Red Raider fans aren't accustomed to uncertainty regarding signal callers.
The Texas Tech quarterback position has been remarkably consistent over the past decade. Kliff Kingsbury, B.J. Symonds, Sonny Cumbie, Cody Hodges, and Graham Harrell each ran the Red Raider offense with great success, and helped establish Mike Leach as an offensive guru.
Furthermore, the continuous success of these players put the "system quarterback" argument into everyday college football dialogue.
Now, for the first time in years, Tech has a legitimate quarterback controversy on its hands. Many may count this uncertainty as a negative, arguing that early stability is prudent given the heavy emphasis on the position in Tech's pass-happy offense.
To those who currently worry about the situation, I say take a minute and consider the reasons behind the uncertainty at quarterback.
Taylor Potts and Steven Sheffield are neck and neck in terms of how good Tommy Tuberville and Neal Brown think they can be calling the shots. Given some of the performances by each player last season, I'd say that's pretty encouraging for Tech's offense.
Tuberville summed it up at the Big 12 media day. When asked about the competition he said, "They've both been starters in the Big 12. They've both been backups in the Big 12. They've both been injured. They've won games. They've gone through some tough situations, and both can play."
Prior to the 2009 season, hopes were high for Potts. He had the strongest arm of any quarterback under Leach, and possessed an NFL pro-style build. Needless to say, he disappointed early in the season, causing many fans to become disoriented with the junior quarterback.
Now, I won't deny the fact that his consitency was less than favorable. However, I do think his overall performance last season was better than what he gets credit for. It's also important to realize how hard it was to follow the greatest quarterback in school history.
Potts had some very impressive outings last season.
He showed incredible toughness on the road against Texas, throwing for 420 yards and three touchdowns. He also led Tech to a 41-13 beat down against Oklahoma.
Sheffield had his share of shining moments as well.
In a 66-14 win over Kansas State, he threw for 490 yards and seven touchdowns while completing eighty percent of his passes. His finest moment came the following week on the road, when he led the team to a 31-10 win against Nebraska.
Both quarterbacks have shown that they are capable of big things.
Sheffield ignited the offense in an incredible way, while Potts occasionally struggled to move the ball with consistancy. However, Potts has made a lot of headway this offseason by winning the "Air it Out" competition, subsequently leading to his name circled as a potential Davey O'Brien Award winner.
Both have a lot going for them.
This quarterback competition hasn't stemmed from a desperate search for a capable starter, but rather from the fact that Tech has two quarterbacks who have played too well to bench.
That was proven when both players appeared at the Big 12 media day.
Tuberville knows that both Sheffield and Potts are perfectly capable of leading this team, and whoever emerges as the starter will do just that.
If you label this competition as a negative, you shouldn't. Embrace the fact that Tech has two guys who have proved themselves in big games. Many teams would kill to be in that situation.
Besides, the more these two compete against one another, the better each will be once the season starts.
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