North Texas Daily

Mean Green quarterbacks adjusting to spotlight

Mean Green quarterbacks adjusting to spotlight

Mean Green quarterbacks adjusting to spotlight
September 09
00:08 2014

By Ehsan Azad/Staff Writer

The departure of former Mean Green quarterback Derek Thompson meant new opportunities for the younger quarterbacks on the roster, but it also meant that there would be an adjustment period for them as well.

Sophomore Josh Greer beat out junior Andrew McNulty for the starting quarterback position to start the season, but the results through two games have been a mixed bag for both players. While the coaches knew there would be some growing pains initially, they hope that those disappear very soon.

“[Greer] has got to get better, every  quarterback has got to get better,” head coach Dan McCarney said. “An average athlete can become a really special football player through fundamentals, through commitment, through watching tape, making a commitment to the little things.”

McCarney said that some of the best players he coached started as average athletes, but turned into great college football players through the fundamentals of the game. The quarterbacks can become good it just takes the commitment to making themselves a better player.

“That is what we are trying to sell here,” McCarney said.

The season opener on Aug. 30 against the University of Texas was a down day for both Greer and McNulty.  The quarterbacks combined for three completions, four interceptions and 15 yards. In Saturday’s game against Southern Methodist University, Greer’s numbers improved, going 9 of 12 passes for 86 yards and no turnovers. Greer knew going into the season he would face some adversity after transferring in from Navarro Junior College.

“I knew it was something I have never experienced before, playing at a Division-I level, and there will be things I will learn through every game,” Greer said. “The difference between this past week and Texas, I felt like I made big strides and the game slowed down a lot for me.”

Greer said he is more comfortable now and is able to read things more clearly than how he did during the first week of the season. McNulty, who completed 3 of 5 passes in the SMU game knows there are reasons for an adjustment period because of the inexperience level, but they have overcome it.

“We knew there was a little transition period, but at the same time we get a lot of reps at practice, we try to simulate game experiences,” McNulty said. “We go out there and try to do the best we can and put our team in the best position to win.”

The coaching staff isn’t worried about the bad start or any starts to come because they know that it takes time for players to grow.

“It is part of the growing pains, we got to continue to grow and get better,” offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Mike Canales said. “It is going to take time. They truly understand the system but it’s just creating all the various looks you get game in and game out with the speed of the game.”

Canales said that before Thompson helped lead the Mean Green to a bowl victory he also had challenges when he first started.

“I remember Derek Thompson’s first couple of starts when we played at FIU and Alabama, it was a struggle,” Canales said.

Greer said that all he can do is keep working to get better between games and that if he puts in the work, results will come.

“Keep doing what I am doing, extra stuff in the film room, working extra on the field with the receivers, I mean everyday I come to work and try to improve every aspect,” Greer said. “I will pick something up on film and work on it the next day in practice.”

Canales still has confidence in all his quarterbacks said he has seen flashes of potential throughout practices and games so far.

“I know we are capable of throwing the football, I watch it in practice every day, I watch the scrimmages through the spring and the fall, I know we can throw the football,” Canales said. “Its just we do what is going to help us win games. The bottom line is we got to win.”

Featured Image: Sophomore quarterback Josh Greer catches the snap during the home opener on Saturday. Greer completed nine passes for 86 yards against Southern Methodist University. Photo by Edward Balusek – Visuals Editor

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