When you have Two Quarterbacks, You Don’t Have One

University of Minnesota football coach, P.J. Fleck, announced he is going to go with a 2 quarterback system. I’ve never been fond of a 2 quarterback system and haven’t seen it work too often. A few that have worked:

  • Florida won the national championship in 2005 with Chris Leak as the starter, and Tim Tebow brought in for red zone attempts.
  • LSU won the national championship in 2007 with Matt Ryan and Ryan Perrilloux.  They both were utilized for a specific strategy, that was a reaction, to the defense.
  • Ohio State recently played with a 2 quarterback system, and arguably was successful with it. The quarterbacks were different types, one a good passer; the other a strong runner. Besides Cardale, and J.T. Barrett, they had a 3rd option if all else failed, in Braxton Miller, their former starting quarterback, and now wide receiver.

jmp 002 Gophers football practice

Reasons for using a 2 quarterback system:

  • They are both talented in specific ways. So each is played to hopefully take advantage of each’s strength.
  • They are rotated in a manner that confuses defenses.
  • The coach doesn’t have confidence in one guy doing the job.
  • You are much more prepared in the event of injury.

Reasons for not using the 2 quarterback system

  • You can easily lose your rhythm. Each quarterback has his own cadence, which causes off-sides and other penalties, when switching.
  • Each quarterback has a different style of pass, which the receivers have to remember for each series.
  • Team leadership is lost. There isn’t that leader you need in the fourth quarter, when you are down, and need to score.
  • It can cause players to transfer, so they can play more, and lead the team. Look at all the transfers that have taken place in last 10 years.
  • Having to split time takes the confidence away from both. Confidence and a little swag in college, is a must for the quarterback.

Let’s hope one of them stands out in the early games, and he then earns the starting role.


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