Listening and reading comments from Husker fans in recent days, I detect a sense of fatalism with respect to the opinion of Taylor Martinez's future as a quarterback at Nebraska. Not all fans, mind you...but certainly a sizable group. It's not that they are making things up; Martinez didn't have a great performance in the spring game. But while I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt due to the circumstances, others aren't.
That's not to say that those observations are invalid. Did Martinez throw behind his receivers? Yep. Did Martinez not see a blitz coming? Absolutely. But let's remember something else: Martinez is not an experienced quarterback in the traditional sense. He made the switch in high school, and what we saw on Saturday was Taylor Martinez being asked to do all the things he isn't so good at. His talent is taking off and running --- and he was asked not to do that. One time he did scramble for a nice gain, but most of the day, he threw the ball or handed off. And the Martinez critics are right in one respect: if that's what Nebraska wants to do on offense, Taylor Martinez isn't the quarterback we want on the field. Of course, if what we saw on Saturday was Nebraska's offense, that's not something I think is going to be all that successful.
Frankly, I have to wonder if these are the same fans that tried to pump Martinez for Heisman consideration in September and October last season? Do some fans have a manic-depressive streak running through them? ("Martinez is great! Sucks! Great! Sucks! Tastes Great! Less Filling!)
What I do know is that Pelini does things his way, and no matter what we as fans think, he's going to do things his way. And he should; he's had the benefit of watching the other 14 practices this spring, and he knows more about the medical status of Martinez's ankle.
I also know this: Bo Pelini isn't going to tell us what he's going to do unless he wants to and until he's ready to. He didn't tell us about the changes on his coaching staff until he was done with everything. And if he's thinking about making a change at quarterback, he'll handle it his way.
I feel pretty confident that if Brion Carnes outplays Taylor Martinez this summer and fall, Carnes will be the starter when Chattanooga comes to Lincoln on Labor Day weekend. But just because Carnes appeared to outplay Martinez in an exhibition where they weren't running most of the offense doesn't mean that Carnes is the better quarterback at this point.
One thing I know about Pelini is that he wants competition, and nobody has a starting job sewn up at this point. Carnes could be the starter next September. Cody Green could turn things around and become the starter. Heck, Ron Kellogg III could be the starter. And maybe, just maybe, Bubba Starling will turn down many gubily millions of baseball dollars and win the starting quarterback job in the fall. Some of those ideas are unlikely, mind you. But nothing is assured either.