What is BYU quarterback Riley Nelson doing this week? Along with getting more reps in practice in hopes of being physically able to play against Utah State on Friday, the senior is talking up the Aggies at every opportunity. Here are more of Nelson's thoughts on his former team.
There's a little bit of Jabari Parker news today, with his father telling ESPN.com that the prep basketball phenom who has an offer from BYU will make official visits to Duke and Michigan State. Parker visited BYU at the end of August, but paid his own way, so he technically could visit BYU again as one of his five allotted official visits.
There's also some NFL news regarding former Cougars. Quarterback John Beck has been released by the Houston Texans, according to this report. Meanwhile, former BYU linebacker Bryan Kehl, who is becoming quite the journeyman, has been signed by the Kansas City Chiefs.
My main offering in Wednesday's Tribune takes a look back at last year's BYU-Utah State game, and attempts to make the case that offensive coordinator Brandon Doman's big decision to yank Jake Heaps and insert Riley Nelson into the game not only changed the course of that contest, but greatly altered the future of BYU quarterbacking for several years.
There are a few comments from Doman about how the offense's identity has or hasn't changed in the article. Here are a few more:
On how the offense fits Taysom Hill's skills:
"It is all the same stuff. So all the runs that we have put in, run plays, there are some open option stuff, some quarterback draws and things like that, that we put in for Riley. Taysom can do them. He is just bigger, and he's very successful at it.
Then the movement stuff the bootlegs and naked rollouts that we utilize Riley's strengths in doing, Taysom can do them as well."
On whether the offense still includes the BYU basics:
"Yeah. Like I said, the skeleton of the passing offense is the same skeleton. Now, how we get to it, we can get to it from different ways: be it straight dropback, or play action, or movement. Maybe the strengths of some guys is down-the-field throws, and maybe for other guys, like Riley, their strengths aren't lining up and throwing the ball down the field, trying to stretch the defense.
Max [Hall] was really good at that. And we don't know yet how good Taysom will be at stretching the defense. It takes a lot of time to get good at the passing game in this offense. So we are kinda baby stepping with Taysom."
On how his decision last year to yank Heaps in favor of Riley has impacted BYU quarterbacking for years to come:
"The guys that were the very best here had the utmost trust and confidence from their teammates. And then willpower in their character. And character is who you are, so these guys, I want a quarterback that is going to try hard, that is going to be here early, that is going to stay late and do the work.
And then if they have got the talent, then we are going to recruit them and sign them here. And if they don't have that, I certainly don't want to miss on a guy. If they can run, great, if they can throw, great. We will utilize the skillset that he has."
On whether you have to swallow your ego as an offensive coordinator and just go with what's working and not get too fancy:
"You know, I think for me, and I don't know what anyone else cares about, or what they want us to be, I want us to be an offense that is full of grit, and then we execute our assignments well, and then be able to do it fast. And then our identity as we move forward, I want it to be a progression-based, passing offense. It started that way, but we are five weeks into the season, and we have had to make an adjustment. So my ego hurts more when we lose than anything. And we got to do whatever is best for this football team, and in that particular game, the run game is what was working for us. Hopefully we can improve these quarterbacks in the pass game, so if we need to lean on that, we can do it well."
On whether they were surprised at way Taysom Hill played:
"No. I have been around him long enough to know that he is a football player, and I didn't expect our entire offense to play the way that they did. I was hopeful that they would, but the young man is a great football player. He loves to play, and he's got great poise.
So I don't know that I was that surprised."
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