Drew Weatherford will be the number one quarterback going into spring practice in 2007. It is probably safe to say that if Bobby Bowden had his way, Weatherford would be the starting QB for next season. For some inexplicable reason, Bowden has not given Xavier Lee the opportunity that he deserves.
Weatherford does have the playing experience but experience does not mean competence. Weatherford in 2006 did not show marked improvement in his reads and his proclivity for interceptions. In addition, he is not a mobile quarterback as is Lee. In looking at Weatrherford compared to other ACC quarterbacks, he does not fare well. He was near the bottom in the ACC in pass efficiency at number 7.
If you look at his TD to Interception ratio in 2005 and 2006, the ratios are almost the same. He had 18 TDs and 18 interceptions in 2005 and in 2006 he had 11 TDs and 10 interceptions. He was also down in terms of TD productivity in 2006. In the ACC, he ranked near the bottom in TD productivity. His pass completion percentage was 56.7 % for the 2006 season. This pass completion percentage put Weatherford near the bottom at number 7 with the other ACC quarterbacks.Not withstanding the numbers, when you watch Weatherford you see a quarterback that just seems to make the same mistakes over and over again.
So how did Weatherford's less than stellar performance this past season manifest itself in games? Take the second loss of the season when the Noles lost to NC State 24-20. After a NC State TD in the fourth quarter, the Noles took the ball and drove down the field when Weatherford threw an interception at the NC State 19. NC State played out the clock and won for what was a devastating loss. In the Boston College game, the Noles trailing BC 24-17 had a 17 play, 68 yard drive come to an end with a Weatherford incomplete pass to Antone Smith. In the Florida loss, Weatherford threw for three interceptions and was sacked twice.
This also brings into question the coaching of these quarterbacks. It has been speculated that QB coach Daryl Dickey may not be back for the 2007 season.
And what about Xavier Lee? It is unfair to compare his stats with that of Weatherford due to the fact that Lee has not played many games for the Noles. In the games that he did play he had 7 TDs and 5 interceptions. It was clear in the games that he played that he has tremendous potential and is able to scramble unlike Weatherford. Questionable decisions by Bowden to start Weatherford in games has led Lee to make comments that he may be considering his options regarding transferring to another school. If the new offensive coordinator can convince him that he will be given a fair shot, I think Lee will stay at FSU.
So will spring practice be a two man race or will there be a third player competing for the starting job at QB? There is talk that 6'1" freshmen D'Vontrey Richardson will compete for the starting QB job. Richardson is a tremendous athlete and was a four-star prospect according to Rivals.com and was ranked as the No. 1 athlete in the state of Georgia. He had numerous awards coming out of high school in Georgia. I would be shocked if Bobby Bowden would let his new offensive coordinator even consider starting a freshmen QB given his thoughts on that subject.
Hopefully the new offensive coordinator will evaluate the quarterbacks fairly. One can only hope that occurs. I think Lee and the other quarterbacks that willl be competing in spring practice only want a fair shot. They want to be objectively evaluated instead of being evaluated in some parallel universe by Bobby Bowden.
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
Posted by tallynolefan at 6:23 PM