2006 Fall Preview: Quarterbacks

In the final edition of the 'Fall Previews' we take a look at the quarterback position led by junior Kyle Wright.

In 2005 Miami's passing attack was conservative and looked downright anemic at times. Under new offensive coordinator Rich Olson, there will be a larger emphasis on spreading the football around the field and taking chances down field.

The success of the 2006 Miami Hurricanes rests largely on the progress of quarterback, Kyle Wright. Wright exhibited that he has all the physical tools to be a successful quarterback. He needs to combine his physical skills with his experience and knowledge he gained in 2005 to have a successful 2006.

UM dodged a huge bullet when Freeman announced that he would be returning to UM for this season. For the second straight season Miami will only have two scholarship quarterbacks on the roster. Any long term injury to either quarterback could be devastating and could mean a

Depth Chart:
3 Kyle Wright (6-4, 220, Jr.)
7 Kirby Freeman (6-3, 215, Soph.)
15 Jorge Fernandez (6-4, 212, Soph.) or 16 Matt Perelli (6-3, 232, Soph.)

Kyle Wright
There is no doubt that Kyle Wright, in his second season as a starter, is the leader of the Miami offense. The players at UM listen to Wright in the huddle, trust in the junior's talents and notice his work ethic in the weight room. Wright will work with two quarterback gurus in 2006; offensive coordinator Rich Olson, who hails from the NFL and quarterback coach Todd Berry, who was the offensive coordinator at Louisiana-Monroe. Wright worked on improving his reads during the spring, particularly on dumping the ball off to a running back if none of the receivers are open downfield. He also hit the weight room hard in the offseason, bulking up particularly in his arms. Wright's understanding of the offense and boosted confidence will no doubt translate to a productive 2006.

Spring Quote: "We are so far ahead {of last spring} with my timing with the wide receivers, the offensive line, and the overall energy of the offense has been really great. Those aren't just comments I am throwing out there, I really believe that."

Kirby Freeman
During the mid-spring scrimmage and spring game, Freeman had a difficult time finding any rhythm while playing behind a porous second-team offensive line. Freeman is so talented that the coaches are confident that he can run the offense as effectively as Wright if he needs to. Freeman, like Wright has great command of the offense and has the respect of his teammates.

Spring Quote: "I feel like I can definitely contribute to the team with the new changes {on offense}. In the past I kind of felt like it was a show that I didn't necessarily belong in. But now I feel like I can definitely contribute and I'm happy about my decision {to stay at UM}."

Jorge Fernandez and Matt Perelli
Fernandez and Perelli will battle this fall to be the third team quarterback for Miami. The third string quarterback is an important position on a team because he is usually responsible for preparing and scrimmaging the first team defense in practice. Both Fernandez and Perelli are walk-ons that, unless serious injury occurs to Freeman and Wright, do not figure to see playing time during the regular season.

David Lake can be reached at lake@canestime.com

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