MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – When it comes to quarterbacks, Sean Reagan doesn’t necessarily have a type, other than trustworthy.
“We have a saying around here, ‘The ball is the program,’” said Reagan, West Virginia’s new quarterbacks coach. “If we don’t turn the football over, then we have a really good chance to win the game. So the main focus at the quarterback position is always going to be protect the football.”
Reagan’s quarterbacks at Troy were successful in that regard the past two seasons, with three starters combining for 15 interceptions over the course of 26 games.
“Are there going to be interceptions thrown? Sure. And a lot of them are going to be things you can’t help,” Reagan said. “But what I want the quarterback to do is control those interceptions that you can help and make precise decisions.”
Reagan is one of Neal Brown’s most trusted disciples. He started as a graduate assistant at Troy when Brown was the program’s offensive coordinator from 2008-09, then followed him to Texas Tech in 2010. Reagan returned to Troy as quarterbacks coach in 2011 and remained there until Brown carried him along to WVU in January.
“Everything we do is in tandem. A lot of people say we think a lot alike,” Reagan said. “Maybe we do. We bounce ideas off of one another and ultimately he’s the one going to make the final decision, but it’s a joint decision.”
One aspect that stands out in the Brown-Reagan collaboration is their ability to adjust to quarterbacks of a different style. They’ve worked with traditional pocket passers and dual-threats on the same roster. Last season the Trojans employed a bit of both approaches. Scrambler Kaleb Barker started the first half of the season until he was knocked out with an injury, and drop-back quarterback Sawyer Smith finished it.
“You have your base offense, and that doesn’t change regardless of who takes the snap,” Reagan said. “Yes, Kaleb Barker was different than Sawyer. When he got hurt, did we have to tweak some things? Yes. But did we change the base offense? No. You just kind of tweak the game plan based on who takes the snap.”
It’s a similar situation at West Virginia, where redshirt freshman Trey Lowe would bring a much different feel to the offense than juniors Austin Kendall or Jack Allison.
The Mountaineers have not yet determined who will take the snaps in 2019 even if Oklahoma transfer Kendall is the obvious favorite from the outside looking in.
“Austin is talented, but the main thing that he brings to the table is we now have a competition,” Reagan said. “There are three guys – him and the other two – and all three are talented, but the main thing is competition and competition makes everybody else better.
“Who is going to win the job? I don’t know. I haven’t seen any of them throw the ball forward live yet. Everything I’ve seen is on film. But I’m excited to work with them.”