Post-spring look: Quarterbacks

It was all about repetition this time around as Matt Moore entered spring atop the depth chart. The former UCLA quarterback came into camp in shape with an added 15 pounds of muscle. As a senior Moore has taken a leadership role barking out plays and instructions while keeping his teammates on task

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Depth chart beginning of April:

Matt Moore
Ryan Gunderson OR Sean Canfield
Paul Kirwan

 

Depth chart beginning of April:

Matt Moore
Sean Canfield
Ryan Gunderson
Paul Kirwan

 

Injuries:
  • No injuries.

 

Overview:

It was all about repetition this time around as Matt Moore entered spring atop the depth chart. The former UCLA quarterback came into camp in shape with an added 15 pounds of muscle. As a senior Moore has taken a leadership role barking out plays and instructions while keeping his teammates on task.

Testing his right knee in 11 on 11 drills was the first big test for Moore. The good news is he didn't have a limp nor did he favor his "bad" knee. As before, he is mobile and not afraid to move out of the pocket. He is wearing a brace though on his right knee which assists him in throwing the deep ball.

One aspect of his game that is far superior to his peers is his ability to get rid of the ball quickly. Early in the month when the defense was still settling in and the receivers were healthy Moore routinely picked apart the defense. What impressed me were his strong throws to the sidelines on 8-yard curls, which are very difficult throws. He still zings a few into coverage when he shouldn't but overall his decision making process is getting better.

His improvement in getting rid of the ball may be due to his dedication to the film room. Derek Anderson watched a ton of film his senior year, which was his best season, and Moore plans to do the same. If he continues to grow and stay healthy many of the Beaver coaches expect him to break school records.

Another part of his game he refined was dumping off the ball to the running back. Riley emphasized that if there is no one open he wants Moore to look for the back instead of holding onto the ball. Moore also developed a nice passing relationship with tight end Joe Newton and his favorite receiving target Sammie Stroughter.

The real quarterback battle was set to take place for the backup spot between Sean Canfield and Ryan Gunderson, but Canfield quickly ended that controversy with his strong throws and knowledge of the playbook in the first week of camp.

He developed a nice rapport between himself and walk-on Taylor Kavanaugh, who was his favorite target, and looked very comfortable rolling out and throwing on the run. The south paw has the strongest arm of the three quarterbacks and is very good at getting rid of the ball without a penalty or loss of yards. The bottom line is that Riley and the team are confident that if Moore gets injured Canfield can step in and run the team effectively.

Unfortunately for Ryan Gunderson his chances of playing in a game at quarterback are slim to none. Many of the mechanical issues with his game that have plagued his career at OSU are still present. Despite his situation he is making the most of it by helping on the sidelines and on special teams as a holder. His knowledge of the playbook is second to none making him a valuable asset on the sidelines. It wouldn't be surprising to see him back at OSU as a graduate assistant after he completes his eligibility.

Walk on Paul Kirwan, believe it or not, received plenty of repetitions although he will never play in a game.

All of the quarterbacks worked on cadence by changing the tone of their voice and varying the speed of the count. Riley felt that some teams took advantage of OSU last year by timing the snap count.

 

Top spring performer:

Moore performed more consistent than all of the other quarterbacks day in and day out. Canfield had his good days as well, but Moore is by far the right man for the job. He is healthy, confident and ready to lead the Beavers to a bowl game.

 

QB spring summary in three sentences or less:

Moore entered camp fully healed and performed well making quick reads and finding the open player. Canfield looked good as well and the coaches feel confident he can lead the team if Moore goes down. Gunderson will help on the sidelines and on special teams.

 

Notable quotes:

Sean Canfield - "It's really exciting to know, one hit, one play, and I could be in there. As opposed to last year when I was just kinda roaming around the sidelines, watching the game.''

Mike Riley on Canfield - “It’s been very exciting for me to watch Sean. His physical development since he came here has been tremendous. He’s gotten bigger and stronger, and he can really throw the football. He has a lot of ability. Sean has grown tremendously, but he’s still in that stage where we’re charting his development as a quarterback.”

Danny Langsdorf on Moore - “He has a full season under his belt and he has the support of all his teammates and there’s no quarterback controversy. He’s the returning starter and a veteran in our offense. He’s going to play with more confidence, no question about it.”

Matt Moore on Canfield - “He’s going to be the man,” Moore said. “He has everything to be a star quarterback. Sean is going to be a stud.”

Ryan Gunderson - “Matt’s obviously the guy. Sean is the up-and-comer. I’m trying to find my niche. I just want to play and do what I can. My thing for the spring is not to be concerned with results. I want to come out here and work hard and have fun. I’ll then consider that a success. I just want to do what I can to help.”

 

Who's coming in the fall:
  • No one.

 

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