Elliott on quarterback battle: "It's going to be the best guy" that will start
|Thursday, April 19, 2018, 7:18 AM- -|
CLEMSON – Tony Elliott knows that the main topic of conversation during the summer will be the quarterback battle, and he’s glad he doesn’t have to make the decision on a starter.
Elliott, Clemson’s co-offensive coordinator, came out of last Saturday’s Orange and White Game impressed with all four quarterbacks on the roster and didn’t rule out a two-quarterback system.
“You know, that’s a decision that Coach (Brandon) Streeter has to make as we get into fall camp. Today was just one of 15 practices so we’ll use this as an evaluation tool,” Elliott said. “But right now, we feel like we have four quarterbacks that we can go win football games with and that’s what makes spring so fun because we’ve got so much competition. I won’t rule that out, but that’s a decision Coach Swinney will make at the appropriate time.”
He then said he doesn’t buy into the thought that Kelly Bryant will get the nod simply because he’s a senior.
“It’s just one practice, everyone is going to get a fair opportunity. The best guy and not just the most talented but the best guy all around is going to be the guy that gets to run out there,” he said. “And if there are guys that deserve to play they will get an opportunity to play, I just wouldn’t base it off of one scrimmage, but obviously they are competing so it’s a big evaluation for them.
“I think that chemistry in the locker room is critical but at the same time, the best teams are led from within. But at the same time game recognizes game and guys are going to respect that and obviously they respect the coaches, too. If the best guys are not on the field then that can hurt you, too. We are going to make sure everyone gets a fair opportunity and then the best guy wins. It’s not going to be favoritism, it’s going to be the best guy overall that can get the job done and win at the highest level.”
Elliott said he was impressed with rising sophomore Hunter Johnson.
“Just today talking with him on the sidelines, it’s like you’re talking to a veteran guy,” he said. “You know you could talk to him about the previous play. He’ll come off and say, hey coach what do you think happened there, that’s what I saw and that’s why I did this and just the big picture. Being able to see the big picture with both of those guys (also Trevor Lawrence) on my sideline was really refreshing because I don’t get to talk to those guys a lot in practice, I let Streeter coach the quarterbacks but today he was on the other sideline, so I got the chance to interact with them. They both knew the plays they liked and they were very communicative on the sidelines so that was great to see that out of both of them.”
Lawrence also impressed.
“He came here with a great foundation, so shout out to his high school coaches for preparing him well,” Elliott said. “But just that he sees the whole picture, that he’s in command of the offense and obviously he has that confidence to rip it into the tight windows, but also understands that managing the game is just as important, so he’s going to take his chances when he’s there. But he’s going to move the offense efficiently down the field and that’s when we’re at our best.”