Wilson: Still no separation among QB’s

Kevin Wilson isn’t thrilled with any of his quarterbacks, but he isn’t upset with any of them either. All three of the players vying for the starting job — junior Cameron Coffman, redshirt sophomore Tre Roberson and true sophomore Nate Sudfeld — are mostly doing what he wants them to do and making it hard for him to make a decision.

But none of the three has separated himself and put on the sort of performance that demands the reins of the offense. That being said, Wilson also seems more and more confident in having a lot of options.

“It would be easier to say, ‘Hey, you’re the guy, you get all the reps,'” Wilson said. “But the other guys are capable enough that if you want to ride the hot hand, or if you want to play two or if you want to put two on the field (you can.) We haven’t got to that point yet. We’re trying to see if a guy will be one. But I sincerely say (it’s not that) we don’t have one because no one’s playing well, or we don’t have one because we’re just trying to be nice. They’re actually competing, fighting and it’s healthy. In the end, I think if we do it right, if we have more than one, we have to make that a positive, and not let some good play and good talent get in the way. A lot of times we didn’t have that. It’s our job to figure out how it works out. It would be easier to say there’s one. But right now, to not sound coach-like, they’re all doing well.”

Wilson said he spent much of the spring having each of the three quarterbacks “playing left-handed,” meaning they tried to keep the athletic Roberson in the pocket and keep him from scrambling while pushing Nate Sudfeld and Cam Coffman to get out of the pocket and make throws on the run. Wilson said he’s seeing a positive effect on that. This year, they aren’t making a point to make the three continue to play left-handed, but they aren’t making a point to play to their strengths in practice either.

“We’re just trying to do it all,” Wilson said. “If it’s a play-action pass, it’s not like, ‘OK, Tre, get in here because you’re a runner.’ No, ‘ It’s your shot, Cam, you got it.’ It’s not, ‘Hey, this is a deep bomb pass. Nate, you’ve got the big arm.’ No, no, no. We’re calling our plays. We’re not worried about who our players are. We’re calling our plays, running the offense.”

The quarterbacks agree that they’re all better qualified to run the offense. Roberson has become a better passer, so plays that require him to sit back and wait for passing routes to open up are not a problem. Coffman and Sudfeld have added speed, so they have no quams about running sprint out passes or even zone-reads.

“I think that’s really made it to where it’s the same offense no matter who is playing,” Sudfeld said. “Coach has made us all play left-handed. … I think we’ve all improved in our weaknesses. Cam and I are running a little bit better and Tre is throwing it really well. I think what coach did, making us play left-handed, is really helping all of our games.”

With any of the three of them behind center, the offense is more advanced. Wilson said the offense is holding back a little on creativity in practice and trying to play more basic, physical football largely for the purpose of getting the defense used to that style of play. But in the meeting rooms, the entire offense has more of a grasp on the system, especially with starters returning at all 11 positions.

“We’ve been talking in the QB room,” Sudfeld said. “Last year, I don’t know what chapter we were on, but let’s say we were on Chapter 2. Now, since everybody knows the basics, we were able to do more things. We’re able to add more (hot reads) we’re able to add more protections, so we’re not thinking as much and we’re pushing ourselves to add more dimensions to the offense. … We’re really balanced this year. Last year, we threw it a little more than we ran. Our running backs are looking unreal right now. All of them across the board, and as many deep as we have. They’re all looking really good. Our O-line is looking really big and really physical. Everybody looks bigger and stronger. We’re going to be a very balanced offense, I think.”

19 comments

  1. I’m a bit dubious about Wilson’s statements and his claim that there is no separation at QB yet. If that’s really the case, he needs to increase the standards (raise the bar) or modify the evaluation criteria to create the separation he wants to see. You can’t have three starting quarterbacks, no matter how talented each of the three young men are. Wilson knows that better than most coaches, so I’m taking his comments with a grain of salt. My guess is that Wilson has identified the player that is most likely to be the starting QB, but he’s just not willing to admit that to the press or the team this early in the fall camp. Wilson knows that the team needs these guys to continue to compete against each other, because that’s how they’re all going to improve and become accustomed to the pressure.

    Wilson needs all three QBs to be capable of starting because chances are, he’s going to need each of the three before the end of the season. No matter how improved IU’s defense is this year, they’re still not going to be good enough to win Big Ten games. IU’s offense is going to need to score a lot of points, which means they’re going to need an effective passing attack, which means they’re going to be exposing their QBs to a lot of hits.

