Forest Talks Quarterbacks

While the eyes of the media were keyed on the quarterbacks during Tuesday's practice. Coach Brian Kelly and the Bearcats coaching staff made sure practice was as normal as the many they'd had before. After practice we spoke with quarterback coach Greg Forest and got the latest.

With all three quarterbacks taking snaps during the two-hour session at Nippert Stadium you left wondering who just might end up the starter. If practice is any indication and the comments of Brian Kelly he's going to use all the time he has and wait until game time to make his choice known.

Quarterback coach Greg Forest said the staff had already planned on something like this happening and feel they've got the players to get a victory.

"The way we recruit we're always going to get a quarterback that can run our offense. We started with eight in camp and now we're down to four and we've got three to get ready for Friday night. And then it all comes down to who goes out and does the best job and earn the right to be the guy getting the most snaps."

But this is not uncharted waters for the staff.

"When we were at Grand Valley State we had to take a wide receiver and make him a quarterback and we made it all the way through the playoffs and made the championship game. At Central Michigan we had to take a back-up after the starter got hurt and we won a championship."

While I'm sure Brian Kelly knows who he favors Coach Forest hopes to have the chance to get Zach Collaros, Chazz Anderson and Demetrius Jones on the field. Getting each ready to be a starter is the key of the week.

"As far as being game situation it's hard to prepare for. All you can do is prepare them mentally to know what they need to do and allow the speed of the game to take care of the rest on game day. Our job is to prepare them so they are sure they know what their doing and can react when it happens on the field."

Both Zach and Chazz enjoyed success at the high school level and we asked Coach Forest to compare the two as the team heads into Marshall. Coach Forest says while each is capable of getting the job done they both go at it in different ways.

"Zach just seems to be able to make thing happen. It doesn't matter if the pocket breaks down because he can get out of the pocket and make plays; he does a great job on the run seeing the field and being able to get the ball out. Chazz does a great job of knowing the offense and sitting in the pocket and delivering the ball where it needs to be. He can make plays with his feet as well. They both have the ability to make plays with their feet but right now Zach just seems to be able to do it a little better than Chazz."

With a short week does the staff feel they've got enough time to get them ready?

"Chazz and Zach have been going one or two the past couple of weeks so they've been getting reads and everything the past three weeks so it's nothing really new for them except their being put out front."

One thing Coach Forest knows is that Marshall is going to be ready.

"They already bring pressure but I'm sure they're going to be looking to bring even more with a first time starter taking snaps."

With Dustin Grutza and Tony Pike out for the next several weeks the staff looks for one of their quarterbacks to step up until either of them can return to the field. Coach Forest had nothing but great things to say about the performance of Tony Pike during his two week stint as a starter.

"Tony did a tremendous job the past two weeks being prepared. I know you've been around long enough Dave and had seen Tony play at Reading High School. We knew he had tremendous skills and it was a matter of getting him on the field in game situations. Tony's success is no different than what we have now. We've got players with great skills that have not been able to show what they can do in game situations. We hope to get Tony back as soon as possible."

If you expected Coach Brian Kelly or Coach Forest to be nervous you just haven't been around this staff enough. Both coaches are confident that one of their quarterback will step up and take over at the quarterback position until Dustin Grutza or Tony Pike can return. But by then someone may have seized the moment and established themselves as the main ingredient in the Bearcats offense.


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