Coach Warner Talks Quarterbacks

The Bearcat quarterback position has been much discussed this spring, and this week it got even more interesting when David Wess returned to the position while Craig Carey was moved to tight end. Bearcat Insider got the chance to talk with quarterback coach Dave Warner about his stable of players.

Q. There's been a lot of changes in the last couple days. David Wess has moved from running back/receiver to quarterback. What was the thought process?

A. Dave's a heck of an athlete, and more than anything we're trying to find a spot for him. We want to see if he can be a difference maker. He was a quarterback in high school, and I think that's his dream to play quarterback. We're giving him a shot to see what he can do. This is the time to do it, in the spring.

Q. What does David bring to that position that maybe the others don't?

A. He's probably a better athlete. I don't think that's any secret, and I don't think that's an insult to the others. We have some good athletes at quarterback, but I think Dave's a little bit quicker and faster and can add another dimension to the position. As far as a quarterback, he can run a draw or sweep. (today David made a nice run on a sweep)

Q. Craig Carey went from quarterback to tight end today. He played both those positions at Elder. Why the change?

A. Again we thought now was the right time to experiment to see what he can do at tight end. We think we have some pretty good tight ends, but we think he can get out there and do some good things as well.

Q. Coaches always want to motivate players, and sometimes they motivate by moving players to a new position. Is there any motivation involved here?

A. The overriding factor in spring is to experiment. Find out what's best for us. We certainly don't want to be making a lot of moves next August so we put those guys in those positions and evaluate them. Then when we start in August, we put guys where they need to be.

Q. If you had to name a starter for tomorrow, who would it be?

A. Probably right now Dustin is a little bit ahead. Nick's been a little bit banged up the last few days, but he's certainly had a good spring. It's been great competition, and I think it's made everyone better. The position is still wide open at this point.

Q. Tony Pike's been getting more reps the last few days, maybe due to Davila's injuries. What does Tony Pike do well?

A. His forte is throwing the football. He's so tall he can see things maybe the other guys can't see. He's probably made the most improvement of all the quarterbacks. He's coming along each and every day, and we have high hopes for him in the future.

Q. With Grutza being righthanded and Davila being lefthanded, does it create a problem for the offensive line since most teams want their best tackle to protect the quarterback's blind side?

A. I don't think we have any one tackle that is head and shoulders above everybody else. We think the tackles are all pretty good players, and I don't think it makes a big difference for us at this point.

Q. Does your quarterback personnel between Grutza and Davila cause you to change your game plan depending on who‘s in the game? Does one guy throw the long ball better or another guy make better decisions?

A. I think Nick throws the long ball better, but I think both are good passers. Both understand the offense. The one thing right now is Dustin has more game experience, and sometimes it shows. It's going to be a battle right down to the end. I think it's good for the position to see these guys compete the way they are.

Q. The quarterback is obviously the leader of the offense. What can a coach do to try and teach that skill to a player?

A. I think some guys are born with it and some guys aren't. I think their voice inflection is one of the things I try to impress on them, but I don't think we have any rah-rah guys. They can show they can lead through their performance. They need to make sure guys are in the right spot and know the offense inside and out. I think they're doing that right now.

Q. Here at Cincinnati there's been a problem with primarily the old regime and keeping assistant coaches. You're new to the staff this year so how's it been and are you happy?

A. It's gone great and I couldn't be any happier. If you know my background, you know I've jumped around the last seven or eight years, and that certainly is not what I want to do. To answer your question, I couldn't be any happier.

Bearcat Insider thanks Coach Warner for taking the time to talk to us and share his thoughts with our members.

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