Photo courtesy of Colorado athletics
On Tuesday morning, the Pac-12 conference continued its media webinar for the second day. This time, it featured Colorado head coach Karl Dorrell, Utah’s Kyle Whittingham, and Washington head coach Jimmy Lake.
The topic of conversation centered around how to replacing key components of last year’s teams. In particular, replacing the quarterback position. This conversation also led into a discussion of next season’s outlook, as well as some other topics.
Here are three main takeaways from Dorrell’s comments to the media:
Dorrell Pleased With His Coaching Staff So Far
The Colorado Buffaloes’ head coach has one need above all else from his coaching staff.
“That’s really first and foremost, I want good teachers,” Dorrell said.
This is the same major theme Dorrell outlined during his introductory press conference. He has put together his all-star staff filled with a combination of experienced coaches and budding stars. Not only that, but his staff combines coaches from his past as well as Colorado staples to bring together a new collective culture at Folsom Field.
Although the separation prompts a new challenge, Dorrell noted that he felt comfortable with the direction his coaches were headed. During athletics director Rick George’s press conference with the media just two weeks ago, he mentioned how the football team was allocating eight hours a week to video conferences. While these took a break during finals, it seems the coaching staff is back to full-steam ahead in teaching concepts to their players remotely.
No Frontrunners to Start Under Center Come Fall
Dorrell was very uncommitted when discussing his future starting quarterback.
In fact, he gave just about equal speaking time to each guy in that room. Essentially, Dorrell summarized the transitions that have happened since the end of the Mel Tucker era. The first domino to fall was Blake Stenstrom entering the transfer portal in the late winter.
Following this was Brendon Lewis enrolling on campus and Sam Noyer moving back into the quarterback room. Noyer showed interest in becoming a grad transfer to another school, and Dorrell mentioned how his staff had to convince him to stay with Colorado — a move that may outline the true availability of the starting job. The only quarterback consistency comes from junior Tyler Lytle.
Dorrell was also not shy to mention the lack of experience from the three men in front, with Lewis being a freshman, Lytle playing close to 20 snaps last season, and Noyer playing safety until Tucker arrived.
Ultimately, there were no major revelations about a frontrunner in the race. However, the competition may be much more open than fans may have previously believed.
What Should Preparation Look Like Before Next Season?
The coaching panel fielded lots of questions regarding next season’s outlook. This should not be a surprise.
What was surprising, however, is how candid Dorrell was in regard to next season. He believes eight weeks would provide sufficient preparation time, with four being spent on conditioning and four being spent on training camp. With that said, Dorrell does not think that “we’re going to get anything close to that.” While his outlook on preparation time is bleak, the coaches were sure to mention they were grateful for any time at all.
“We don’t want to lose any games,” he said.
His response comes in regard to asking if altering the season schedule could provide more time for conditioning. On top of that, Dorrell believes all programs should have a blanket-start to the season. There were questions regarding start-times based on varying climates, such as Boulder compared to Washington.
Although at a higher altitude, the Buffs’ new head coach still harped on everyone starting on the same page. However, just hours after his press conference, ESPN reported that NCAA President Mark Emmert would leave decisions on start dates to state officials and university presidents.
While there is still not much outlook on the 2020 season, the coaches in Boulder are chopping at the bit to get on the field – in whatever capacity that might be.