Dorrell: One QB in "Driver's Seat"

Head Coach Karl Dorrell comments about Saturday's scrimmage. He actually says a quarterback has an edge in the competition for the starting position, and talks about Maurice Drew and Marcedes Lewis, among other topics...

Karl Dorrell's post-scrimmage comments:

Opening statement: "I thought there was some good work today. I saw good things on both sides of the ball. I saw good things from both quarterbacks. Both of them operated very well with the first team. It's nice to see them just go and play without the coaches standing out there on the field. I thought we made a good deal of progress. We still have tired legs from camp. But from what I saw today, I'm very encouraged by the make-up of our team. I think we have a shot to play well early in the season, and that's what we're trying to do."

On the quarterbacks performances: "I like what they both did. I thought Matt Moore came in and he started the scrimmage, did a very good job and had a few plays of nervous jitters, which I noticed. But then he kind of settled down, and stepped up and made some great throws when we needed to on third down. I thought he managed the offense very well. With the ability to run the ball a.little bit it took some of the pressure off of him, and it gave him the chance to settle in and operate the offense.

"And then Drew Olson came in and started with the second team. He probably didn't have as much success as Matt did early, but as he got going things started kicking in. And then when he had his turn to run with the number one offense, he operated the offense very, very well. I'm very encouraged by both of those guys. I think what we'll have to do is sit down as a staff and watch the tape and evaluate, and see some of the errors that were made. Obviously we're not ready to line up on Saturday. We have two weeks to go, but I'm very encouraged by what the team has done. We have to sharpen up our timing a little bit, we have to make sure we're operating and doing things with our cadence. But for the most part, these are minor issues and we'll continue to clean up those things. We'll be in pretty good shape."

On pass protection: "I thought it was good. It has to get better, but it was good. They're playing against some very good players on the other side of the ball. For the most part, they (the offensive line) handled their own very well. Just watching the scrimmage, there weren't many busts that I saw. Some guys got beat here and there, but it wasn't in terms of anyone busting any assignments. I was encouraged by the protection."

On Matt Moore starting with the first team offense: "It wasn't a coin flip (that decided who would start). Coach Axman made mention that he wanted to start with Matt. He thought Matt had the best week leading up to the scrimmage, and I agree. He's in the driver's seat. He's the one that got the nod first. We'll see what happens the rest of the time in camp."

On Maurice Drew's performance: "No doubt Maurice is a tough guy to tackle. He's tough to find when he has those 6-7 guys blocking for him and by the time he gets into the secondary he's hard to get down. He looks very impressive. We're excited about him being a good player for us in our backfield. With he and Tyler Ebell, it'd be a pretty good punch.

On a seeming connection between Moore and Marcedes Lewis: "They had some connections. Marcedes is a big target. He's not hard to find. His size is a great advantage. He has a chance to be a decent player if he continues to work and do the things he's doing."

On how close the quarterback competition is: "I see two guys battling pretty good. It's not like any huge discrepancy between any of them. Wouldn't you agree? I just don't think it's that type of situation. If you go by the stats, they're probably pretty close. And I don't like to go by stats. I like to go by their mannerisms and operating an offense, having control and command. Those are bigger issues of whether he completed 75% of his passes. I'm encouraged by both, and we're very fortunate to have two good, solid players. It's a hard decision we'll have to make. But we're going to do what's best for our team. I think the players know that and the coaching staff knows that. So, it's a tough situation, but it's also a good situation."

On the time frame of announcing the starting quarterback: "I think it will be sometime probably next week. We have to get ready for Colorado. We have to start tailoring our practices toward Colorado game planning, so we have to start doing that the middle to late next week."

On Matt Moore behind in spring: "He's done well and improved quite a bit from the spring. Both of them were very close in the spring, with Drew having a slight edge ahead. But not really in our minds as a starter. But the situation that it is, it's just so close, and Matt has done a great job of preparing himself for camp and operated very well, and Drew has done the same. So the battle keeps going back and forth."


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