Army spring football wrap-up: Quarterback battle 'wide open'
When discussing spring practices, Army coach Rich Ellerson on Thursday sounded like someone who has spent plenty of time at a military academy.
“We did some things internally to facilitate a more combative internal reaction,” he said during a spring wrap-up media call.
Huh? Translation please?
Ellerson was describing how the team participated in more contact drills than in previous springs, “and that allowed us to get a lot of dynamic team reps for an awful lot of guys.”
It also left the Black Knights, who are coming off a 2-10 season, beat up, but Ellerson said none of the injuries was serious. Army wrapped up its spring session with its Black and Gold scrimmage March 8.
The hottest topic this spring has been the competition to replace four-year starting quarterback Trent Steelman. Ellerson called the race “wide open,” but he sounded like it was essentially a two-man battle between sophomore A.J. Schurr and junior Angel Santiago – with Schurr leading at this point.
“Both of them made some remarkable plays in the course of spring football,” Ellerson said.
Regardless of who wins the job, Ellerson said he knows his triple-option offense must establish more of a passing game. In 2012, Army led the nation in rushing with 369.8 yards per game but was last in passing, averaging just 66.4 yards.
As a result, opposing defenses have gone all out to try to stop the Black Knights’ ground attack.
“Frankly, we have to get more out of our receiving corps,” Ellerson said. “We have to get more out of that part of our game. … If you felt good about where you were with the receiver and the quarterback throwing the ball, you’d just lick your chops."