  2. I still think it will be Sudfeld. Especially with Wilson stating he expects a 1000 yard rusher from the RB position which tells me he does not think he needs TR’s legs to carry much rushing load for the O. In less than 2 weeks we’ll know.

  3. Playing more than 1 QB is tough. I’ve been around a long time and it never really works. Maybe Wilson knows something we don’t. I agree that he probably already has an idea in mind. I think it will be Tre. In an earlier interview he talked about losing 5 games after Tre got injured last year. I think he associates Tre with winning. One more comment: What about depth after the 3. A kid named Matt Marencik, from my area and went to school with my grandson, is there right now as a walk-on. Passed up offers from some JUCOs to go to IU. Didn’t see his name on the 105 roster. Strong QB…played for bad HS team but good QB passer. Alot on internet about him. Read he won long ball throw at Purdue Elite QB Camp…strong arm. He might stir things up if in there.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zcThiLuJjc

  4. Tippeguy73, if your grandson’s classmate is not on the 105-man roster, he has yet to make the team. But players leave or get injured in summer camp, so he may still have a chance. The question is this; is he involved right now? If not, he’s probably not going to be on the roster no matter how many players get hurt or leave camp this summer.

    My sophomore year in High School, I played back-up QB behind a senior. He was an All-Stater and three-year starter on a winning team. He got numerous full-ride offers and accepted one from one of the MAC schools. He was only 5’11”, but back then, that was not as big of a negative like it is now. He had a great arm, great leadership, quick feet, and he threw with great accuracy. I think he took a total of 30 snaps in four years of college. And that was at a MAC school! I could not imagine that there was another guy out there that was a better QB than my former team mate. But getting to play at that level, as you know, is about more than just skill. You have to be in the right system and appeal to the coaches’ biases.

  5. Many years ago, coach Cameron deceived everyone by saying that Jay Rogers and Antwaan Randle-El were even during pre-season. Once the games started, it was all Randle-El and Rogers transferred.

  6. Didn’t they start Randle El at receiver his Senior year, the first game? Thought it was against NC State and it did not work out too well. Next game he was at QB for the remaining balance of the season.

    Best,
    PB

  7. PB, you are correct. And I think that move was what got his head coach fired later that year. It was the dumbest coaching decision I think I’ve ever seen at IU football. Randle El was one of the best college QBs ever, and to have him spend all that time, in the summer camp, practicing at wide receiver, was really stupid.

  8. Here it is just a little over two weeks before the season opener and there is hardly any discussion about the season.

    It feels like IU fans have once again abandoned all other sports now that CTC has got the basketball program headed in the right direction, which justifies the public perception of IU only being a basketball school. Wilson has the football program headed in the right direction as well, but very few seem to care or take notice. Frustrating.

    Anyone actually want to discuss IU football and the upcoming 2013 season?

  9. I definitely want to discuss IU football as I’ve been a fan for over 35 years now! I am very encouraged with the progress we are making and I think we have most of the pieces in place for a true rebuilding job, unlike the past “fake it and maybe we’ll make it” strategy.

    Like most others I think we still have some significant vulnerability on defense. Hoobler’s injury certainly does not help and we wish him a swift recovery. Marshall’s dismissal is also disconcerting but kids make mistakes.

    Looking at the schedule, 6 wins is possible though 5 is more realistic. While I think we are porous in the secondary, what really concerns me is stopping the run. I just don’t see that we have the personnel (size, speed etc.) to make that happen on a consistent basis.

  10. Waiting…there are some of us who do look forward to football, soccer and other fall sports (Podunker, HoosierC, Davis, Chet, myself), so don’t get discouraged). So far there’s been so little about the game beyond some 2-3 stories about some individual players (and some of that has been behind the paywall so those who blog only don’t have access to it) that there has been little to discuss or blog about.

    Maybe we should start talking football in the basketball threads or answering the ‘Dear Abby’ lovelorn posts with Hoosier football posts.

  11. Can’t wait for football season myself. Such an American ritual: the dog days of summer giving way to early-fall backyard barbecues, the leaves beginning to acquire the “toasted” colors of September, the sunlight feeling a little drier and more elusive, the hoodies and sweatshirts being pulled out of the closet to deal with the cooler nights, weekends that once again seem meaningful now that Cowboys, Buckeyes, Bruins, and Bears are back on the airwaves….

    The hope that Hoosiers might finally overcome Badgers, that Huskies might finally drown Ducks, that Seahawks will soar high over Cascades, Rockies and Appalachians to triumphantly land in snowy New York in February….

