At this time 3 WVU QBs are standing out, with Skyler Howard being the No. 1, William Crest being the No. 2, and Chris Chugunov being the No. 3. What is currently separating them is their ability to run Holgorsen’s offense.
In an earlier presser Coach Dana Holgorsen stated that two of the things he was looking from his quarterback was the ability to run his offense and passing accuracy. Passing accuracy seems to be one of the things that is lacking.
Something else Holgorsen has indicated he is looking for is the ability to extend plays and to be able and willing to run with the ball. All of the WVU QBs have the athletic ability to do so.
Prior to the open practice in Morgantown, Holgorsen stated that Chris Chugunov and David Sills would be getting more reps. I suspect that he is doing this to get them more comfortable with the offense in his search for a more accurate passer.
Comparing the high school highlights of Chris Chugunov with the others shows that he is the better passer of the group. However, Chug has yet to show this in the scrimmages.
When viewing Chug’s highlights you see him being able to hit a receiver who is in full stride; you see him throwing a receiver open; you see him hitting the back shoulder pass; you see him throwing into a tight window where only his receiver can get the ball; you see he has a quick release; and you seeing him running with the ball all the while looking for an open receiver and just before he crosses the line of scrimmage, he finds and hits that receiver with the ball.
There are no issues in these highlights with Chug’s throwing motion. However, in the two open practices this spring, no one has seen any of this from Chugunov. It is obvious that he is struggling.
I seriously doubt that Holgorsen needs to see his QBs running with the ball and extending plays in scrimmage, for he knows all of them can do this. He knows that 3 of them can run his offense. What Holgorsen is looking for is for one of his QBs to show in live action that he can make all of the throws accurately.
We have read or heard that Howard and Sills have to work on their passing technique and skills. Howard and Sills both are late throwing the ball, and need to work on their deep ball technique.
Chugunov on the other possesses what Howard and Sills lacks when he comes to passing. So why is Chug struggling?
I saw what Chug’s is struggling with in Geno Smith when he was at WVU and since he has been with the New York Jets. It is called ‘Trying Too Hard’. Instead of letting the plays come to him, they begin to try and force the play.
One thing that can cause a QB to do this is he begins to over think, instead of simply reacting to the game. This can happen to all football players at every position. One thing coaches do to help players get over this is repetition in practice. This is most likely why Chug and Sills will be getting more reps.
Holgorsen sees what is going on, and wants Chug and Sills to get more comfortable running the offense. The more comfortable they get running the offense the better passers they will become, and this will put more pressure on Howard and Crest to perform.
Of all of WVU’s QBs, the best passer is Chug, though he is not showing it currently, and the best at running Holg’s offense is Howard. Chug’s ability to run Holg’s offense is greatly improving. Now Chug needs to stop pressing, relax and let the game come to him. I realize that the game is faster now, but he is thinking faster than the game is playing.
If Chug settles down, stops thinking and just starts reacting, he’ll not only have better control of the offense, but his passing will greatly improve. This all goes back to the one statement we hear a lot from Holg and that is ‘the kid’s head is spinning’. With more offense reps at QB, the game will slow down for Chug, thus slowing down his thinking which will allow him to be the passer we all know he is.
My advice to the QBs, if you want the starting job work on your passing skills and prove you are the better passer in scrimmages.
Holgorsen has everything he is looking for in this core of QBs except accurate passing. The QB who illustrates he is the better passer will take over as the starter at some point , and remain the starter in 2016.
Edited by Michael Walker