball really well, his performance in the Spring game (0 for 4 with an INT) was a disappointment, and it looked like he was having trouble executing the offense and reading the defenses. Hopefully Zach will stay at ND, because in my view you can't have too many quarterbacks, and we might need him some day. But it is also very possible, if he wants to get on the field, that he would transfer. Good luck to him whichever path he chooses.

Second, Coach Weis said a mouthful with a few choice phrases.
  • "Evan ran the operation the best." I take it to mean that he's the guy right now, because he can get the play called, get to the line, and execute the offense right now, while the other guys are still trailing in that regard.
  • "Jimmy threw the ball the best." I take that to mean that JC is the guy Weis envisions as his QB as soon as he is able to "run the operation" as well, or nearly as well, as Sharpley.
  • "Demetrius made the most plays." Coach Weis has often said that he goes by what he sees. He doesn't play guys based on potential, but based on what he sees in practice and on the field. And apparently, what Charlie sees in Jones is a guy who makes plays on the field, despite not running the operation the best, or throwing the ball the best. Jones is a playmaker, and you want your playmakers on the field.
What does it all mean? It means that Zach Frazer separated himself by falling behind the other three guys, but nobody separated themselves from the others by stepping out front. Reading the tea leaves, I think Evan Sharpley gets first shot in the Fall, based upon his experience at running the offense. But he's on a short leash. If he doesn't "make plays" then Jones and Clausen will battle it out to see who can move the team the best - Clausen primarily with his arm, or Jones as a dual pass-run threat. At the end of the day, Coach Weis will go by what he sees on the field. Whichever QB moves the team best and makes the most plays will be the starter, regardless of "potential." At the end of the day, it might be the team that decides. Sometimes a team just responds better, plays better, for a particular quarterback. Which quarterback will most quickly earn the loyalty, respect, and confidence of his teammates?

1 comment:

Sir John said...

Nice analysis OC I do agree with what you posted. Charlie is just unpredictable.