Flood Does Not Want QB Looking Over Shoulder

CHICAGO -- Rutgers head coach Kyle Flood explained his philosophy on quarterback battles during a session Thursday with beat writers. Read the latest on the battle between Chris Laviano and Hayden Rettig.

Quarterback was the hottest topic for Rutgers in spring camp, and it took all of one question to get back to the position at Big Ten Media Day.

Speaking with beat writers before the start of festivities Thursday, head coach Kyle Flood spoke about the latest in a two-man race between sophomores Chris Laviano and Hayden Rettig. Flood and his staff worked in the meeting rooms with both during the offseason, but get their first on-field look at the pair Aug. 10 at the start of training camp practices.

“At that position, until you see them go out there and operate with the team and deliver the plays and run with the football and make great decisions, that would be ultimately what makes the decision,” Flood said. “… I think it’s going to be a week to a little longer than that into training camp and we’ll have a pretty good idea.”

Laviano jumped ahead during spring camp. He saw more work with the first team in both practices and scrimmages. Laviano also has the experience edge with two more years in the program and his on-field role as Gary Nova’s backup.

“What’s just as important as all of those things is winning the team in the locker room,” Flood said. “I think, ultimately, somebody is going to emerge. It doesn’t mean the other person is will go away because they’ll be vital to the program also. I do think whomever ultimate becomes the starting quarterback has to win the team in the locker room.”

Flood stood by Nova multiple times during struggles, and will not put the next starting quarterback on a short leash.

“What I do think is important is that ultimately, whomever you decide is your starting quarterback, you have to give them an opportunity to grow at that position,” Flood said. “I don’t think it’s healthy at any position, but more so at quarterback than any other because of the scrutiny that’s involved, to be looking over your shoulder all of the time.”

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