Spring Peek: Quarterbacks

The position of quarterback at West Point is definately up for grabs. Bobby Ross and the rest of the Army staff know that it is sure to be a hard fought battle and no one is going to be overlooked.

Many seem to think Zac Dahman has a good shot at emerging as the starter entering the spring and upcoming season, and who can fault them.  Here's a young man at a mere 170-pounds, that endured constant pressure and sacks from opposing pass rushes, but still maintained his composure and put up quality numbers over the past two years.  However, Coach Bobby Ross will also give Nevels, Silva, Crehan, Bybee, Laws and Lay every chance to emerge as the Black Knight's starter.

It is clear that the leader of this group of QB's must demonstrate strong decision-making, accuracy and athletic (mobility) skills – a must if Coach Ross wants to implement a more downfield attacking style of offense.  In addition, whoever wins the starting job, will benefit from a more experienced offensive line, coupled with a two back offensive that should result in better pass protection.
A year ago the Black Knights had four QB's on the roster and gave equal first-team reps at the beginning of spring to each of them.  It will be interesting to see how Coach Ross and staff will handle this process given the past years inability of any one of the four or five quarterbacks to actually separate themselves from the rest of the pack.

The same process may be the case at the start of spring this year. Each might be given opportunities with the first team in early drills. That will change once coaches determine the top 2 or 3, and then decide on a definitive starter.

Some of the biggest questions surrounding the QB position:

1. How might the challengers such as Bybee, Crehan, Laws and Lay work their way up the depth chart given the fact that they have no actual game experience?

By impressing and showing maturity beyond their years. Black Knight coaches may not want to put a young, inexperienced quarterback in front of Big East bound Louisville, followed by back to back away games against Houston and Connecticut to start the season.  However, if they are Army's best chance to win those or any other games, that is who the coaching staff will go with.

2. How does Reggie Nevels fit in?

Somewhat of a forgotten man here is Nevels. He has struggled over the past two years relative to playing time due to injuries.  Something that will be interesting to see here is how many first-, second- and third-team reps coaches give Nevels. If coaches hope to get Laws or Lay ready for playing time this year (QBs of the future), they might have to move Nevels down the depth chart or to a different position (wide receiver may be the most natural options).  Will Nevels be the odd man out? This spring will go a long way in telling if that is the case.
3. Will Silva show improved decision-making?

Something to keep in mind here: There is no arguing Silva's physical attributes (size and strong arm) as a QB.  However, he has endured some criticism for making bad decisions in critical times of a game, although limited playing time. His interception numbers reflect his sometimes indecisiveness on the field.  This spring is important for Silva as he cannot show the tendency to throw the ball up for grabs.

4. Are David Pevoto and Connor Wise as good as advertised?

Army fans will have to wait until after the Beast period to see what these incoming plebe (freshmen) QB's have to offer.  Both are noted for having accurate arms and good mobility. However, it is expected this will be a learning year for all incoming freshmen quarterbacks.
5. How will the quarterbacks deal with what could ultimately turn into another quarterback controversy?

If last year was any indication, this group will be fine regardless of what player is named the starter. It's a tight bunch of players who will continue to help each other out as they have in the past.

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