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Coach Fleck names Demry Croft and Conor Rhoda both ‘starters’ for Minnesota Football’s first game

Please don’t freak out.

Gopher Sports

We’ve got BIG NEWS coming out of Minnesota Football’s open practice today (and it’s not this nugget about practice music selection):

This is a decision primed for TAKES of a spicy variety. This is a decision destined to make Minnesota fans nervous, given the program’s recent history of drawn out QB competitions and the fact that the only settled QB in the last 6 seasons was a guy who already divided the fanbase. But before you build up too much of a reaction, listen to Fleck explain his thinking (at length, I might add).

Quick thoughts

  • Fleck has some decent reasons for the decision. He points out that neither player has a lot of game experience and that this can allow them to build both a starter and a backup with game experience. He also notes that if they’re going to do this, they have to announce it now so that they can properly game-plan for how it will work. These are pretty good reasons that are completely reasonable given the situation. That said, they’re not reasons to be excited about the decision either.
  • Some of the reasons aren’t as great. Teams have established starters without game experience all the time. All it takes is one player earning the job. Fleck talks about how multiple teams have played 2 QB’s and won natty’s in recent years but that’s typically been multiple QB’s with pretty divergent skill sets for differing looks, multiple QB’s with 5 stars who are both really good to start with when they failed to beat each other out, or injury related. You could argue that the first category applies here, but then you have to think Fleck would have mentioned that as the plan.
  • It’s not a big compliment to either player IMO. Fleck says this and it sounds great. But given what we know about both Demry Croft and Conor Rhoda I don’t think we can or should view this outcome as a big positive. If either player was in a position to make Gophers fans feel secure about the QB position right now then that player would have won the job for themselves.
  • The decision can change in the season. Fleck stated the obvious and noted that if one guy can win sole possession of the job later in the year. His comments about there being plenty of time before Buffalo AND Oregon State suggests we shouldn’t expect that to happen right away though.
  • This is not a QB controversy according to Fleck. But...but...but...
  • This is not the end of the world. Is this ideal? Nope. Is it shocking? Not really. Is it time to panic? No, but having significant levels of concern would not be unwarranted.


How do you feel about Fleck naming two QB ‘starters’ for Buffalo?

This poll is closed

  • 4%
    (17 votes)
  • 29%
    I’m good with it.
    (126 votes)
  • 42%
    I mean, it could be worse right?
    (182 votes)
  • 20%
    (89 votes)
  • 2%
    I am #VikingsTwitter angry about this.
    (11 votes)
425 votes total Vote Now