Rolo drives!!!! Rolo drives the Warriors to a last second one point win over Miami of Ohio!!!!!!!! Seven touchdowns, 500 yards passing. Unreal!!!! Football is back baby!!!!!! Football is back!!!!! What a great game!!!!!! Oh……..Hey, that was a replay of last season's Miami of Ohio game on K5 on Friday night. OK, OK, back to reality.
The way Rolo played the last three games of the 2001 season is what the Run and Shoot quarterback is all about. Not everyone or anyone can become the epitome of the Run and Shoot quarterback for not everyone will buy into or grasp June's philosophy and concepts. The quarterback, and as coach Dan Morrison stated, the centerpiece of the Run and Shoot is the equivalent of the fabled USC stable of Heisman trophy winning tailbacks.
Coach turned around and pointed to some of the tapes he had of potential QB recruits. "Every year we get about 60 – 80 tapes from quarterbacks from all over the country. Maine, New York…from all over. An interesting story about one player. One of June's former NFL quarterbacks Bobby Hebert called June and asked him to just look at a tape of a player as a favor to a friend of a friend. June comes in and asks me to look at this player tape, just so we could say that we looked at it when Bobby Hebert called. Just so happened that the player was actually pretty good and had qualities that we looked for in our quarterbacks. Passed the tape on to June. During a year the screening process may end up with about four or so quarterbacks being forwarded to June for his evaluation."
I asked coach Morrison what makes a good Run and Shoot quarterback.
"The Run and Shoot quarterback needs to have the basic qualities as of any other quarterback. Needs to be smart, have a good throwing motion, be able to read defenses, make wise decisions, have a good attitude." I mentioned one of the most celebrated college quarterbacks who had failed to win the starting position and then transferred to the cross town rival and if there was any truth to him thinking about becoming a Warrior. "Not that I know of. But one thing that this player said didn't sit well with me. He mentioned he wanted to go to a program where he would start right away." Coach continued where he left off before I had sidetracked his thought process. "A lot is expected from our quarterbacks. The quarterbacks in June's offense needs to be a level above what would be expected from quarterbacks in other systems. June's Run and Shoot quarterback has to be in total command of the offense and run it instinctively. The Run and Shoot quarterback in June's system has to become the Run and Shoot."
"Coach, Nick did a good job scrambling and running last year. Will Timmy run this year?" "Nick learned how to run." "Nick had to learn?" "Yeah. Nick did a good job and ran quite a bit last year, but, he had to learn how to run. It's not as simple as just taking off. You have to know the coverage and if nothing is open where to run. If it's man coverage and the flow is going left and nothing is open you run right. If it's man and the flow is going right and nothing is open you run left. If it's zone and nothing is open you look for seams and then run. Joe Montana made it a career of knowing when and where to run."
As we continued to talk, coach Morrison was looking for the one word that would describe the quarterback in the Warrior system. He likened the quarterback to some world class musicians he had just watched perform during Dolphin Days on the big island. He described how he watched a pianist and saxophonist Michael Paulo perform. As these world class musicians performed it was no longer just a matter of playing notes, but, musician and instrument became one. The instruments were brought to life by the truly skilled musician and the sound of the music became magical. That's what it's like when the quarterback has mastered the Run and Shoot offense. Flowing and so effortless.
Once the QB has mastered the Run and Shoot, he just has that feel for where the receivers would be at all times and the passes would be there. We saw this happen in the last three games of the season with Nick Rolovich. The Run and Shoot became Nick and it became him. The germination period had ended and what blossomed was a Run and Shoot quarterback.
I thought about the word that coach Morrison was looking for. Finally it came to me. I think the word coach was looking for was transformation. Only after constant physical and mental repetition, film study and practice can a quarterback be transformed into a Run and Shoot quarterback. Sometimes it will take years for the light switch to go on. Sometimes it may never happen. The light switch went on for Nick, but, it was a process that took time. It was a process that saw different stages. Exposure to the Run and Shoot, a germination period where sometimes it looks like nothing is happening, and then finally bloom time where everything just looks so natural.
In the process the quarterback is often exposed to the short sightedness of people. "We tell our quarterbacks that when things aren't going well you know who your real supporters are. They have to be prepared for this. The world can be pretty cold and mean, but, that's the way the world is. We tell them too that when things go well that everyone is your fan. That's the way it is." "Coach, I remember after those first few games the other year Rolo was the subject of a lot of so called fan abuse. Pretty cruel. Timmy gets more than his share of critics. Even Shawn gets criticized." "That's the way things are. We try to teach our players about this. We have had such great kids in this program." "Coach, no head cases?" "Not at all."
Big mahalo coach…...
Next up.......RSN talks story with the 1999 Dick Butkus Football Network's C. David Baker National Prep Football Player of the year................