"When we were heading back to the IPF, I was thinking twice about coming in here," Werner joked. "I was thinking about staying in the stadium and acting like I was lost or something. But the guys rebounded and played well."
Finishing has been the Rebels' theme during fall camp, but the way the team starts is also important. Werner sees spurts where the offense is playing up to its capability, but the overall consistency is still not present on every play.
"I talked to the team though and let them know that when you play a tough team, you can't start the way we did," Werner said. "You have to start fast. The entire offense started to click, and I was proud of them for doing that. Now, it is just a matter of doing it the entire game."
The quarterback race has yet to be settled, and the coaches are letting the situation play itself out. Brent Schaeffer moved up the ladder during practice Wednesday and is directly behind Seth Adams for the starting job. Michael Herrick is now No. 3 in the pecking order.
Publicly proclaiming one the candidates as the starter could come today or any day. But then again, it may not come until Sept. 1.
"We're constantly evaluating," Werner noted. "We haven't set a timetable (for naming the starter.) We will do it as soon as someone steps forward. But it doesn't have to be today, tomorrow or the day of the first game. As soon as we are sure that the kid has done everything we have asked, then we will name him the starter."
Werner is comfortable with the battle because all three have his trust to run the offense. Managing the game at the line of scrimmage will be the same no matter who is under center.
"We have a plan. It isn't like I tell them to go to the line and audible to whatever they want. This the play that is called, and now this certain thing will take that play away. If they do this, then we go to this. So, there is a process."
Audibles aren't the only thing that won't change with the quarterback. Werner says that the plays and schemes are also similar for any of the three.
Schaeffer completed the longest pass during Meet the Rebels, but the 38-yard touchdown throw wasn't necessarily meant to be a big play.
"That just sort of happened to work out that way. The one that he threw deep was actually designed to be a short throw, but they blew the coverage and the play opened up like that. It wasn't by design. We are really concentrating on getting our percentage up and getting some completions."
The backfield worked behind only two of the starting linemen on Saturday, but Werner is not using that as an excuse for the quarterback struggles.
"You can't blame that when we have a guy open and make a bad throw or the ball is thrown well and dropped. You just have to evaluate what happened. If there was pressure the entire time, then I could say so, but there wasn't."
But there is pressure on each quarterback in this three-man competition. Adams has the lead, but that could all change before the Rebels enter the Liberty Bowl.
Or today for that matter.
Werner comfortable with quarterbacks
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