Saturday marked the sixth of 15 spring practices for the Huskies, the end of the second of five weeks of drills.
Which seemed like a good time to check in on the progress of the quarterbacks.
As might be expected, there’s nothing new on a decision on a starter among Keith Price and Nick Montana (pictured above in a Dean Rutz photo from earlier this spring) to replace Jake Locker. That likely won’t come until the fall.
And as also might be expected, coaches remain pretty vague in assessing where the competition is.
Here’s what offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Doug Nussmeier had to say about it after practice today: “They are just continuing to grow and continuing to learn. It’s been good to create a competitive environment and let them both compete and they both have a different style in the way they play so it’s interesting to watch each of them. They are both doing a real nice job. Both of them have different skill sets so we are always trying to improve as a group and we work on a lot of things that both of them need to improve on and then we spend time working on individual things, but there are always things we can improve on.”
There also aren’t a lot of vocal fireworks coming from either Price or Montana, who each insist they aren’t worried much about who wins their battle, concentrating instead on making the team better.
“I don’t worry about that at all,” Price said. “We are all on the same team. … We work together. I don’t see myself above him or see him above me. I think we don’t even look at it like that. If he sees something on the field I didn’t see he will come back and let me know, and vice versa.”
Asked if he was being coached to say that, Price smiled (which he does often) and said: “No, it’s just a natural thing. We are not selfish.”
Echoed Montana when asked if he spends much time worrying about where he stands in the eyes of the coaches: “Nothing like that. I just try to get as far as I can, progressing myself and with the team. I’m competing with Keith (Price). He’s a great quarterback and he’s making me better every day. I don’t see it as a competition like everyone is making it out to be. We’re just going out there to have fun and for me to be the best player I can be.”
Instead, each said they’re focused on making themselves better.
Asked what he needs to work on, Montana said: “Just defensive recognition and getting more comfortable on the field. Seeing it and knowing the weakness. Just talking to a couple people, a few other quarterbacks like Jake (Locker) and some of the older guys, told me the game will really slow down when you get that aspect (down).”
He said he thinks that is starting to come a little bit.
“I’m a lot more comfortable than I was last year at this time and even at (Fall) camp last year,” he said. “I feel like I have a good feel of the offense right now, getting through my progressions and finding somebody. I’m pretty far along when it comes to (reading) the defense, but there’s still a lot more I can do so that’s what I’m really focusing on. I feel like if I get that down, that will be pretty big for me.”
Said Price: “I still need to get better. There are still some things I need to learn and just keep getting better and I think with repetition that will come.”
Asked where he needs to improve, he said: “Just speeding up my reads, that’s my main thing, just playing faster in my mind. I’m on the right people, it’s just a matter of getting to them faster.”