Normally at this time of the day you’d be seeing a variety of bullet points telling you in the greatest detail possible, of how awesome of a practice the Cats just had. Well today is a different story, because today Joker Phillips announced that Max Smith beat out Morgan Newton for the job as starting QB. This post is all of the quote worthy materials about the decision on who will be the Cats fearless leader.
– Joker came out right away to say who was going to take the job, but he couldn’t just go out there and say it and kept us waiting for awhile.
“…You’ve got to make tough decisions and be held accountable for them, and this is one of the toughest decisions I’ve had to make, and it’s the 3rd time I’ve had to make one like this. We have two Quarterbacks that we feel like can win in this league, and both have won in this league and the one we feel like has the best chance at doing that for us at this point…(15 more seconds of dialogue) is Max.”
I’ve never covered anything like this before and even though I already knew it would be Max, the anticipation was killer, and Joker did everything he could to make it as suspenseful as possible.
– The decision was made last night by Coach Phillips and Offensive Coordinator Randy Sanders, and both QBs were informed this morning, even though they were both prepared to hear that Max got the job. Morgan Newton pretty much knew what was going to happen, “It didn’t surprise me, the writing was kind of on the wall.”
– Max seemed excited and said that ” this is something I’ve been looking forward to since I was a little kid.” However the news I was more excited to hear about, was hearing what Max had to say about the receivers he’ll be relying on this season.
“I feel great with the receivers, our young receiving core is really good. A.J. (Legree) and Demarcus (Sweat) are showing that they have tremendous upside. La’Rod is going to be La’Rod; he’s better than he was last year at this time. E.J. (Fields) and Demarco (Robinson) are doing a great job, as well as our tight ends.”
Whether QBs will say it or not, they pick favorites. The guys they trust to make plays will be the guys that are getting passes thrown their way. La’Rod King has done nothing but blow everyone away this camp, and I’m excited to see him make the same big plays on Saturdays. Max was also roommates with Sweat throughout camp, and it will be interesting to see if that relationship off the field, will turn into a good one on the field.
– Morgan Newton was surprisingly upbeat and very respectful of the coaches decision. We have previously seen Morgan show angst when faced with adversity, but today he was a different Morgan Newton. He gave the best quote ever when asked how he was to prepare to come in as the backup, “People will start liking me again.” While that may be true, Newton feels that he has mastered the playbook by now and that his past experience playing against familiar foes could be something that he can use to help all of the QBs prepare for Saturday.
– On a final note, the QB job has still not been completely put to rest. While Newton is the definite #2, Freshmen Jalen Whitlow and Pat Towles are still fighting to be #3 on the depth chart. Joker said, “We’re not ready to make that decision yet and you don’t have to at this point. We’ve got a couple weeks before we line up to play, and those guys need a couple more weeks for us to make a decision.”