The quarterbacks are a huge part of the success of the offense and it may not be any more true than in 2015, not only for the play on the field, but also to future recruiting success. We’ve got five good thoughts on Texas Tech’s quarterbacks.
1. Starter Doesn’t Matter. At the end of the day, does naming a starter really even matter all that much. Aside from maybe making you feel better knowing that head coach Kliff Kingsbury is making the same choice as you as to who you would start, but other than that, I can’t think of a real benefit. We all know the downside of a guy thinking he has the spot wrapped up. Or maybe a player transfers if a starter is named, sorta like last year. If you all were looking for a place where maybe Kingsbury has learned a lesson or two, then maybe this is it. I’d also add that with Davis Webb working back from an injury, Patrick Mahomes has probably received plenty of snaps, so that part doesn’t bother me. Bottom line, just let the work on the field do the talking.
2. Holding Out Webb. After the scrimmage, Kingsbury said that he held out Davis Webb because he didn’t want Webb to possibly be hit as the players were going full-speed. I certainly understand that, but the thing that is interesting is that this does fuel the speculation a bit and we really don’t get an idea as to whether or not Webb has improved at all. We’re left with this idea that Webb is who is was last year, which he may be, but we don’t get a peak at all. Again, I’m fine with this and he idea that this could lead to an injury if Webb gets hit is absolutely fine with me. I’m comfortable being a little too careful here.
3. Where Mahomes Must Be Better. If you are an opposing defensive coordinator what are you going to do to stop Patrick Mahomes? We all know that he absolutely loves the deep ball and if you were an opposing DC, I think I’d make sure and have a safety over the top that doesn’t allow a receiver to get past them and take a stab at some of those deep balls that Mahomes likes to throw. I mentioned before the spring game that I thought that Mahomes would needs to improve that intermediate game because I think that opposing defenses are going to adjust to Mahomes. The sophomore slump can be very real because opponents finally get some film and they can figure out how to stop an opposing player. Mahomes working that intermediate area will help him significantly. And we saw that Mahomes is susceptible to bad decisions in the spring game, throwing a bad interception that was called back because of a defensive penalty. that intermediate game was on display with the pass to Jakeem Grant over the middle of the field and finding Dylan Cantrell as a second or third option. If Mahomes can do that, then look out.
4. Shimonek Struggles. Before I go much further, it should be agreed by everyone here that the offensive line that back-up quarterback Nic Shimonek was playing with during the spring game consisted of three walk-on offensive linemen and probably the same number of receivers that were walk-ons as well. This was not all of his fault. With that being said, I thought Shimonek struggled mightily to complete many passes looked really rough. Let’s get to the positives first. Shimonek does have a big arm and does have some nice wheels. He had to move around quite a bit during the spring game as he was consistently on the move. Still though, Shimonek had trouble completing passes and I’m more than happy to give Shimonek a pass for the spring game results. Give him a competent offensive line and some scholarship receivers and I think you see a different player, but he does need some work.
5. This is It. Man oh man, this is such a big year on a couple of different levels. For the actual team, so much of the success of this season will depend on competent quarterback play. If the quarterback play is better than in 2015 then this could propel this team to be even better than what Texas Tech could realistically expect. If the play struggles, then it’s more of the same. On a second level, Texas Tech didn’t get a quarterback as part of the 2015 class and it’s imperative that Texas Tech grab a high profile quarterback, one that can lead this team moving forward. A great performance by the quarterbacks will hopefully lead to a great quarterback in 2016. There’s a lot riding on this 2016 season. A lot.
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