Garden City, Kan (westernkansasnews.com)-Sometimes it’s the simplest things that are overlooked. On Sunday in Garden City, the center-quarterback exchange, something it seems that many fans take for granted, especially at the college level, was one of the main topics of discussion.
“There are some things we obviously have to sure up,” Busters Head Coach Matt Miller said following a two-and-a-half hour practice. “Number one is the center-quarterback exchange. It’s a simple part of the game. You can’t go anywhere if you can’t get the first part of the play off, and right now we’ve had some struggles with it.”
During Sunday’s practice, Miller made the entire offense run laps each time there was a bad snap. The players ran four laps.
“Every time we see it happen, our offense will go running,” Miller said. “And they’ll start doing two laps; if they have to go to four laps; if they have to go to eight laps-we’ll get it taken care of.”
Maybe it was the thought of trying to catch their breath following all the extra laps; whatever it was, freshman quarterback Akeem Jones and sophomore center Jason Carreon adhered to their coach’s advice-staying late to get some extra snaps off.
Jones shows signs of maturity
Every rookie or freshman quarterback will experience growing pains to start out. And while Akeem Jones has had his share, he’s also shown signs of a proven veteran.
During team drills on Sunday, Jones showed his cerebral approach to the game by making a very conscientious check at the line of scrimmage. During his pre-snap read, Jones noticed corner back Tim Hill showing blitz. The “freak” immediately saw it and called for a quick screen. The play worked for a 10-yard gain. It’s those little things that have impressed the coaching staff so far.
“He (Jones) saw a corner fire today and went directly to the open receiver,” Miller said. “We got 10 out of it because he had his eyes up-looking at what’s going on in the secondary.”
That wasn’t the only thing Jones showed off; his accuracy was on full display. The freshman finished 11-for-20 with a touchdown and an interception during 7 on 7. And while there were four botched snaps in team drills, Jones completed 10-of-14 passes including a slant route, where he squeezed the ball in between a safety and a linebacker. All in all it was a decent day for the rook.
“He’s reading,” Miller said. “He’s cerebrally in this thing. I don’t just tell him the play; I’m asking him each route; where they’re lined up; depths of routes; who’s his read, and for the most part he’s coming back with the right answers.”
As for sophomore Jake Curran, he watched Jones take every rep in 7-on-7 and team drills.
“He (Jones) needs to make up those reps so I can make an evaluation and make the best decision in respect of the team,” Miller said.
Jones missed practice on Friday because of a stomach bug.
So through 12 practices, neither Curran nor Jones has grabbed the starting nod; however, a decision from Miller should come by Friday when the team holds a full scrimmage.