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Spring Practices … First Look: Quarterbacks

Program Note … Spring practices will begin February 16th (Spring Game: March 17th), so over the six weeks, previews will be posted for each unit of the 2018 Colorado roster.

Up first: Quarterbacks …

Now that Colorado has its quarterbacks coach in the fold, the Buffs can turn their attention to getting better production out of that position. Steven Montez had a year in which he set over a dozen school records … but was not all that Buff fans hoped (expected) he would be as CU stumbled to a 5-7 record.

The roster: 

QUARTERBACKS (4 scholarship):

Seniors: None
Juniors: Steven Montez
Sophomores: Sam Noyer
Redshirt freshmen: Tyler Lytle
True freshmen: Blake Stenstrom

The stats (2017):

Steven Montez … 228-of-337 passing (60.5%), 2,975 yards … 18 touchdowns; nine interceptions … 132 carries for 338 yards, three touchdowns (includes 35 sacks for 225 yards lost)

Sam Noyer … 13-of-27 passing (48.1%), 119 yards … no touchdowns or interceptions … seven carries for minus-11 yards (including four sacks for 25 yards lost)

As is true with head coaches, quarterbacks tend to receive a larger share of the credit for a teams success, and also a larger share of the blame when things do not go as planned. Such is the case with Steven Montez, who had his moments in 2017, but was also benched in November for poor play.

For his part, head coach Mike MacIntyre is still a Steven Montez fan.

“You’re always going to have peaks and valleys, but I think overall his practice habits — they were not bad — but I thought he started watching them and improving,” MacIntyre told the Daily Camera. “All of that to me is maturity. His study habits improved with being more prepared for the games. It was good before, but it has to go to an unbelievable level. He’s starting to understand that. I’m excited to see what he’ll do from there.”

One of the biggest off-season challenges for Montez is an intangible … leadership. Sefo Luifau was the unquestioned leader of the 2016 Buffs, even when he was injured and Montez was starring as Liufau’s replacement. This past season, with Liufau gone, Phillip Lindsay picked up some of the leadership slack, but it was not enough.

Now, both Liufau and Lindsay are gone … can Montez fill that void?

“I thought Steven’s leadership improved as the year went along,” MacIntyre said. “It wasn’t bad, but it has to be exemplary in a way. You start learning that as a quarterback.

“Everybody’s watching him, from the freshman to the senior offensive linemen. They’re all watching you as a quarterback. The outside linebacker on defense is watching you. That doesn’t happen at every other position. I definitely think he started understanding that even more as the year went on.”

And now, Montez, who had nothing but praise for former co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Brian Lindgren, has a new coach for his next two seasons. Kurt Roper steps in as the new quarterbacks coach, and will have to develop a relationship with his three quarterbacks this spring (Class of ’18 recruit Blake Stenstrom is expected to enroll until this summer).

“You have to help quarterbacks be mentally tough and the way you help them be mentally tough is you teach them how to make decisions and then you back them up when they make those decisions,” Roper said. “You have to help them grow as a quarterback and a leader. What I tell quarterbacks all the time is that when you choose to play this position, you haven’t chosen a position — you’ve chosen a lifestyle. You have to live the right way.”

Quarterbacking, to Roper, is more than just making plays.

“Yes, he has to be a playmaker,” said Roper. “You can’t have a game manager. I don’t believe in that. You have to have quarterback that makes plays, but there’s a lot more that goes into it than just the play end of it. The relationship runs deep. You spend so much time together, that player has to know that you have his best interest in mind and that you are going to protect him in situations. At the same time, that quarterback has to protect that coach.”

(If you had to re-read that last sentence, you are not alone … so did I. Not sure if I agree with that last statement).

For the Buff quarterbacks, it will be a clean slate with their new position coach, so it is not entirely a given that Steven Montez will be the starting quarterback against Colorado State in September. Sam Noyer got some playing time last fall, and many Buff fans believe that Tyler Lytle, who sat out his true freshman year last fall, is the quarterback of the future.

“I haven’t seen a whole lot of film yet, certainly not enough to develop a definitive opinion,” Roper said of his new charges. “But the biggest thing we have to do right away is get to know each other. Spend some time talking about other things than just football. Get to know each other, then start talking football.”

School is not back in session at Colorado until after Martin Luther King Day (January 15th), so Roper and his quarterbacks will only have a month or so to “get to know each other” before the pads are taken out of storage next month.

Right now, the starting job belongs to Steven Montez. This spring will go a long ways toward deciding if that will remain his role the next two seasons.

