The Rites (and wrongs) of Spring: Quarterback

For the first installment of my UCLA post-spring ball wrap up, we’ll start with quarterbacks…

It is difficult to adequately judge the quarterback position after 15 days of a new offense. Rick Neuheisel and Norm Chow have said consistently that the Revolver will make Kevin Prince a threat in the running game, but because he was down on the first touch, it was difficult to truly gauge what he’ll do.

Prince solidified what I consider his already solid status as UCLA starting quarterback with an impressive spring, albeit a less-than-impressive performance in the Spring Game. Considering the Bruin defense knew what it was facing and it wasn’t really live action, I don’t know how much you can take out of it.

Likes: His long ball was much improved during spring, and Fauria and Harkey will provide two important weapons for him in the short passing game. His chemistry with Fauria is fantastic.
Dislikes: He is still too indecisive, and that will be the next big step for him as a quarterback, just being able to react quickly at the line of scrimmage. Prince would tell you himself that most of his poor throws last season were because of misreads, rather than misthrows, and that is related to experience.
The Big IF: IF Prince can stay healthy and continue his progression, UCLA’s passing game will be much improved. The only IF for me is the health factor. Too many weapons for the passing game not to be improved.
The Backups: Richard Brehaut and Nick Crissman are still works in progress for me. Brehaut has a very nice arm – he had a couple of PERFECT throws this spring – but isn’t always hitting receivers out of breaks and in stride. Crissman’s throwing motion is a bit unorthodox, and he’ll need to take a big leap if he’s to push Brehaut for No. 2.

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  • UB (Ultimate Bruin)

    Well put, Jon. Pretty much my take aways from Saturday’s scrimmage. Because prince/Brehaut were down on first touch — or should I say if the wind from the defensive player was within 5 feet of the QB — it was really impossible to guage the full effect. HOWEVER, it did appear on many occasions that Prince would have gained positive yards if it were live action. Do you agree? And if so, then it would have made the defense a little more ‘honest’ in their coverages.

  • Coach Thom

    Well reasoned, Jon. Looks like we’ll just have to wait and see what unfolds in September.

  • Rob

    Why do you keep reference a “new offense” when talking about this spring? I’ve read several articles wherein Norm Chow and Rick Neuheisel specifically stated “this is not a new offense”. Different formation, perhaps, but not a new offense.

  • liferbruin

    As a perpetual optimist I will agree with Jon. My biggest concern is that the QB’s continue to hold on to the ball much too long. At the srimmage I had a hard time dissimenating if they were looking for the home run or the short/mid-range routes were consistently covered. We will never develop a strong passing attack if we have to hold the ball for that long. In your oppinion is this due to coverage or the qb not checking down fast enough to get rid of the ball. There aren’t many OL’s in all of football that can hold off the DL consistently for as long as I see Kevin & Richard hold the ball.

  • My biggest concern is that all of our qb’s are holding the ball too long. I’m not quite sure if that’s because they are going for the home run or they are too slow to go through their progressions. It looks very similar to last year based on what I saw at the scrimmage. The OL seemed to provide ample time to get a good look, but they seem to keep holding the ball. It was hard to see live if it was mostly due to good coverage or what.

  • liferbruin

    Sorry for the additiona post’s. I’m still trying to figure this out!

  • Anonymous

    I personally don’t see our QB’s running the revolver with any consistentcy. None of our QB’s would be considered illusive which in my mind hurts the prospects of the revolver type offense. I think if we look at it as a change up to the standard offense we have been running it makes alot of sense and definately puts added pressure on the defense. My guess is that the revolver will just be an offensive package to go along with the other packages. There isn’t a confidence level yet with QB’s and receivers. The QB must know his receivers and throw the ball before he is “open”. That takes trust and alot more work. Prince obviously has all the tools to be really good and with a little more time and less hesitation he will be very good. The defensive backs are just too good to allow them to recover on a pattern. Hopefully the QB receiver tandems will work hard on that in the off seesaon. I think this spring was successful because it added a new wrinkle to the offense that will eventually pay dividends.