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At Big 12 Media Days, Coaches Discuss Choosing Starting Quarterbacks

Three Big 12 coaches touched on the way they pick a starting quarterback at Big 12 Media Days.

Several Big 12 coaches are having to break in new starting quarterbacks this season, and at Big 12 Media Days on Monday, Lincoln Riley, Gary Patterson, and Kliff Kingsbury all touched on their process for selecting new signal callers.

Asked about whether he had a guy in mind to become the starting quarterback for the Red Raiders next season, Kingsbury said that he was hoping to narrow the field as quickly as possible. Texas Tech has multiple candidates vying for the position this season, including Jett Duffey, McLane Carter, and Alan Bowman.

The Texas Tech head coach said all three were athletic, great players. Rather than having to prepare multiple passers, though, he said he wanted “to push the reps to one guy” and “develop him to the highest extent.”

Gary Patterson didn’t seem as anxious to make that decision. Even though he brought quarterback Shawn Robinson to Big 12 Media Days, Patterson was reluctant to anoint the true sophomore from the podium.

Despite the fact that most people know him as a defensive coach, Patterson recognizes that evaluating the quarterback position is a unique process. “That position is just different,” he said, “when you have a new guy in place, you do them a disservice if you ask too much of them as far as the pressure of it.”

Patterson said that he waits until his players see the field to evaluate them rather than just looking at how they perform in practice: “I don’t judge quarterbacks in practice or stats, anything else. I judge ‘em on Saturdays.”

Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley stressed the importance of getting the right player for that position. When asked by assembled media about presumed starter Kyler Murray, Riley pointed out that neither redshirt junior Kyler Murray nor redshirt sophomore Austin Kendall had won the job yet.

“I think…at least the most important thing early,” Riley said, “for us is let’s make sure we get the right guy, put them through the competition and test these guys.”

All three coaches have had successful quarterbacks in the past, so it will be interesting to watch throughout the season and see how implementing these different philosophies affects their team’s on-the-field results.

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