Steffy Wins Popular Vote
Just got back from the gym, and I wanted to chime in a little more on this player-polling issue before I head off for College Park. The question is: Why did Ralph Friedgen acknowledge that two-thirds of the players polled about the QB situation picked Jordan Steffy?
Someone asked me to review the situation, so here is how it unfolded: A week ago, Friedgen announced his QB decision to a group of reporters in his office. Ralph cited a statistical advantage by Steffy as part of his justification for the decision. He also said that offensive coordinator James Franklin polled a handful of players. When asked who the players voted for, Friedgen said two-thirds picked Steffy. Later that day, we asked Franklin about the players he asked and he said it did not matter who they were.
I have three points that have been made to me by other observers:
1) If Steffy clearly won the statistical battle, why even volunteer the fact that players were polled. The coach doesn’t need to win over the public, does he? If the stats in practice say Steffy, then that should be enough justification.
2) Revealing the results of the informal poll can do more harm than good. If the coaches knew that the situation with Chris Turner possibly leaving was precarious, why risk anything by saying that two-thirds voted for Steffy?
3) If Steffy had won the statistical battle, but Turner had won the support of the veterans polled, what would have happened? Would Friedgen still have revealed the results of the poll? How much tougher would the decision have been?
By the way, I did not ask any players specifically who they voted for, but recent interviews do suggest that they have confidence in Steffy.
Center Edwin Williams said all three quarterbacks were talented, but he said Steffy stood out because he prepares better than any player he has seen. "If you ask Jordan on every play what he did and what he had to look at, he will tell you every single thing to a tee," Williams said. "As far as a quarterback goes, he knows exactly what he needs to do, how he needs to do it, when he needs to throw, what speed. Jordan played as a true freshman; he knows what it takes to be a division I quarterback."
Earlier in camp, intrepid Post reporter Steve Yanda interviewed wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey, who chimed in with these thoughts regarding last year’s challenge of adjusting to a quarterback change: “It was frustrating at times, but, you know, for me, it was more of a, you know, I came on towards the end of the year. Having a quarterback change in the middle of the season, after the Rutgers game, it’s a little bit different because you have been taking all the reps with one guy and now you gotta switch it over to another guy and everything like that. It was tough for me. …
“It is hard to adjust because your timing with your quarterback is key in football. That’s why you take a lot of reps and have a lot of practice with that quarterback. That quarterback drops back different than the other quarterbacks, and that quarterback knows you run this route like this certain way. You have to have a mode of relationship off the field and on the field in order to get things rolling.”
August 25, 2008; 12:59 PM ET
Categories: Football | Tags: Chris Turner, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Edwin Williams, James Franklin, Jordan Steffy, Ralph Friedgen, Steve Yanda
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