Spring Preview: Quarterbacks

Spring practice kicks off on March 31st and it will be the first chance we'll get a chance to see how head coach Steve Sarkisian and the staff work with the players who have suffered through the worst season in Washington's long history. Here's a position-by-position look at which players could make a move for a starting position and what to watch for this spring...

The Players

RS Jr. Jake Locker (6-3, 235)
RS So. Ronnie Fouch (6-1, 215)
RS Fr.Luther Leonard (6-2, 205)
RS So. Taylor Bean (6-1, 195) **


Returning Starters: Locker started 12 games in 2007 and four games in 2008, while Fouch started the final eight games of 2008 after Locker's injury.

Key players lost: None

Projected depth chart heading into spring:

1) Locker
2) Fouch
3) Leonard
4) Bean

The big question heading into camp:

How will Locker and the rest of the QBs take to the ramped-up coaching from the new offensive staff?

It's no surprise, but the obvious statement is true -- "The key to Washington's offense is Locker". He's a magnificent athlete who can hurt defenses both with his arm and his feet, however because he's struggled with his accuracy at times he still has quite a ways to go.

Locker's career could mirror that of Carson Palmer who struggled for three years before the coaching change over to Norm Chow and Sarkisian. Locker is a better athlete than Palmer was, but both were top prep signal-callers with outstanding potential that struggled under previous regimes.

Fouch came from a very complex high school offensive system and the old staff said they liked what he brought to the table, but during his eight starts last year he lost confidence in himself as well as those around him. He completed only 45.2% of his passes for 1,339 yards and was intercepted 13 times with only four touchdown passes. Sarkisian and offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Doug Nussmeier will need to boost his confidence while also bringing him along as well.

Leonard and Bean won't challenge for time, but they will get significant reps during the spring and it will be interesting to see how far Leonard has come since when he arrived he was very raw as a passer.

Keep an eye on...

Watch how Locker is brought along by the staff physically. His thumb injury has had several months to heal up and word is he's had a good winter of throwing the ball around, but can his thumb take the rigors of a daily throwing regimen or will the staff have to give him some time off during the four weeks of practice?

The future…

Locker and Fouch will be the main focus the next nine months, but don't count out incoming freshman Keith Price coming in and challenging for the third quarterback position once he arrives this summer.

Price is a very good athlete and he has good accuracy. It should be fun to watch how he progresses under the new staff.

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