With just one week of spring practice left, West Virginia head coach Neal Brown has been very pleased with the play of his quarterbacks. Starter Jarret Doege ended last season on a bit of a sour note with two poor performances at Iowa State and in the bowl game vs Army in which he was pulled for Austin Kendall.
Brown said earlier this offseason that he wanted Doege to become more mobile in the pocket so that he could keep plays alive a little longer and give his receivers a little extra time to find the open space or hit the top of their route. In the last couple of practices, Doege has done a really good job of doing just that - buying time.
"He had one bad period on Thursday night in some of our situational work but other than that, he's really done a nice job," Neal Brown said of Doege. "He's really one of our most improved players which is a positive for him and it's really just about buying some time. Like today, we had a little 4th and short play that we ran a naked on and he did a really good job of buying about a second of extra time by backing up and getting the ball off for a first down. On Thursday night, he had a great play where he just kind of moved to the right and found a guy and it was a big 3rd down completion. For the untrained eye I'm not sure that the person that's just watching, a fan, I'm not sure they notice that. But those little minute things will make a difference for him. He had a really efficient day."
As Brown said once before, no one is going to mistake Doege for Lamar Jackson but it will be crucial for him to be able to move in the pocket and evade pressure. The better he is moving around in the pocket, the better this offense will be. Neal's statement on Doege saying he's probably their most improved player is also a good sign to see. That's something you kind of expect out of redshirt senior but with how last season ended, there's always the unknown of how a quarterback would bounce back from that.
To help push Doege in that quarterback room is redshirt freshman Garrett Greene who doesn't just have good mobility in the pocket but can also scramble around and pick up big gains on the ground with his legs if need be. He brings a totally different set of skills to the table with his dual-threat ability. Neal Brown put him in a live situation on Saturday and he took full advantage of his opportunity.
"We let Garrett Greene go without a yellow jersey today. He had some big runs which was a positive and was able to come up with some broken plays. He made some plays down the field - one big pass on a scramble. Some of the best things he does is when the pocket breaks down, he's able to make plays. I was pleased with him, I've been pleased with him this spring. I think he's growing, I think he's maturing and he had a good day. I think he was the leading rusher on the two's and I think he had three touchdown passes."
You'll get to catch both Doege and Greene in action this Saturday, April 24th, at 1 p.m. in the annual Gold-Blue Spring Game.
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