Yesterday's post about Gopher practice, and particularly the performance of the quarterbacks, is a good lesson for me in over-reaction. And why I should have waited to post. An immediate reaction is full of emotions, and while that can be good in some cases, I realize in this one it wasn't.
Was MarQueis Gray great yesterday? No. Did Max Shortell and Tom Parish look good running the second team? Yes, at least most of the time. Gray had some good plays and Shortell and Parish certainly had some bad ones. It was one practice, one of only 10 they've had thus far. There's still a lot of work to be done here, and this is why Jerry Kill has been saying over and over that there's so much work to do. Q worked very hard this off-season to prepare himself to lead the Gophers, and we're not seeing anything close to the finished product. In both the Tuesday and Saturday scrimmages Gray was running a very vanilla version of the offense in a situation that quite frankly favors the defense. We've said all along the defense is ahead of the offense when learning new schemes, and in a scrimmage, the defense can apply pressure without the offense making adjustments they normally might in a real game situation.
This is not the same offense we'll see September 3rd against USC, one in which Gray will run more option, more play action, and a much larger percentage of the playbook. Would I have liked to see Q play better than he did yesterday? Sure, but yesterday wasn't a real game, and it shouldn't be used as a barometer for Q's success or failure as a quarterback. As a snapshot, it made me a little nervous, but as the entire picture unfolds this fall and next, I think we'll see it as just a bump in the road.
I hope Gray will be an excellent quarterback for the Gophers, and believe the best is definitely yet to come. It's good to see Shortell and Parish progressing, but Gray is our quarterback, the sky is not falling, and my apologies for the over-reaction yesterday.