Competition and position battles are helpful for the coaches to gauge quality and production of the squad. However, position battles at valuable leadership roles do not add to team continuity.
For instance, look at last season, the Sun Devil squad was split between then named starting quarterback Danny Sullivan, and virtually anybody else who had an arm. This season it looks to be a two man race between Michigan transfer Steve Threet and Sophomore quarterback Brock Osweiler.
The promise and hype for a successful 2010 season swept through the valley when a new offensive scheme was in place, the recruiting trail was patrolled admirably by the ASU staff, and especially when the fans received their first glimpse of the new look of ASU Sun Devils once Spring drills commenced.
Now following 14 practices and the grand finale of the Spring game, are fans once again scratching their heads regarding Dennis Erickson's offense?
By look at the score from Sun Devil Stadium, one might take away that the offense performed like a firework show as they read the 61-36 score. However, Erickson awarded points for first downs, sacks, defensive holds, and turnovers.
The latter has been the Achilles heel for Erickson and the Sun Devils for years and years. Once again, when the spotlight was on the offense to perform, turnovers prevented the Sun Devils from finding their rhythm.
Steve Threet opened up the day taking the first team reps, however, his performance was far from first team worthy. While only completing 9 of 28 passes for 117 yards, Threet also added three interceptions to his woeful stat line. Although Threet's primary competition did not fare much better either.
Brock Osweiler did toss the only touchdown of the day for the offense, as Junior College transfer George Bell hauled in the 5-yard touchdown pass. Oweiler finished the day 17 of 33 for 151 yards and one interception.
So once again, fans are sitting back thinking about who is going to lead this ASU Sun Devil squad onto the field come September. Quite honestly, Erickson and his staff are weighing their options as well.
The objective for every football team is to win. In Tempe, the Sun Devils have not reached a postseason bowl game since 2007. That same season, ASU captured a share of the Pacific Ten Conference championship and wracked up ten wins. Since that season, Erickson's Sun Devils are a combined 9-15.
Arizona State has had their fare share of talent roam the campus in the "Valley of the Sun", but the past two seasons the quarterback and offensive continuity has been hindering the potential success of this fringe program.
Dennis Erickson has done virtually everything right to build the Sun Devil program back to respectability, but lack of leadership and consistency at quarterback has delayed the take off ASU making the leap into the upper echelon programs in the conference.
When Steven Threet enrolled at ASU one season ago, the hype and promise was there, but the former wolverine was wearing a scout jersey. This year, Threet is trying to grab the bull by the horns and stay on for eight seconds, or maybe as fans would like to think eight wins .
But when the offense cannot even get out of their own way with penalties, lack of execution, dropped passes, and the never-ending trend of turnovers, no team can be successful. Especially a team on the cusp of greatness.
There is no doubt the talent exists at ASU, especially on the defense. Even with the talented drafted this past weekend to continue their careers in the NFL, the defense has some big time performers to keep the offense in games, and even steal a couple. But doesn't that sound like a broken record?
To answer that, yes it does sound like a broken record, but this year could be different. Sure that sounds optimistic, but with new staff members on offense, a new talent pool to draw from, a stout defense as the team's foundation, and the idea of 2010 being a to fresh start for these players, are all good signs of a trend that can be the catalyst to a successful 2010 season.
But the bottom line is that one of these quarterbacks has to really and truly exude himself as the team leader, both on and off the field, command the attention of his teammates and run the offense efficiently and successfully. Having two quarterbacks that are virtually equals in comparison to each other is not a good thing. Two in this case, is not better than one.
Fans are looking for the next Jake Plummer, Andrew Walter, or even Rudy Carpenter. Someone that can lead the team onto the battle field week after week no matter what the result is. Is that Steven Threet? Maybe it is Brock Osweiler, the towering 6 ft 8 inch Sophomore with three years left to achieve success?
In a win now society, the choice is whichever quarterback is performing best, which could mean that Threet wins the job for one or two seasons. Then what is in store for Osweiler? Will fans witness another Sam Keller-Rudy Carpenter controversy of 2006?Another musical chairs season at quarterback, has to be the number one fear of Erickson as he awaits the long break until Fall camp starts in August.
But for these quarterbacks and other players in heated position battles, this is the time where their stock can improve drastically and solidify themselves as leaders of the squad.