On Thursday, injured Missouri QB James Franklin stood on the sidelines during practice, and red-shirt freshman Corbin Berkstresser took over the reins of the Tigers' number one offense. Following practice, ShowMeMizzou.com spoke with Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks Coach David Yost. He talked about his top two QBs.
"As soon as James (Franklin) is ready to go, we'll get him back in there," said Coach Yost. "It's good for (Corbin Berkstresser's development). This could very easily happen next year during the season. With quarterbacks, knock on wood, we've have very little of that in our time. But, you always want to be prepared for that, and this gives us a chance to do that. This gives Corbin (Berkstresser) the chance to kind of earn some respect with (the starters), so that they have confidence in him, too."
Berkstresser has been making strides in his development this spring. He's been a little more consistent. Of course, Berkstresser has the talent to play the position. He has a big arm, and throws the football with good velocity. He likes to throw the football down the field, and he can make accurate throws all over the field. But, his decision-making and the accuracy of his throws remains somewhat inconsistent, although you can see him improving on an almost daily basis.
"I saw some good things from Corbin (Berkstresser today)," explained Coach Yost. "He's really made progress the last two padded days. I'll know more after I look at the video tonight. But he's definitely a different guy than when he first showed up, as far as his tempo and that. I thought a few times today, he kind of got a little hurried. When he hurries, he speeds up, and the ball is not as accurate, which is the same with any quarterback. It's still trying to get him to play on a consistent tempo. Just because they blitz doesn't mean that you have to go really fast."
Coach Yost was asked about Berkstresser throwing the football down the field?
"He loves to throw down field," replied Coach Yost. "He wants to do that on every snap! He's gotten better about not forcing everything down field. That's what he did during the season last year…………………………………. He never swung it. He never took the underneath. It was like, "Look at my arm!", which I joke all of the time, "We know you can throw it hard. Now, can you throw it to our guys, and throw completions?" But, he's done a nice job. The last few days, he's looked like a quarterback………………………………………. He's getting more comfortable with the whole process. Really, he's taking strides probably faster than I thought based on what I saw during the bowl practices."
Coach Yost talked about his starting QB.
"You can see from really the first practice until the fifth practice, the fourth and fifth practices, (Franklin) was really on," explained Coach Yost. "He was lighting it up! He was locked in. What he was doing was getting more comfortable again with the offense……………………………………. You can see his timing coming together. What happens for him now, is that it happens quicker. It happens quicker in the day, quicker in the practice, it happens quicker on the plays."
"(Franklin) has made great strides as a thrower, as a quarterback, understanding what we do, the timing, and how we do things," continued Coach Yost. "His knowledge of coverage is very advanced now. He sees (coverages) and he knows them."
Coach Yost went on to explain that Franklin's knowledge and instant recognition of coverages is something that wasn't there when he was a freshman. Now, it's there, and Franklin instantly recognizes coverages.