Don't Count Kendall Out for 2020
I know what you're thinking, but it's not what you think. This is not a piece vouching for Kendall to reclaim his job nor do I think that he should, but can he? This is more about the possibility of Neal Brown giving it consideration.
Why would he? Well..here's a theory as to why.
Like him or not, Austin Kendall was dealt a bad hand, no pun intended with his injury. He knew when he made the decision to come to Morgantown that it would be a rebuild, but maybe didn't think it would be as tough as a task as it turned out to be. Injuries, youth and inexperience have hindered the Mountaineers offense throughout the 2019 season. Did the issues get resolved with a quarterback change? Maybe some, but not enough to make that much of a difference. Ever heard the saying: "It doesn't matter if you polish a turd, it's still a turd?" Well, that might apply with the offense. You can try to polish the offense with a new quarterback, but until the unit collectively improves, it'll still remain in neutral.
Doege has played well, don't get it twisted. This is solely on the surrounding pieces of the offense that have struggled to make this thing go. Doege has a tremendous feel for the game, the offense and the pocket, but he too, has been a victim of the same troubles that Kendall dealt with through the first nine games of the season. Head coach Neal Brown has brought it to the media's attention almost on a weekly basis stating it's not a quarterbacking issue, it's much more than that.
Although Doege has looked good, don't lock him into the starting role for 2020 just yet. Here's a side by side comparison of Doege and Kendall:
Points Per Game
Passing Yards Per Game
Yards Per Game
After reviewing the numbers, what do you think? Who would you start? There's not really a definitive answer, which backs coach Brown's point of it not being a quarterback issue. Quarterback A is Austin Kendall, quarterback B is Jarret Doege. Both have similar numbers and both have a category or two over the other with the rest being fairly even.
With the final three to four games of the season remaining, Brown wanted to see what Doege is capable of and with the team way out of contention, it made sense to play him. Could he be thinking about keeping Kendall out of harms way and not risk injury? It's possible that is a factor into it as well. Maybe it will light a fire under Kendall having to watch Doege lead the offense to spark a quarterback competition in the off-season. Kendall has been here before. He's been in a quarterback battle ever since he's stepped foot on a college campus and has had to fight like hell to see the field -that could be the case in 2020.
Kendall doesn't have the arm strength that Doege possesses and doesn't have nearly as sharp of pocket presence, but a whole off-season under this coaching staff could help fine tune some things.
Doege is the team's future, no doubt, but will it be next year? Or the following year? Comment your thoughts below.