Roof Wants Best Athletes On The Field

Head Coach Ted Roof said some key players may line up somewhere new at times going forward.

When he arrived on campus, Marcus Jones was the ultimate duel threat in the passing attack. A solid quarterback, the 6-foot-4 Georgia native was also rated as one of the 45 best wide receivers in the country. So could Duke fans find number 6 lining up somewhere other than center?

Perhaps, but if Jones does make the move to route running over signal calling, it wouldn't be a full time position switch until the 2007 season.

"If we do play Marcus somewhere else, then we run the risk of losing our backup quarterback if Thaddeus gets injured," said head coach Ted Roof of the potential move. "At the same time, as a coach, you want your best athletes on the field. It's frustrating to see Marcus standing on the sideline next to me."

Jones, who caught 11 passes for 90 yards as a freshman, began the season as Duke's starting quarterback. However, when true freshman Thaddeus Lewis began to shine almost immediately, insiders believed it was only a matter of time before the job was won outright by Lewis.

"We knew [Thaddeus] had ability and he's a lot of fun to coach. He comes to work every day with a great attitude and handles everything the same whether you pat him on the back or provide him with constructive criticism, and that's what you want out of your quarterback. The intangibles of playing quarterback, I think Thaddeus has those intangibles."

Still, with former starting quarterback Zack Asack removing himself from the competition and finding himself ineligible to play in 2006, the depth chart currently reads: Lewis, Jones, and then running back Clifford Harris. Which is why the Blue Devils will ease Jones back into the duel threat role he shined in a season ago.

"I want to have Marcus out there. We have kicked that around back and forth - we may play him at receiver and see how it works for us. I don't want him out there something like 50 or 60 plays where is something happened with Lewis then we'd be knocked out -- he's still the backup quarterback and kind of our agility man in some other areas of the offense."

In two games, Lewis has passed for 453 yards on 36-of-56 passes (64.3 completion pct) and one touchdown -- good enough for a quarterback rating of 138.13. In his only action of the season, Jones completed two of six passes for 11 yards.

Duke travels to Blacksburg on Saturday to face the Virginia Tech Hokies at noon. The game will be televised on Lincoln Financial Sports.

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