Friday, April 9, 2010

Eagles depth at QB also a curse?

One of the underlying stories this spring for Eastern Washington University football is the logjam they have at the quarterback position. This isn't anything new, as Erik Meyer battled Skyler Allen for the starting job in 2004, and Matt Nichols fended off Chris Peerboom for the position in 2006 (it wasn't that tough, actually, Peerboom was a trainwreck). However, this isn't just two guys going for one spot. It's six.

Yes a half-dozen quarterbacks have aspirations for the starting quarterback position at Eastern Washington University, and the normal reaction would be "hey, fantastic, the more depth the better!" but that's simply not the case. This might be a hand grenade that blows up in Eastern's hand and I'm a bit worried about it.

First they brought in an SMU transfer Bo Levi Mitchell, which is a fantastic grab by the coaching staff. Anytime you can get a player from the upper level of Div. I, you've got to be happy. However, the issue I have with Mitchell is that he's a junior meaning that at best, we'll get two good years from him. Nevermind it might take him a while to get acclimated to the system.

The other problem is that there is plenty of young talented quarterbacks that were already in the system at EWU before Mitchell came. I'm always following the school of thought that you want to go with the guys that have been in your system for a while, and will give you plenty of years out on the field. Sophomore quarterback Jeff Minnerly looked pretty good last season when he gave Matt Nichols a break in games. I don't see why he couldn't be the heir apparent to the position as opposed to Mitchell.

There are plenty of quarterbacks on the roster too, but I can't really comment on them because I haven't seen them play. However, they're probably thinking the same thing Mitchel and Minnerly are thinking - I came here to play, not sit on the bench.

I understand that this is how the game of football works and things will shake out, but I would guess that Mitchell would be the front-runner for the job and that would cause a large majority of the quarterbacks behind him in the depth chart to transfer. Those kids are competitors and expected to play when they came out to EWU. Then this new kid transfers in and takes that spot. It's all very normal in the world of college football, but if you're those kids - you're probably out of here. So your sudden depth at the quarterback position is lost. And since Mitchell is a junior, we only get him for two years.

What happens after that? These young kids you were bringing up in the system are gone. The quarterbacks that did have some playing time are gone. Mitchell merely serves as a stop-gap and then two years from now you find yourself throwing an untested freshman quarterback out to the wolves.

I don't think Eagle fans understand just how important this spring is when it comes to setting up the future for Eastern's football program, and the long ramifications it could have. Let's hope that the coaching staff makes the best possible choice and has enough foresight to understand that perhaps having six kids competing for the same job isn't the best possible situation.

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