MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Eyes and feet.
Those have the attention of offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson in his continuing evaluation of West Virginia’s quarterbacks, which almost certainly will lead to a starter being named at some point, unless the rumors of Charles Sims running the Wing-T are valid.
From the contender pool of Clint Trickett, Paul Millard and Ford Childress, Dawson wants to see his quarterbacks following the proper progressions and having their feet aligned to make throws when a window becomes available. Those are true indicators of the quarterback’s thought process, something that bears closer scrutiny as the Mountaineers move from simply repping plays to undergoing game situations.
Dawson is checking to determine whether the quarterback’s eyes automatically shift to the proper spot for the designated play and whether his dropback aligns with the call. These things occur in nanoseconds after the snap, but the offensive coaches chart it all.
“We watch three different angles every play—from the side, from the back and from the defense’s back,” Dawson said. “So it’s clear where their eyes are. If your eyes are wrong it’s easy to tell.
“If we’re running the play where the ball’s got to come out right now and you’re taking a drop for a play that’s going to develop down the field, well obviously you don’t know what the hell is on going on.”
Whereas back in the spring Dawson cited Childress for holding onto the ball too long, the coach said all three quarterbacks are currently doing an adequate job of “putting the ball in play” and avoiding sacks.
Above you can can watch Dawson’s interview session from Saturday, which includes some compliments regarding the progress of Florida State transfer Trickett.
“He’s probably ahead of where a normal kid would be coming into the system,” Dawson said. “Smart kid.”