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13 Replies to “Spring Ball First Look – QB’s”

  1. Sure, the QB is the key to the game. But, unless he has a strong and effective offensive line in front of him, he will not be able to produce as planned and expected. We need to develop the offensive line. Only then can we brag about our QB’s and their new quarterback coach.

  2. “You spend so much time together, that player has to know that you have his best interest in mind and that you are going to protect him in situations. At the same time, that quarterback has to protect that coach.”

    Not that hard to decipher, in my opinion. It’s about having eachother’s backs. I think that can be said for every member of a well-functioning team. And, since I know VK will interpret that as being a “yes man” that’s not at all the case. Sometimes, having someone’s back means calling them out on their BS, and pushing them to greater things.

    Anyway, it’s just another quote to ruminate over for like seven months.

    Can’t wait to see Roper, Montez, and the stable of quarterbacks perform this fall. Should be good.

    Go Buffs.

    1. “Sometimes, having someone’s back means calling them out on their BS, and pushing them to greater things.”

      With you that has to mean a one way street….along with the reality of being a player on a football team

      Why Roper even felt the need to say that for the public only says to me he is insecure about his own abilities and/or suffered an embarrassing incident in the past.

      Being a player on a football team is more like the military than a political campaign. A player never ever calls a coach out in public. Even if the entire team situation is a dumpster fire, players who have been conditioned to salute and say “how high?” during all their playing years rarely call out a coach. A good coach makes the players want to salute and say “how high?”

      I cant wait to see if this kind of Roper speak means the starting QB will be the one with the “brightest smile”

      1. Wow

        After all these years

        The “brightest smile” comment owns you.

        Buffs.

        Note: I bet ol AZ don’t be remembering that……delusional brain cells

        1. Roper was guilty of a political statement. The “brightest smile” comment was resurrected as the best historical example of the same that helped the CU football program hit rock bottom. It should “own” every Buff fan who doesnt want to see a repeat.
          Playing favorites not only limits the talent on the field but destroys the morale of other players…..just like crappy play calling.

          1. That bright smile one was a great one. AZ (and the loony-baloony) will block that out cause he defended HWSRN to the end. Like he did Baer-trap. Like he did Lindy-Lu, Like he will MickeyMac. (Loyalty, continuity, blinded by the light (The disease of all fanatics especially those living on a fault line) and all that other “Fan-Stuff”

            Roper may be a final piece of the MickeyMac puzzel Maybe not…..Bernardi (remember he had the line for 3 years and????) is still here……..Dline coach here..

            Maybe they have bright smiles too.

            Who knows. I will say MickeyMac is getting his belly back

    2. Players make plays……Players win games…….Players protect coaches

      MickeyMac always leaves that out.

      Just like he leaves out:

      Coaches design/call plays…………Coaches win games.

      That ol freudian by Rop-er-dope let the kitty out of the bag. The ol coaching fraternity.

      Fact.

  3. Stuart……..What

    (If you had to re-read that last sentence, you are not alone … so did I. Not sure if I agree with that last statement).

    Not possible. You can’t be “not sure”…..on that statement….you either agree with it or you don’t.

    Qb is suppose to protect the coach?????

    Come on……………

    1. Thank gawd we have YOU for a critic already! (sarc button…OFF)

      Me? I’ll take my chances with QB coach who bears the Manning Family stamp of approval ! (Until and unless ep shows us HIS several hundred million earned from being a QB or coaching them!!)

  4. Now the Quarterbacks.

    The QB room is filled with upper level 3 star ranked qb’s. Quite a stable for the Mighty Buffs. It appears the talent is there. The boys will have to be all in and work their arses off and become executing machines. Players make plays Players win games.

    The new coach and the OC’s and MickeyMac will have to”
    Develop em
    Teach em
    Coach em up

    and most importantly give them the in game tools to win.

    Players got to protect the coaches.

    Gawd that is such a great statement by a coach. How truthful.

    Expect, no demand, the Buffs frigging offense is a real offense with a real scheme, a real play caller and real in game adjustments.

    Been too long really.

    Uh Oh good looking quarterbacks for the Mighty Buffalo.

    Buffs.

    Note: NFL is a waste of time.

    1. “upper 3 stars?”………..that kind of dream like exaggeration is one reason CU administrators feel comfortable having the bar set so low….Levaitt and a solid bunch of DB’s with the EMBREE RECRUITED DL was like throwing a bone to a starving dog……..

      And the artificial confidence that seems to mitigate any true ongoing evaluation of the program means we will suffer the fruits of this with a chronic “have nots” future

  5. Players make plays……Players win games…….Players protect coaches

    Ya gotta think it through but that is the such an eye-opening statement.

    Buffs

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