I think I'm preaching to the choir here but I also think it's helpful to firm up a general idea or feeling within the framework of an article's worth of text. Maybe this will act as a catalyst for others to express their thoughts on the matter.
Since last December, I had predicted Jimmy Laughrea would win the QB competition. After Spring ball, I heard Laughrea was not up to speed on the playbook while Patti was making huge strides. I felt Fall Camp, after a summer's worth of learning the playbook, would be the war between Swick and Patti. It wasn't even close. When Pete named Southwick the starter I was immediately on board with that because I trust Pete. Like many others, I had concerns because I simply hadn't seen the kinds of things I would have liked to have seen from Joe in previous years. But I don't think it makes any kind of sense at all to hang up Swick's chances of success after Game one lol. Maybe Swick develops into a good QB and maybe he is just average, maybe he ends up being below average. The point is that he is the best option on our roster right now because Pete says he's the best.
We've got Patti in the fold now who, by all accounts, should develop into a very good QB. I like what I heard from Pete concerning him this past offseason. We also continue to recruit QB's who, based purely on measurables and production, seen to be higher caliber athletes than we have been able to pull in the past.
I think this program is still developing guys, we're not in the major leagues just yet but we're really close. While I think the Moore led teams could play with anyone in the nation, especially the 2010 team, I still feel we lacked talented, game ready depth in certain areas. Running a full schedule in a Big Six or Big four conference may not have been a nightmare, but I'm not so sure it would have been a picknic either, especially when factoring in injuries. The past two years we dropped games we absolutely were good enough to win because of injuries. Missing Hout in Nevada hurt a lot and everyone remembers the issues we had with TCU last season. This program has had to develop talent into great players for the most part and that takes time. Depth is something that is really starting to come along now, a result of the recruiting Moore's Bronco teams brought in. I think that really showed against Michigan State. We have more young players able to contribute right away than we ever have. Being able to contribute immediately is a testament to raw athleticism and quality coaching at the High School level, those kinds of guys used to be out of our reach for the most part.
We are knocking on the door guys, but we need to be patient and let the program develop. Swick may or may not be the QB we would all like to have, he may or may not develop beyond his current skill set. I'm not judging one way or the other on that, the book is open and court is in session. What I'm saying is that none of it matters, he's the Broncos QB this year and he will keep the forward momentum going one way or another. I certainly don't think he's Zabransky and I feel Z gets too much grief. This program will continue to develop and next year will be another big step forward. Heck, this season could still be something that builds our credibility. It's working, don't get down now, we're in the last quarter leg of the race. Keep heart, support the players, support the team. Blow off steam, complain, get things off your chest, but stick with this thing because it is special.
Lastly I would like to say this and I think it's a poignant point; Quarterbacks develop, just like any other player. In college, the progress throughout a season and, especially from year to year, is tangible...significant. I'm watching the Bama Michigan game right now and the announcers just mentioned how drastically better a QB AJ McCarron is from last year. They laud his command of the huddle, poise, decision making, and command of the playbook. Earlier today, Nebraska's Taylor Martinez, a guy that was the poster child on youtube for how NOT to throw a pass, went 26-32 for 354 yards and 5 TD's. It was against Southern Miss. but his technique was way way way better than last year and so was his decision making. Nevada's Cody Fajardo, a QB I openly laughed about last season, beat Cal with a stat line of 25-32 for 230 yards, adding 99 yds rushing and a TD. He has learned that system and is doing far better than last season. Swick can and WILL get better imo, give him some time Bronco Nation.
Toughness, it's a quality