Zac Taylor proved a few things last year:
- He proved that he was extraordinary in learning the Oakland Raider playbook as fast as he did.
He proved that his age and junior college experience in this type
of offense gave him the maturity to make plays with his arm and even his feet.
The touchdown to the back of the end zone to Todd Peterson
epitomized the reason
He proved that he could take ownership of the offense and be not
only its most prolific player, but one of its most respected. Regardless of all
- He proved he could take a pounding
He proved that as the season went along, his progression went with
With everything Taylor was able to accomplish in only his first year as a Husker, his last year will be one where people will not be surprised by the big plays and the mental sturdiness. They will expect it instead.
That savvy in being able to stay in the pocket and deliver the ball even when he knows he's going to get pummeled. That patience in being able to go through is progressions, check down whether he's in our outside of the pocket and the awareness to know when he needs to tuck and go, throw it away or put the ball away and take the sack.
They say you can't teach speed.
Well, you can't teach maturity either. Only experience gives you that, but
Going into Spring there isn't
much you are going to learn from
|Lydon Murtha and comnpany will be|
under a lot of pressure to keep Taylor
much safter this season than last.
What you won't learn this spring,
or at least to any major degree is if the pass protection is going to be any
better this year than it was last year. The absolutely abysmal protection
One other key in pass protection
Brandon Jackson is having surgery on his other shoulder, so he's a physical presence that will be missed. And Leon Jackson will probably have similar struggles to Lucky and Glenn as he tries to acclimate to being at running back, apparently for good this time. The x-factor could be Kenny Wilson, but that won't be known until Fall when he arrives, so it's up to the still very young backfield to pick it up, which includes picking up a few defenders as well.
|Beck HAS to get some quality reps
It's one thing to have a junior quarterback leading the way and your true freshman QB learning as he goes. You have that luxury if your starter stays healthy, you can work your back up in gradually.
The staff didn't get that done, stating that the situations during games this last season dictated that they couldn't put Beck in, but didn't have any choice when Zac went down during the second to last game of the regular season.
They can't afford to let the situations dictate their rotation this year, because it could mean that as a potential junior in 2007, Harrison won't be anymore experienced than fellow QB Beau Davis.
There were some games last year,
When it comes to recruiting the staff is in urgent mode, having to get at least one quarterback, probably two.
And they better be good
You can probably get away with getting one slam dunk and one project, but one of the quarterbacks has to be seen as a kid that has a legit shot to start his first year even if you don't expect him to.
The top candidate right now is
Ryan Mallet, the staff even admitting that there was a young
man down in
|If Nerbaska gets a top ten quarterback,|
Bates would make a perfect addition
as a potential playmaker under center.
If Nebraska can get one of the many studs at the position this year, that gives them the ability to go after guys that aren't instantaneous starters, but could be seen as legit candidates for the position down the road.
Omaha North's Phillip Bates Jr. is a perfect candidate as he brings great versatility with his legs, but a raw approach at throwing the ball. Bates has the potential to be pretty darn good, however.
He's got a very quick release, a strong arm and he has shown at times, even when he's outside of the pocket, he's still looking for receivers down the field. Bates insists on being a quarterback and if he's patient enough to let a team develop him into one that can compete on a consistent basis at the Division 1-A level of play, he'd be a quality pick up for the big red.
Right now, though, it's Taylor-time. He's figuratively and literally taken his hits his first year and came out of it mentally stellar and physically proven in being able to do the job. He's got the respect of his teammates and most definitely the coaches. He'll also have a more seasoned group of receivers and when the fall arrives, if everyone qualifies, he'll have a very impressive set of weapons to break in.
For any offense, the quarterback
position is always the most important, because everything revolves around their
ability to make plays and not make a lot of mistakes. From the start of 2005 to
What will be the most key is his ability to take that next step and he appears to be on track.
Now he's just going to need a little help.
That takes us to the next segment and what is arguably the second most important position on the field: Offensive Line. This group has a lot to improve and a lot of holes to fill and we'll go over our analysis, tell you if we think they will do just that and see how much recruiting has helped them and how urgent this position is in recruiting for 2007.