Nebraska Quarterback Battle: The Comfort of the Green Jersey Is No More
It's all over, Quarterbacks.
That's right, the comfort of your green jerseys keeping from getting so much as a finger laid on you during those spring drills is no more.
At least according to Nebraska offensive coordinator Shawn Watson.
When Spring Practice starts rolling, apparently so will the inexperienced quarterbacks of UN's football program.
It's all well founded of course.
You see, the quarterback with the most experience, Zac Lee, won't be participating in many of the spring drills this year and out of all the quarterbacks behind him only one has garnered any serious playing time.
It seems though, that Cody Green isn't even safe this spring.
I for one am all for the idea, it is time to see the quarterbacks get creamed a bit and beat up along with everyone else on the team.
It is time for those green jersey contact-a-phobes to pony up and make a play while the real threat of lying on your butt staring up at the sky is there.
Most people will remember when Bill Callahan coached the team to complete ineptitude he was doing it without full-contact practices. He expected college players to tackle without practicing and college quarterbacks to read defenses without fear.
Fear is what drives us.
At the base of every human instinct it is the fight or flight response that guides us through our daily lives. It's that feeling we all get right before either choosing to step on the gas to get through that yellow light or slam on the brake to yield to the red.
Too often last season we saw Husker quarterbacks slam on the breaks instead of gunning the gas. That is, until the Holiday Bowl.
As we come into spring mode it is important for all the coaches to keep the intensity up on this fairly young team. Yes, the entire offense may be back, but it is the entire offense from a year ago.
It is an offense of sluggish imprecision and mediocre stat lines.
Shawn Watson has it right this spring. Put them in the grinder and see who will come out on top.
Will it still be Lee, despite the injury, or will it be the more physically gifted Green, the oft-injured Spano, or the California Phenom Taylor Martinez?
I believe there is only one way to find out, hold to the fire early and often and see which one steps up.
When asked about his decision, Shawn Watson stated plainly, "With a green jersey (there) is that false sense of security (that) develops. We want them to know it's a contact sport and they need to be ready to play the contact sport."
Strong words from a coach that seemed to be finessing his way to the top a year ago, but if he sticks to them it may be some of the best news I've heard in a few months regarding this football program.
A tough quarterback earns respect from his teammates and learns how to play through pain and grit to the last second of each game. A quarterback that takes hits shows tenacity and resilience.
While a quarterback with a green jersey might through accurately and with a pretty spiral the quarterback the is getting hit shows the ability to think on the fly, adjust to a situation and make a play, and most importantly shows the ability to make smart decisions.
Watson is looking for a leader, not a facilitator like the Huskers had last season. That just won't do for a team looking to earn respect in the national spot light.
As Watson said, "If one guy steps up—makes himself the guy or really takes the bull by the horns—we'll probably put the green jersey on him, Where we're at now...we'll put them out there and let them play."
The message is out to-be Husker QBs, if you want safety you must first seize it by the horns.
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