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August 10, 2010
First Fall Impressions: QBs
Each day this week one position will be broken down into greater detail. Since people tend to invest the majority of their hopes and dreams in the quarterback position, it is safe place to start. UC has six quarterbacks on the depth chart.
Zach Collaros (Starter)
Chazz Anderson (Backup)
The quarterback position is in great shape. The Cats have a starter who is easily one of the top three quarterbacks in the conference. He is one of the top rushing quarterbacks, top three passers, top three in poise, and every other relevant category. He is ready to lead this team and they want to follow him, which is another component that is sometimes overlooked.
Anyone can talk and feel they are in charge. It is a matter of how many people are truly listening when you start talking assertively.
There is really very little need to work out Collaros early this preseason. He is ready to go. The junior has top notch strength, agility, and work ethic. He could go through a Brett Favre holdout and still lead this team. Fortunately for the Cincinnati Bearcats he is not that type of person. He has great character. He is very proud.
Collaros knows all of the publications that slighted his Bearcats with a low preseason ranking and feels personally insulted. Expect him to attack the season, his first as the day one starter with unforeseen tenacity and vigor.
The Bearcat fans can be proud to have Zach Collaros as a leader.
Coach Jones' view: Zach has done a great job. We have asked him to step up as a leader. I think he has done a great job. You see how he is not only leading by example but leading vocally as well.
Chazz is an enigma. Some days he looks unstoppable while others he makes poor decisions and throws into lock down coverage. During spring practice Anderson showed improving arm strength. His accuracy varies week to week and appears to be more about focus than technique.
Collaros can run well, but Anderson is always the quickest to tuck the ball and skedaddle up field. He makes people miss and should be a serious threat via the run. For him the goal has to be consistent passing.
The players trust him and respond well to his upbeat demeanor.
Coach Jones' view: Chazz has done a great job, and as we know in today's world of football, whether it is high school or college or pro, you know you need more than one quarterback.
Brendon looked tremendous Monday afternoon controlling the pocket. Kay's mechanics are outstanding, virtually flawless. The few deep balls he threw were delightful to watch. Kay might throw the tightest spiral of the whole unit and the strength of his arm is astonishing. The ball explodes from his release as if shot from a cannon and frequently hits the receiver in stride.
Of course Chazz possesses an added dimension that Kay simply does not have. Anderson can scramble around the pocket better, and the threat of him running is always there.
Perhaps this solidifies Anderson's spot as backup quarterback, but a healthy Kay certainly has the passing ability to challenge Anderson's position on the depth chart.
For a pocket passer you can't ask for more than Kay and he can definitely help if called upon.
Coach Jones' view: It is good to get Brendon Kay out there again. It is the first time he has competed in over a year.
The freshman from the Bayou, Munchie Legaux, has an awkward motion, which takes some getting used to. He has the tools. Standing 6'5" Legaux can see for miles after taking the snap.
It is immediately clear Legaux has a big arm and can throw downfield. He has good fitness, awesome hair.
His delivery takes a little while to get out of the shoot, because he has such long arms. When he releases the ball it is well thrown.
Ironically Legaux's short passes are less accurate than his medium and longer passes. It is almost like his long arm does a funky contortion when he makes a soft toss.
QB Coach Mike Bajakian is working with him a lot as the camp opens, making sure he gets the mechanics just right.
Legaux sports long dreads reminiscent of Milli Vanilli. Legaux will be immediately recognizable to fans at games and students on campus. His image will be extremely marketable because his appearance gives the eye a lot of distinct information. With a fun name like Munchie and flamboyant hairstyle, Legaux projects to a fan favorite during his UC career.
Coach Jones' view: We will prepare our three quarterbacks and obviously our two young freshmen as well. You can never have enough quarterbacks.
Coach Bajakian is working with Kater to make sure he gets through all of his check downs. Kater tended to look at just one receiver the entire time.
He showed a good, compact throwing motion with a solid follow through. Kater releases the ball quickly and did not make any deep throws Monday. Keep in mind he had fewer than ten full-sided plays and wisely chose the high percentage options.
Coach Jones' view: I thought everything was moving fast. When it slowed down and they could just throw, you could see some good things. But we have thrown a lot at them in a very short period of time. Obviously they are behind the mental curve a little bit.
The preferred walk-on West did not take snaps with receivers, but showed off impressive agility in the footwork drills to begin the practice. He will have fewer chances to shine with the full squad watching, but West worked as hard as anyone from start to finish.
Order of operators
Barring injury Collaros will start every game this season. With the multitude of offensive weapons and crafty mastermind calling plays, few QB controversies should arise.
There is a slight drop off from Collaros to Anderson. The backup position will be a true battle. Kay looked impeccable in his first healthy practice in months. After Kay there is a substantial drop off.
Legaux and Kater are interchangeable at this point and frankly impossible to rate. At this extremely early point, neither looks to be a poor signing. That said they have a lot to learn and just the right coach to learn it from. Their tutorials with Coach Bajakian will go a long way to molding them into Big East passers.