GIDEL: UK's QB Controversy Overrated

The University of Kentucky quarterback controversy that dominated the headlines this summer was far from exciting, to say the least. One man, who isn't going to make up excuses for the constant quiet revolving around his duo is Coach Rich Brooks.

Unwilling to hint at a starter, even as he stood at the podium in Alabama at SEC Media Days just a week ago, Coach Brooks knew how to handle the quarterback controversy that entrenched the Wildcat football camp this summer.

Say nothing.

In the end, Brooks and company know, that while the quarterback position is extremely important to the success of any football program, it means far less for Kentucky in 2006.

Why?

Back from injury is former starting running back Tony Dixon, who not only out-dueled record setting running back Rafael Little as a true freshmen two years ago but has shown no ill-effects from the injury, maturing into another dangerous weapon for Brooks in the backfield.

Also returning are a host of offensive lineman that presumably should be better, as they are a year older.

Long gone are the days of an offensive line anchored by freshmen and sophomores, as the staff has upgraded each spot, making them as many as two to three people deep at each respective position.

What does that mean for the quarterback?

Do as little as possible to screw up.

Be it Andre Woodson or Curtis Pulley, the quarterback spot at Kentucky won't be called upon to win games in 2006, it just can't afford to lose them.

That's why the so-called 'controversy,' purred more like a kitten, this summer.

"Less negative plays," has been the theme of the spring and fall for the quarterback position by Rich Brooks and that, in turn, might sum up the decision process as a whole.

Pulley, the Hopkinsville (Ky.) native has always been notorious for making plays. Woodson, in contrast, has been criticized for not attempting to make enough.

But Woodson's steady hand and calm demeanor, which has often times been his biggest detriment, is his biggest strength in this quarterback battle.

While Brooks won't say it, the mere fact that Woodson has an affinity for the safest of bets, might just make him the safest of picks.

Especially for a staff looking for six wins and a bowl game against a less than competitive schedule - one in which mistake-free football will get the job done.

Add in the fact Woodson has the most game experience of the group, makes it relatively easy to understand why the Wildcat coaching staff, regardless of what Woodson did this summer, will pick the North Hardin (Ky.) product over Pulley.

In the end, can you go wrong with either? Probably not. But the Wildcats need 2006 to be a 6 win campaign at the very least, letting 2007 be the year they can officially turn up the heat.

Did the best man win the job? That argument is still is yet to be seen. Did the safest bet win?

Most likely.

Gee, that's some quarterback controversy.

Woodson or Pulley? How bout Dixon and Little.


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