  12. Well, with so many top Indiana ballers getting skittish about playing for Crean, it is best we stay on football.

    Michigan has always been one of the top football programs in the Big 10/nation…Hell, why should get bent out of shape as they now take the same once or twice a year drilling they give us on the gridiron to permanently build their pipeline southward? Let them plow through our cornfields, rape our most identifiable sports tradition, suck the hoops wealth from cities and rural wells always productive as Tom sends him well-wishes with his Harbaugh Dream Team in the stands and blows kisses with Glass wearing his candy-striped clown suit back to Ann Arbor?

    Yup, let’s talk football. Goofy chrome helmets es nuevo rayas de caramelo en los bastones de caramelo…? Great comedic diversion in escaping the painful reality that the shot in the arm from Mr. Zeller and the ‘Eastern Promises’ going home party is fading fast with the stream of Hoosier de-commits.

  13. You’re right Harvard, but in the reverse. Your self-created, self-imagined “Days-of Harvard’s-Lives” recruiting soap operas are mere escapist fictions tailored for the autistic basketball-only Hoosiers incapable of having multi-sport interests.

  14. Husky-

    I did enjoy your post #11. You should have received more compliments from other Scoop writers/journalists for your beautiful style and eloquent writing.

    You stirred the emotions and heightened the senses of days long gone when I played under the tall light poles and cool breezes of autumn nights at Trojan Field…There’s something truly special about the time of year. The memories of fall seem so vivid when merged with your ability to rekindle the love of times forgotten. Don’t think that your skills are overlooked. Sure beats the hell out of talking recruits or slobbering all over coaches.

    Sorry that there’s so many fat egos on here that they can’t even throw a compliment your way. I appreciate your fine writing almost as much the god-given beauty a Walter Payton attack through the line of scrimmage..Art as rare in any form should be acknowledged and valued and you know how to paint a canvas onto the synapses of the mind with the song of language. You hold an art in your pen.

    I’m not in the mood to put on the gloves tonight…Sorry if you have to hold onto some nice words that I coughed up faster than a Rex Grossman fumble. Cherish the change of possession.

  15. Mariner-

    I did enjoy your post #11. You should have received more compliments from other Scoop writers/journalists for your beautiful style and eloquent writing.

    You stirred the emotions and heightened the senses of days long gone when I played under the tall light poles and cool breezes of autumn nights at Trojan Field…There’s something truly special about the time of year. The memories of fall seem so vivid when merged with your ability to rekindle the love of times forgotten. Don’t think that your skills are overlooked. Sure beats the hell out of talking recruits or slobbering all over coaches.

    Sorry that there’s so many fat egos on here that they can’t even throw a compliment your way. I appreciate your fine writing almost as much the god-given beauty a Walter Payton attack through the line of scrimmage..Art as rare in any form should be acknowledged and valued and you know how to paint a canvas onto the synapses of the mind with the song of language. You hold an art in your pen.

    I’m not in the mood to put on the gloves tonight…Sorry if you have to hold onto some nice words that I coughed up faster than a Rex Grossman fumble. Cherish the change of possession.

  16. Sorry for the double post…On first attempt, it did not take “Husky” so I readdressed it your new alias.

  17. Thanks for the words, Harvard. I don’t deserve to get much acknowledgment around here, since I don’t contribute much. But every once and a while I muster up the energy to emulate your enthusiasm and verve for certain things…even if it only lasts for a short paragraph.

  18. Hogwash!

    Tsao slathers Podunker with compliments worthy all the meaningless cheesy class designation and gratification of rub and oil given back to a personal masseuse.

    Shouldn’t be so difficult to throw a compliment your way. All these fat egos don’t and thoroughly Ivy League educated success stories can’t pass on some simple praise for an eloquent paragraph from a less obsessive contributor? You’re covering their butts again, Mariner..Always wanting your corner table at the Yacht Club dinner hall. It’s o.k. Football is near and this is not the time to have your club membership rights revoked..Enjoy the chicken breast while they feast on prime rib. You deserved a compliment from someone other than Harvard.

    Not even one Establishment journalist can step down from an insecure cloud…It goes completely against the rules of division where journalists must never acknowledge any follower of their tongues could ever spit something out they still search to emulate…Never delude a peasant to think possible a king. All just too proud to recognize that it’s not only Zach Osterman that can rock out a beautiful paragraph.

    Do not be humble here, my old blogging friend…Do not be humble for their acceptance. If there be anything in your armor to defend, it is your heart beating through the mastery your one and only pen.

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