Eli Drinkwitz calls QB position 'probably the biggest question mark' on Mizzou's team, considering using Wildcat offense due to limited practice time
If you have questions about Missouri’s quarterback room looking ahead to the upcoming season, you aren’t alone.
After losing nearly his entire first spring camp in Columbia, Eli Drinkwitz recently went so far as to say the unanswered question on his football team that keeps him up at night the most is the quarterback position.
When the Tigers briefly opened spring camp, Drinkwitz noted that no quarterback held any sort of lead in the competition to start the season under center in his offense and that remains the case all these months later.
“Well, there’s five quarterbacks involved in the quarterback race. We got Shawn Robinson, we got Taylor Powell, we got Connor Bazelak, we got Brady Cook, we have Jack Hansel. We’re excited about what each one brings to the table,” Drinkwitz said during his recent media availability. “I’ve not seen Connor do anything full speed or live. He’s recovering from his ACL tear in the spring, so, not sure where he’s at. I mean, I’ve been told he’s full (speed) but got no evidence of that. Shawn, I thought, in his three practices did fine. Taylor in three practices did fine. Brady Cook looked like a kid who should have been going to (high school) graduation, which is absolutely normal and unexpected and Jack was learning the offense, too.
“So, that to me is probably the biggest question mark on our football team right now and not a lot of answers for you on June, 17… Not a lot of answers for you there and won’t have any until I get our hands on them and do things, which hopefully starts August 6, you know, being able to do some live stuff where I can see him actually compete for the job.”
The first-year Missouri coach may not have any idea which signal-caller will be taking the field first when the Tigers take the field but that doesn’t mean he’s sitting idle waiting for the answer to reveal itself. No, Drinkwitz is willing to get creative if necessary to start his tenure with Missouri.
In fact, the coach said the Tigers may utilize the Wildcat offense — if need be — due to a lack of practice time.
“Do you, because of the limited practice,” Drinkwitz suggested, “go more to a quarterback run game offense and in more of a quarterback run game?… Maybe Michael Wilson at quarterback some in Wildcat or Jalen Knox in Wildcat just to try to create an extra number because that’s the stuff that’s easier to do without excessive practice and execution or do you try to stick to what you’ve done in the past?
“I think for us that’s a question that the offensive staff has to answer. And we got to figure that out. I don’t think there’s an easy answer on that, because the passing game involves timing and execution.”
The way Drinkwitz views the current situation in Columbia, while utilizing an unorthodox offense may not be what the plan was entering the offseason, the Mizzou coach is willing to go any route that results in his players getting better results on the field following this unprecedented offseason.
“At Mizzou, our goal is to win the SEC East and so whatever it’s going to take to win those football games is what we have to do as an organization,” he concluded. “I think you’re onto the right question though because that is the question that I that keeps me up at night.”