Horns Digest breaks down what we know and what we still need to see from all three signal callers.
WHAT WE KNOW:In a camp setting where he’s not being rushed or going up against a defense that can hit him, Swoopes has looked really good. He has a strong arm, just as we saw last year, throws the deep ball very well, and looks like he’s able to move around pretty well in drills. In the few open practices, we saw that he has come out of his shell. It seems like he understands this could be his team, no questions asked, versus last season, when he was coming in to lead David Ash’s team.
WHAT WE STILL NEED TO SEE:We need to see Swoopes in a scrimmage environment and how he reacts in that scrimmage. We also need to see the progression he has made from a good practice quarterback to a good game quarterback. We also need to see him make good decisions, not take sacks, and be smart with the ball in live drills.
WHAT WE KNOW:It's pretty well-known that Heard is more elite with his legs than he is with his arm; however, nobody has yet seen the best of Heard, because the best of what Heard does isn't showcased in this sort of camp environment. It's also important to remember that he's in a similar situation in terms of leadership as Tyrone Swoopes was last season. While the competition is open, he still has to take away this team from Swoopes.
WHAT WE STILL NEED TO SEE:We need to see Heard get more consistent in the intermediate to long-passing game, and really, in all facets of the passing game. For instance, leading receivers instead of making them reach behind to catch the ball, getting through progressions quicker, and knowing when it’s time to use his best trait - running - when all else breaks down.
WHAT WE KNOW:At first glance, Locksley looks like what you’d want in a combination of Heard and Swoopes. He’s big and athletic like Swoopes, yet he’s a quicker twitch guy and a better athlete like Heard. He’s still very raw, and you see that with his longer throw, but with his actions off the field, including reaching out to Vince Young, he's showing coaches he realizes his potential and wants to tap into every part of it.
WHAT WE STILL NEED TO SEE:Similar to Heard, he needs to get more consistent at hitting his throws, especially perfecting his release so that it comes out with a cleaner spiral. We also need to see how quickly Shawn Watson is able to trust that Locksley knows the playbook.