July 25, 2013

Countdown to preseason practice: the QBs

This is the first in a multi-part series leading up to the start of Tulane's preseason practice on Aug. 2. We start with the quarterbacks, who have the tall order of replacing Ryan Griffin. All he did was break the Green Wave record book for most passing yards in a game twice despite operating behind a shaky offensive line and being saddled with a defense that struggled to stop anyone.

Key question: Is it really an open competition between Nick Montana and Devin Powell for the starting job?

In a word, no. Well, that's not fair. If Powell outplays Montana in the preseason, he might win the job, but it's hard to imagine him actually accomplishing that goal. Granted, we were not allowed to watch spring practice, but Powell's one start in place of an injured Griffin last year was very revealing. He was miles away from being ready in Tulane's shutout loss to Ole Miss, and his post-game press conference, when he said he thought he played well, indicated a lack of maturity. It takes more to succeed at quarterback than a rocket arm, which he possesses.

Montana has more experience, having started a full season in junior college after losing a tight battle for the starting job at Washington as a freshman, and certainly more pocket awareness. Powell was a sacks machine in his limited time on the field last year (nine in a little more than six quarters).

To steal a line from Bob Ryan on The Sports Reporters, I will be shocked, SHOCKED, if a healthy Montana is not the starter against Jackson State on Aug. 29.

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