Hey, you think picking a starting quarterback is easy? The guy has got to be accurate, lead the team, read the defense, make sure all his guys are lined up correctly, adjust the pass coverage and, perhaps, the play itself depending on the defense, not throw interceptions, not mess up and make plays.
Yeah, it’s a tough job, which is why, in the NFL, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are the highest paid players. Only a select few can do all that well.
Of course, those guys have a ton of experience. IU coach Kevin Wilson doesn’t have that luxury. He has a pair of redshirt sophomores in Edward Wright-Baker and Dusty Kiel, who barely played behind Ben Chappell, and a true freshman in Tre Roberson.
Oh, they also have to run Wilson’s no-huddle, uptempo attack, which means they have to make decisions really, really fast. That means a smaller margin for error. So if you’re Wilson, you want to do everything you can to ensure you have the right guy for the job.
By the middle of the season, Roberson might, MIGHT, be ready. Very few true freshman quarterbacks can handle a starting role unless they participated in spring practice. Roberson didn’t.
For now it’s almost certainly a two-man race, with all indications that Wright-Baker has the edge.
That’s not etched in stone. Kiel could have a huge stretch and wind up the starter for the Sept. 3 season opener against Ball State.
In the meantime, all we have is mystery. Check that. We have inconsistency and then we have mystery.
“You see flashes,” Wilson said about the quarterback play. “Sometimes it’s not fair to them. When you’re rotating in with different receivers, timing, protection breaking down, young receivers not running routes, sometimes you get hung out to dry.
“I just see inconsistent play. I like a couple of guys. I think they’re doing okay. But I think we’ll hold tight before we say we know we got a guy for sure.”
As far as when coaches will know for sure, Wilson wouldn’t, perhaps couldn’t, say.
“I don’t know. I’m not trying to be coy or that it’s a secret deal. They’ve played so little, it’s not like all of a sudden it’s going to be a different game plan for our first opponent. I need to talk to our coaches. In two-a-days, we practice so much we don’t sit around and do a bunch of feel-good meetings and state-of-the-union type stuff.
“I’d like to get it done, but again, you think the guy is doing well, then all of sudden you see a couple of hiccups. Then, when you think a guy is struggling, Wow, a couple of nice plays. So it’s just a little inconsistent right now.”
If you want to catch the Hoosiers at Memorial Stadium this year, IU athletic director Fred Glass wants to give you a big hug.
Okay, Glass didn’t actually SAY that, but he is looking to sell out all the Hoosiers’ home football games, so everybody who helps make that happen will be his new best friend. While selling out the season probably won’t happen this year, he did say that season tickets sales are up.
“They’re running ahead of last year and last year was our best year since 1992,” he said. “I’m hoping that we’re going to have the best attendance in 20 years. That would be terrific, especially coming off a couple of tough seasons. There’s a lot of enthusiasm around Kevin and what he’s going and how the kids are feeling. I’m optimistic that the momentum we have with ticket sales will continue.”