Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Unmentioned Possibility of the Husker Quarterback Debate

As we've gone through this week, there's been much consternation about Cody Green not seeing the field last weekend against Iowa State.  Very few people are blaming Zac Lee for the Huskers 9-7 loss, but they also point out that Lee didn't lead the Huskers to victory either.  So we hear lots of conspiracy theories and excuses as to why Green remained on the sideline.  But in every single one of these discussions, one reason never gets brought up... and frankly, if you are going to discuss the relative merits of each quarterback, you need to consider every possibility.

Even the possibility that Zac Lee, a junior, is a better quarterback than Cody Green, a true freshman.

We've seen this argument before; the backup quarterback is one of the most popular players on the team.  Quarterbacks always get more of the credit and blame for the performance of the team, and when the team is struggling, people are looking for alternatives.  But changing quarterbacks doesn't mean improvement...just change.  I remember in 2004 reading fans calling for Beau Davis or Jordan Adams to start after becoming frustrated with Joe Dailey.  (Even after Bill Callahan threw Davis to the wolves at Texas Tech, resulting in his five turnover performance.)

I'm not saying that Lee is playing outstanding, or that Lee is definitively the better quarterback.  We've seen Cody Green look impressive in mop-up duty against Sun Belt foes.  Problem did Zac Lee in those games.  We saw Green throw a touchdown pass against Tech, something Lee didn't do.  But we also saw Green throw an ugly interception and two other passes that really should have been picked off as well. The only people who really know which quarterback is the best quarterback at this time are the coaches, and up to now, the decision has been made to stick with Lee.  Which is just fine with me, as we really don't have enough reason to second guess their decision.

I'm not opposed to playing or even starting Cody Green -- but only if the coaches make that decision based on what's best for the team.  I don't think these coaches are trying to sabotage the team or are ignoring Green by being stubborn.  They watch these quarterbacks every day; they know which quarterback is the better quarterback.

The problems the Husker offense faces at this time are larger than just who plays quarterback.  We're watching the depth chart at wide receiver being turned upside down due to the poor play of the receivers.  It's pretty obvious that this staff feels that much of the blame goes on the receivers.  Add in the injuries to Roy Helu and Rex Burkhead, and the Husker offense is operating without playmakers.  Is Green a playmaker?  Maybe, if you judge him primarily on his running ability.  But is a Jammal Lord style offense what we want to see?  Some of Green's passes were painful to watch against Texas Tech; frankly, he didn't look like the solution in that game.

I don't know which quarterback will start against Baylor; frankly, I'm more concerned by the receivers than quarterback right now.  But I do feel confident that the coaches will be playing the best quarterback this Saturday, no matter what fans feel and demand.


Anonymous said...

I could understand the Watson bashing after Missouri and Texas Tech I don't get it this week. What does he have to do go out on the field and walk the ball across the goal line himself?

Riff said...

I have to remind myself that Lee was #3 last year and was heaved into the starting role almost by default. I agree that Green didn't look like the answer against Tech, however, maybe he just needs the experience and opportunity to see himself on film and make adjustments. There's no teacher like experience. Lee looks like a square peg in a round hole on the read option and it seems that much has been stated by the coaching staff. But if you're going to live by the zone read, it seems Green needs to be the guy running it. Hopefully the passing will come, but yeah, his passing was a bit scary.

Anonymous said...

I have watched the huskers since 1963 when my grandmother took me to my first game (I was 2). She worked in the athletic dept. and growing up had the fortune of meeting coaches and players through the Devaney years on. I attend at least 1 home game a year and am a member of North Texans for Nebraska (just history). I have see a disturbing trend in the fan base as of late, seems as though some want to go back to the offense we ran under the previous staffs and that is not our personality any longer. Our HC is very capable of deciding who is the best fit at all positions. I too would like to see what Green can do but to start the young man this weekend in front of all his family and friends on top of playing against Baylor players he knows from high school may be a little to much this weekend. Start Lee and let Green come in after a couple if series because he is the future and I believe the coaching staff won't set him up to possibly fail. I live in Dallas now and I saw him play in HS and yes he is impressive but it is a different ballgame in college. I trust in the coaching staff to make the right decision. Go Huskers.

Anonymous said...

You make some very lucid points here. Emotion makes me feel like I want to see Green out there like yesterday, yet logic insists on something you stated, namely, the coaches see these guys every day in practice and know who gives them the best shot to put up pointsl. Ack...terrible few weeks. GBR

Anonymous said...

finally a voice of reason. good coverage and honest analysis always keep me coming back to this site. I say put Green in a couple series and play to his strengths. As for Lee he needs to step up but even more so his receivers. Niles Paul is more to blame for the ISU loss than anyone. That throw was on point and he had no one to catch him. With that said Niles Paul was not the lone factor by any means in that game. The kid has loads of potential. When he plays to that look out.

Anonymous said...

Put Green in period. Zack Lee is not the answer. If Green as a freshemen is close to Lee as a Junior then give the kid a shot and take the punishment this year and stabalize the OB postion for the next several yrs. As on outsider only able to watch on TV Lee does not dispaly anykind of leadership qualities. He was about to cry after the last stunning defeat and your QB can never allow himself to disaplay that emotion. Plus Lee does not have the emtional stablity for the big game.

Anonymous said...

Well said, Mike. Count me as one of the apparent few who is nervous that Cody Green might actually start tomorrow. Ideally, the Huskers build up a lead and then let him get into the game with a cushion. I'm guessing that was the plan last week but the fumbilitis outbreak kept that from happening.