Just to let you guys know we've named our starting quarterback and it will be Josh Nunes for San Jose State next Friday night. Josh has done a great job. As we talked about from the very beginning, from our first team meeting last winter, that the guy who was going to play quarterback was the guy who could do it all as far as managing the running game, making our protections, getting us to the right play. Josh has done that. It's not about who hasn't played well. All of our quartebacks have competed. All of our quarterbacks have approached this with a workman like attitude but Josh has been the most consistent over this time so he'll be our starter.
How and when did you inform both guys?
David Shaw: I told them both this morning. Both understood. Both are ready to roll and ready to start getting into game plan mode, ready to play a game. Every quarterback who has ever played, every quarterback who has ever been a No. 2 or a No. 3, if he's any good at all he'll prepare like a starter anyway. It doesn't change anything else that we do. We just come out and named Josh the starter and we go back to work.
Did you expect it to take as long as it did and is that a good thing?
DS: It's a very good thing. If I had to make this decision the first week that would have meant that we didn't have a competition. We had a serious competition. Brett Nottingham has made huge strides. Kevin Hogan has made huge strides. So just the fact that we feel we have three plus guys, not just three, we feel really good about our quarterback position for the next few years honestly. The fact that it did take this long was a good thing because it was a battle.
Do you anticipate any of the other guys getting playing time against San Jose State
I'll never say never.
Did you talk to Josh about not trying to be Andrew Luck?
We had that conversation the first week and I told them all flat out don't try to be Andrew luck because you can't. It's impossible. I don't know that there's a guy in the nation right now, young or old, that's where Andrew was when he left here. So for our guys it's managing the game. Guy's open, hit him with the ball. When we check out of a play audible-wise make sure it's the right audible to get to the right run play. We're still going to have our multi-layered kills, calling three plays in the huddle, that's just what we do now. So Josh has proven that he's been the most consistent doing that.
What put him over the top?
DS: The entire time since we started the offseason, the workouts in the winter to the spring to training camp and all the empirical evidence that we've collected Josh has been the most consistent and is the best guy for the job right now.
Is it fair to say that Nottingham is No. 2 and Hogan is No. 3 right now or is that still a battle?
DS: I never talk about twos and threes. We have guys that have different talents but they're going to compete and as I've told all of them at every position, if you're not the starter oyu're always competing. You can't ever take a day off. Every rep you get has got to be approached like life and death and our guys understand that.
(If) teams load the box on you and force you to throw because you have such a strong running game, did Nunes prove he could handle that situation during practice?
DS: No question. We had that last year even with Andrew. We still ran the ball more than we threw the ball last year and people can load the box, that's fine, we're still going to run it. Nobody in the country is going to talk us out of running the ball. That's just what we do. It's a part of what we do. If we want to run it, we'll run it and we want to throw it we'll throw it. The most important thing is that we're efficient and that's the main job of the quarterback is to make sure that we're getting to the right play at the right time.
Is it fair to say that Josh has a better grasp of the offense overall?
DS: I would have said that in the spring. Right now Brett has closed that gap. I think Kevin Hogan has closed that gap. I think Coach Hamilton has done a phenomenal job of preparing these quarterbacks so that's why it was a tough decision. That's how Kevin Hogan got into the competition anyway. Athletic tools he's got it all. But it was the mental game that he was lacking. And he made up ground just like Brett Nottingham made up ground. I would say mentally they're all pretty close to being even, which is a true testament to all of those guys.
Outside of the game film and talking to your coaches and evaluating things yourself, what steps did you take to reach this decision?
DS: Well we watch every practice and evaluate every play in every practice. And then we watch it with the players, go through all the coaching points and then every day I go home and I watch practices again on my iPad and I take notes on every single play, every positive, every negative. And once again looking over the entire training camp, looking over the entire spring ball this was the decision that I came to.
Knowing how close it was and how long the competition went on, what did you tell Brett afterwards?
DS: I told Brett that he's done great. This is not an indictment at all on any inabilities that he has it's just over time Josh has been a little more consistent. Anybody that was here on (Sunday) saw Brett can throw the ball, Brett's athletic, he can move in and out of the pocket. We see the same thing from Kevin Hogan. But all that we've done up to this point Josh has bene the most consistent. And make no mistake, this was not about wow plays, this was not about doing something outside of the framework of the offense. This is about consistency and executing the plays that were called.
Why make the decision today versus in next week or couple of days?
DS: It's time. It's time. I think it became clear and I'm not one for waiting so once it became clear we decided to do it today and now Josh can take the rest of the week getting all of the reps with the ones and then we go into game week without this distraction. We start game week and we just roll.
How valuable was Andrew Luck last year for these two guys just to sit and watch as far as their development was concerned?
DS: Invaluable. You couldn't put an amount on it because they saw a guy who, once again, it's been said by other schools about our Heisman campaign. We didn't run Andrew's Heisman campaign. That was run by the media. The guy was that good. Every time I looked he was on TV. It wasn't us, it was everybody else. But with all that was around him they saw a guy come in every single day and prepare and prepare and prepare. And be just excited for a 60-yard run as a 60-yard touchdown. Because the guy played the game of football. It was the small things that were important, it was the small things were vital. And he watned to get all of that down. And still Andrew saying that one of his best games he's ever played was the Washington game where he didn't throw the ball very much but from that quarterback position he controlled the game. He controlled the running game and all the protections and he was flawless that game. And those guys experiencing that, it's not about stats, it's not about touchdowns and completions, it's about can I get my team in a position to win football gams and that more than anything else is what Andrew taught them.
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