Pac 12

Oregon Ducks Close to Naming Nate Costa Starting QB?

| by Dwight Jaynes

Well, if you read between the lines, you might think so.

So far, this is the kind of thing that’s being said about Darron Thomas:

Thomas’ problem has been what everybody assumes is his strength: his feet. Footwork issues have gotten Thomas out of whack and have led to the now declining number of errant, wobbly passes.

“When Darron gets his feet set, he’s outstanding,” Kelly said. “When Darron gets out of whack, and off-balance, so to speak … that’s when he gets a little erratic and his arm starts to move. But if he can keep his feet underneath him and stay in balance, he’s really, really a good passer.”

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Helfrich has used an analogy that, although it’s generally lost on the college kids of today, provides a good visual: Stay in the phone booth. Thomas “gets big” with his arms and his legs when he throws. He over-strides, the release point drops, and he gets in trouble.

“He’s corrected that to a degree,” Helfrich said. “Now he just needs for that to become his instinct, his reaction rather than having to think about it.”

And this is what they’re saying about Costa:

On media day, Kelly talked about the U.S. troops withstanding the 117-degree days in Baghdad. Even three major knee injuries pale in comparison to that, but the inspirational effect is similar.

“If someone can come back from that, it shows how strong and how committed they are to the team and to himself,” receiver Jeff Maehl said. “And for it to happen three times, and to keep coming back and keep battling – it really does, it really is like the troops.

“You think you’re tired at practice and you look at him and think, ‘this guy, he hurt his knee three times, and he’s still working hard for us.’ ”

Now I don’t know about you, but I’m not going to put a possible Rose Bowl team at risk with someone who still doesn’t have his throwing fundamentals down. But I would probably like to have a guy whose teammates see as a charismatic leader.

Obviously, the quotes are selective. But I do believe if Thomas is still having footwork problems, it’s going to hurt his chances. Look, a whole bunch of people out there are saying that Thomas should start because he’s the quarterback of the future. Might as well throw him out there now, they say, because it’s going to help get him ready for the next two seasons.

Well, sorry — not this time. This is a season when the Ducks could go to the Rose Bowl. Heck, they’re favored to go to the Rose Bowl. It’s no time to think about the future. For the Ducks, the future is right now.

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