Is Kevin Wilson's decision not to go with one starting quarterback really that big of a deal?
Myself, I think it has almost become a non-story.
It was a made-for-TV preseason camp story. It was a talker. Everyone wanted to know if Tre Roberson would get his job back that he basically lost when he broke his leg in the second game last season against UMass.
Or would Cameron Coffman come back as the starter after serving in that role for most of the 2012 season? Or would it be the young gun Nate Sudfeld, the kid with the Hollywood typecast quarterback build that has a rocket arm and can spread out opposing defenses?
The company line throughout camp was that the race was too close to call. And also that the staff hadn't ruled out playing all three of them if the situation warranted it. The skeptics among the media corps just figured that was a ploy by the staff to keep all three engaged through the warm climate days of camp.
But the decision went right up until game time for the opener against Indiana State. Roberson, almost by default, got the starting nod. But both Coffman and Sudfeld saw plenty of action as the game unfolded. Sudfeld was the most productive of the trio, throwing for four touchdown passes. Heck, even a fourth quarterback, Nate Boudreau, saw action in the first game.
And now here we are again in what is becoming a repeat of the movie Groundhog Day. It's the middle of the week and we still have no idea who the starting quarterback will be or if the platoon style system will be employed this week against Navy.
But again, I ask the simple question: Is it really that big of a deal?
One of our AllHoosiers.com interns, Joe Popely, posted a topic on our Hoosiers Football Premium board Wednesday that got me thinking about it. His thought was that at this point he thought Kevin Wilson was playing a "dangerous game" by rotating his quarterbacks.
Popely's contention is that it doesn't allow one player to get into a rhythm or to develop for the long term.
Now, I'm happy that Joe is putting up his opinions on the premium message boards. Good stuff. Keep doing it. That's exactly what I want him to do. Get people thinking and talking. In this case, it clearly got me thinking which resulted in today's blog.
I guess I just don't agree, at least just not in totality. I do agree that the perhaps the focus should be narrowed. Does it have to be one quarterback? Not definitely. I guess I could make an argument that you pick two of the guys and give them the majority of the reps. What we don't know is if that was the idea going into the Indiana State game but when the game became a blowout it just made sense to play all three of them.
As far as that goes we really don't know if the plan had been just to stick with Roberson and even go with the other guys at all. Roberson took a hit to the rib area and suffered a slight bruise and Wilson went to the bullpen and brought in the tall right-hander, Sudfeld. By the time, Roberson was ready to come back in, the game was out of reach. Both the coaching staff and Roberson said this week that had the game been closer that the redshirt sophomore QB could have come back in the game. They just didn't see any point in it in a lopsided outcome like that one.
So who really knows? As it turned out, it probably worked out for the best because after a very competitive camp all three of the primary QBs got a good number of reps and they all made big plays. All three probably should have thrown touchdown passes although a receiver ran a wrong route with Coffman at the helm inside the 10 yard line and IU settled for a chip shot field goal.
As for the idea that playing multiple quarterbacks doesn't allow a guy to get into a rhythm I'm just not sure I buy it. Let's say that Roberson and Sudfeld both played two quarters this weekend wouldn't you think both would have had plenty of time to establish some rhythm? I do. And perhaps what it would do would be to provide the kind of apples and apples comparison needed to let one of the two guys separate himself.
Because ultimately that's what will happen here. One guy will separate himself and he'll be the starter moving forward.
If one guy doesn't separate himself then I think what you have learned is that you have two capable quarterbacks who both deserve to play.
And then we'll be asking these same questions week after week.
Or we'll just finally come to the conclusion that it's not that big of a deal and multiple guys can see game action.
It seems like that was the premise when we started this blog though, right?
Follow Terry Hutchens at Twitter.com/Foxsportshutch