KELLY: Quarterbacks are for throwing - Tucson News Now

KELLY: Quarterbacks are for throwing

DK can't help it. He was born into football. DK can't help it. He was born into football.
(Cover photo courtesy: Pac-12) (Cover photo courtesy: Pac-12)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Over the last ten years the NFL has put rules in place to protect the most important player on the field.

The quarterback.

But yet throughout the history of college football going all the way back to the wing-T and wishbone days, we have seen a proliferation of offenses that ask the quarterback to run the football.

That was fine when all wishbone teams did was run the football.

But if you are also asking that quarterback to be a significant presence in your passing game, requiring him to run the football a lot can be a dicey proposition.

The Wildcats released their injury report today and as expected quarterback Anu Solomon was listed as questionable for Saturday's Territorial Cup game at Arizona State after taking a hard hit to the head in last Saturday’s win over #10 Utah.

It’s the second time Solomon has been knocked out of a game this season. Both times he was running the football. The first time was in a loss to UCLA. Solomon missed the next game at Stanford which UA also lost.

With Nick Wilson limited by injuries, Solomon has run the ball 21 times in the last two games.

In my mind that’s too many. 

Especially when your backup is a quarterback who is primarily a runner with a limited ability to consistently move the ball through the air.

In an era when the professional game is doing all that it can to keep its stars on the field, it boggles my mind that the collegiate game sends its star into the land of peril by continually asking them to cross the line of scrimmage with the ball in their hands.

If head coaches are going to run the football with their quarterbacks seven-to-10 times a game than they better do a better job of teaching those quarterbacks how to protect themselves because if I'm a defensive coordinator, I'm telling my guys, "If he crosses that line? You go get him."

And that's exactly what the Wildcats have to do with the Sun Devils dual-threat quarterback Mike Bercovici. They need to punish him every time he crosses the line of scrimmage with the ball in his hands.

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