Deciding Factors

Don't expect health to have anything to do with Rich Rodriguez's quarterback decision. Adam Bednarik and Pat White will decide the battle on the field -- not in the training room.

Bednarik's recovery accelerated when West Virginia finished two-a-day drills, and the sophomore is nearing 100 percent health in his throwing arm.

"My arm is less tired and I have slowly been getting more velocity back in my ball," Bednarik said. "Each day it is getting stronger and stronger. I don't know when it is going to stop. I don't know if I am all the way back from where I was before, but I'd say I am almost there."

Bednarik and White shared first-team snaps through fall. Because Bednarik has one additional year of experience, his lost practice time was not as severe as expected. He is also the only quarterback to have been in the Carrier Dome. Bednarik signaled plays in from the sideline as a freshman.

Bednarik and White are even mentally, so if the Bethlehem, Pa. native can recover to near 100 percent -- and he is close now -- the quarterback coin-flip could be as simple as a right vs. left option. Neither is better or correct, just different.

"They both give us a different demension," Rodriguez said. "If I say both will play, both will play."

And whether Bednarik or White takes the first snap of the season is irrelevant -- both to the two players and their teammates.

"Not starting does not affect me," Bednarik said. "I am just going out there and trying to earn the spot and whoever gets it, that's the coaches' decision. I will do my best to win the spot. But even if he did make the decision, I don't think that would affect how I am practicing. I want to get better everyday."

Pat White
Said bandit Mike Lorello: "There's no doubt Pat is an elusive runner. I have not had to break him down in the open field, but it's tough, I know that. Adam can move in the open, too, and he does it in the pocket."

And though it might not appear it, both quarterbacks are very similar in the spread offense. Two good players at one spot should equal depth, as it does along the lines, not controversy, as it does at quarterback.

"I think more is made of that than needs to be," Rodriguez said. "Both guys can run and throw. It's not like they are polar opposites."

While many continue to work themselves into a tizzy over the identity of the player who will take the first snap on Sept. 4, that concern doesn't appear to be a big one around the Mountaineer program. Both Bednarik and White, while competing for snaps, appear to have the respect of their teammates, which is far more important.

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