Waiting in the Wings

A quarterback competition sprung up in camp when Chris Paul-Etienne came out of nowhere and caught Head Coach Greg Schiano eye. Jabu Lovelace is slated as the backup this season, but Paul-Etienne has already shown that next year's quarterback battle will have a serious contender in the mix.

Jabu Lovelace was figured to be the backup quarterback without much of a contest since he's the most experienced of the bunch vying to be Mike Teel's backup.

That all changed with the emergence of Chris Paul-Etienne in camp. On August 14, Head Coach Greg Schiano said he's distinguished himself from the pack and was going to get more snaps.

Paul-Etienne, who threw only one pass in 2007, credits Teel and the coaching staff for his drastic improvement. He started listening to them more and it's led to his blossoming on the field.

"If there's a word more powerful than everything," Paul-Etienne said about what he's learning from Teel, "I'd use it. He has told me everything and anything I need to know."

Everyone was especially helpful with grasping the playbook and learning the quarterback position at a college level. The playbook isn't exactly engraved in his head, but Paul-Etienne is learning more each day.

"When I first came in, the game was at a 1,000 speed," "But now by me asking Teel about plays, everything has slowed up thanks to Mike and [Offensive Coordinator John] McNulty."

Ranked a two-star prospect out of Edison High School, Paul-Etienne possessed a strong arm and the ability to move in the pocket. He was happy to be able to standout and have his abilities noticed by the coaching staff, but he wasn't coming into camp with the objective of getting a certain spot on the depth chart. His goal was to just to improve everyday and let the chips fall where they may.

"To tell you the truth," he said, "I didn't really come out here to be the No.2, No. 1 or No. 5 quarterback. I just came out here to try and be the best quarterback I can be and go about the reads and do what I have to do."

Fast-forwarding to a week before the season, Lovelace is penciled in as the No. 2 quarterback. No matter what, next year when Teel's out, there will be an interesting competition to be the new man under center.

The big 6-foot-6 240 pound D.C. Jefferson will certainly be in the running along with highly touted four-star commit Tom Savage. Lovelace will again be the pre-camp leader, but Paul-Etienne has already planted the seed in Schiano's head that he has the ability to compete.

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