Kelly encouraged by coach's compliments

Quarterback Taylor Kelly was often thought to be the odd man in the quarterback competition. With all the hype surrounding the raw talent of Michael Eubank and the accuracy and arm strength of Michael Bercovici, it's easy to forget about the third man in this position battle. That is no longer the case, after Todd Graham mentioned Kelly as one of the more impressive players so far in camp.

On Sunday when Coach Graham was asked which quarterback has done the best so far, Graham replied, "The guy who has not turned the ball over is Taylor. If you ask me who has done the best the first two days, I think Taylor has."

Kelly is cognizant of his good start, but also recognizes that he needs to continue to improve.

"I thought I have played pretty well so far," Kelly admitted, "but I still have room for improvement. I need to improve my technique and my knowledge of situational plays, but I have been completing the ball on time. My footwork and drops in the pocket have been improved, and I think I have been playing pretty well during practice."

"It feels good to get recognized for my hard work, it doesn't hurt, but I have to keep improving every day."

The one aspect of his game that people have often criticized Kelly on has been his downfield passing. The signal caller believes he has corrected this skill during his off-season workouts.

"I have been working hard on downfield passing on the vertical plays, and I am a lot more comfortable with the guys," Kelly remarked." It doesn't matter if the defense is in man or zone coverage, we are on the same page.

"I feel a lot more confident than last season."

You could see Taylor Kelly's hard work first hand after practice on Monday. Even after an a nearly three-hour long practice, Kelly worked for a half hour on his vertical throws, throwing passes downfield to James Morrison.

The quarterback competition unquestionably Kelly to take after-practice reps, and the position battle in general has been nothing but positive for the sophomore.

"We push ourselves every day on the practice field and in the film room," Kelly said. "We are good friends though, we don't ever try to beat each other, and it's a good relationship."

While one would think that Kelly would only view fall camp as a success if he was named the starter, the quarterback actually cited a specific team goal (and one stressed by Graham ever since fall camp began), as a measure of accomplishment.

"I have to own the ball and go through my reads right," Kelly explained. "The biggest difference between the starter [quarterback] and the second and third string will be taking care of the ball. If you take care of the ball and go through your reads right it's hard to stop our offense."

"We are going to be dominant once we find our quarterback. There will be so many ways he will be able to vary the formations depending on the situation. We have so many playmakers, there are so many weapons that we will be able to use."


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