VAUGHT: Don't rush it, but Pulley is a SEC QB

So much for Curtis Pulley maybe not being capable of playing quarterback in the Southeastern Conference.

For those who wondered if Pulley would stay at quarterback or be moved to another position where he could get more playing time, the answer now is that he's obviously going to stay at quarterback after the way he played against Florida.

Sure, he could probably be a quality receiver, or maybe a big-time defensive back. But Kentucky needs him at quarterback because other than Andre Woodson, the Cats have no options at that position. And Pulley proved against the Gators that his athleticism can be a terrific asset for UK at quarterback.

If all goes as planned, Henderson County quarterback Will Fidler will sign with Kentucky in February. However, the best scenario then would be for him to redshirt in 2006 and learn behind Woodson and Pulley.

Pulley is a gifted runner. That's obvious to anyone who has seen him play. He needs to improve his passing, but that is something quarterback coach Kurt Roper remains confident he can do. He also has to get better at reading SEC defenses — but what young quarterback doesn't? And the more repetitions Pulley gets in practice and the more he gets to play in games, the better he'll get at that.

Kentucky coach Rich Brooks is right not to rush to incorporate Pulley into a predetermined game plan based on his fourth-quarter play against Florida. Remember, Woodson is still learning, too. However, Brooks no longer has to be hesitant if he wants to go to Pulley and give him a chance to play.

What Kentucky fans, and Pulley, have to do is remain patient. Don't expect too much, too soon. Let him learn more this season. Then in spring practice, he'll get his opportunity to compete with Woodson for more playing time. That's a much better scenario than UK had last spring when there was no one to push Woodson in the offseason other than himself and Roper.


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