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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Wood

Wood: Experience should give Meier edge

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"Meier's time is now."

Before I get canned for plagiarism, I confess I didn't write that. Rather, it was the headline of a column written Aug. 17, 2005, by one Tom Keegan.

So you tell me, does it make sense that I'm now arguing with this guy over who should be the No. 1 slinger this fall?

Heck, now he disagrees with me because I agree with something he used to preach about - that Kerry Meier should be the starting quarterback.

His confusion is confusing me.

Before I send him on his way, here are more quotes from past Keegan columns. Note the consistency in his stance.

¢ "My position hasn't changed all season. Meier's been my first choice." - Oct. 7, 2005.

¢ "Basketball season is over, yet Kerry Meier hype season has just begun." - March 19, 2006.

¢ "(Meier) could be something special as a four-year starter for the Jayhawks." - March 22, 2006.

¢ "The best solution: Start (Adam) Barmann on Saturday in Lincoln." - Sept. 24, 2006.

¢ "If (Meier) wasn't hurt, then Todd Reesing projects as the better quarterback." - Dec. 7, 2006.

The last one is particularly interesting for two reasons: 1. Meier confirmed this month he WAS less than 100 percent at the end of the season, so connecting the dots implies that Keegan thinks a healthy Meier is better. 2. No games with any meaning have been played since Dec. 7, so there's no reason to flip-flop.

Right?

Kerry Meier showed us all something when his shoulder was strong last year, but Keegan repeatedly has fallen into a trap that sucks every impressionable poor soul in: The backup quarterback is always the most popular player.

Don't get me wrong. Todd Reesing has plenty of talent and would not be a bad choice for the Jayhawks if it's made. He has a better arm and obviously has the intangible of being able to improvise when things go wrong.

Doesn't matter. Meier's still your man, and here's why:

¢ Experience. Meier's played in nearly three times as many games as Reesing, and had a year of scout-team experience going up against a smothering KU defense in 2005. Quite simply, he's more advanced. Not Reesing's fault, just the way it is.

¢ Athleticism. Meier can run the ball better than Reesing can. KU's most successful play last year was the option-read, and if it's still in the playbook, it has to be Meier executing it. Any playmaking opportunity needs to be tapped to the fullest extent by KU.

¢ Size. I don't like to dwell on this because it can be a shallow argument, but there's a reason that prototypical big-time quarterbacks are almost always between 6-foot-2 and 6-6. Meier is 6-3. Reesing is 5-11 on a really, really good day.

¢ Health. Meier now is at full strength. Remember how he looked against Oklahoma State, probably the last healthy game he played? I'll clue you in: 187 yards passing, three touchdowns, 70 yards rushing. A year of licks under the belt and a fresh body means more production.

¢ Facial hair. Meier and Reesing didn't shave all spring, but only Meier looked like a true lumberjack, with a beard as thick as a phone book. Better facial hair = better quarterback.

OK, that last argument was just terrible. But nothing like going cosmetic to finish off a weak opponent, who I assume is filling up space right next to me with drivel.

The bottom line is, Tom Keegan's opinion on the quarterback situation changes by the season. Unfortunately for him, he only used to have it right.

Comments

JBurtin 7 years, 4 months ago

People like to make excuses that Meier's injuries held him back from performing at his best last year. I heard the same arguments for four years straight at K-State with his brother Dylan. As I see it, the injuries to both of the Meier brothers are in large part due to their chosen style of play. Namely, when in doubt tuck and run and put yourself in danger of being hammered by a hard-hitting safety. A hard hit resulting in a bruised shoulder is no big deal for a running back, but for a person who is asked to go out on the next play and throw the ball accurately even a small injury can have a huge effect.

In short, I think the injuries and the bad play that results from the injuries are a cycle of self-fulfilling prophesy that will continue to be a theme in Kerry Meier's career. I don't mind if the coaching staff decides to start Meier as I think he is an excellent player when he's healthy. All I ask is that for God's sake take him the hell out if he's not at a hundred percent.

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jackhawk 7 years, 4 months ago

This is one of those subjects that is a total waste of writer's time and readers' time. The coaches will make the decision when the time comes, and we would all be better off finding something else to worry about.

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Carter Patterson 7 years, 4 months ago

Are you calling out my man TKeeg? He's bigger than you and can take you out in a NY minute.

I think we'll see a two QB set this year. Neither QB is a Bill Whittemore and if things go as usual, we'll have plenty of injuries. Hopefully the #3 QB is ready to play.

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Alan Halvorsen 7 years, 4 months ago

Facial hair? Come on dude, this is a serious argument. How is his health a benefit for Meier? He can't stay healthy! Athleticism would matter more if he were a running back. You have to throw the ball once in a while. Your youth is showing in this article Wood.

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FlaHawk 7 years, 4 months ago

CarterPatterson,

I agree. When was the last time that #3 QB did not get at least a start during the season. Neither is a Whittemore and even Big Bill never made it past 7 games in ayear at KU and possibly anywhere even!

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bmcmich1 7 years, 4 months ago

Man, Can you say pessimism?? I think that Lawrence, our #3 guy, will see NO playing time this year, and that whoever comes out on top as the starter will play great football because he has a good opponent waiting in the wings. These two guys may not each individually equal Whittemore just yet, but with them pushing each other day in and day out we are going to see MUCH improved QB play this season. If one gets banged up--which, if history tells us anything, is going to happen--the other is good enough to step right in without missing a beat. TWO completely competent and capable QBs, THAT is something we haven't seen in a while, a LONG while.

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William James 7 years, 4 months ago

I am sick to death of the experience argument. Yes, experience is great but it dosent replace common sense or football IQ or instinct. Give Reesing his chance and by the time conference play starts he will have as much experience as Meier.

Wood-Meier was my pick last year also. But that dosent mean Im gonna ignore him underperforming or another QB emerging until he graduates. Times change. You know, Barmann started several games his freshman year so according to you he should of been the starter every game he was healthy until he graduated last year. I couldnt help but laugh when I saw the title of your article. I guess the Barmann years have taught you nothing. After Barmanns great performance at Texas A&M his freshman year we all thought he would be our franchise player, but it didnt take long to see otherwise.

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Michael Leiker 7 years, 4 months ago

non-issue, we'll see them both next year and more than likely they will both get equal playing time throughout the year. Not because of QB by Committee, but because of nicks, bumps and injuries. I look at it like a Russ Rob/Sherron Collins situation, shouldn't matter who starts.

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bmcmich1 7 years, 4 months ago

I completely agree Leikness, and I see it as nothing but a positive thing

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Kirk 7 years, 4 months ago

Whatever anyone here says, it's gonna be both.

A 2QB team.

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