Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Commodore Banter (8/27)

We're almost there...

As mentioned here last night, Chris Nickson will start tomorrow night's season opener at Miami of Ohio.

"It was a process that's been going on," coach Bobby Johnson told Brett Hait of The Nashville City Paper. "There was no magic moment."

This will be the third straight year Nickson has come out of preseason practice as the No. 1 quarterback.

"This is an opportunity for my to regain a lot of things I let go of and lost in some ways," Nickson said. "It's an opportunity for me to redeem myself. I always wanted to be a leader and be someone special for this organization. I have an opportunity to begin that on Thursday night.

"I'm very excited, but after what I've been through, being the starter isn't everything. It's coming out here and getting the job done. Hopefully I'll be able to accomplish what I want to accomplish and help us win the game."

It's encouraging to see that Nickson realizes that he can lose his job as quickly as he won it.

"Just because a guy's a quarterback doesn't mean he's allowed to stay in the game if he's not producing," Johnson told Mo Patton of The Tennessean. "If he's not doing what he's supposed to do, we'll put somebody else in there that can do it right."

Ultimately, Johnson is hoping that Nickson can revert to his 2006 form because at his best, Nickson gives the Commodores the best chance to win. Will that happen? That's the million-dollar question that won't even be answered fully tomorrow night.

Even if Nickson impresses against Miami, it's not going to mean much. Sure, it's a start, but the real test will come next Thursday against South Carolina. That's when we'll be able to tell how much progress he has made.

What does this decision mean for Mackenzi Adams? Probably not much. Adams is a fierce competitor that is going to give you his best whenever he's called upon. I'm sure part of him had to know that Nickson would be given the nod if their preseason performances were similar.

Ideally, Nickson plays well from week one to week 12 and Adams remains a more than capable back-up quarterback. However, if Nickson does falter, both the players and coaches will have no problem putting their trust in Adams.

In other football news, Brett Hait has a great story about redshirt freshman Chris Marve, the next great Vanderbilt linebacker.

“He’s got an intensity about him that you really like,” Johnson said. “Every play, he seems to be going all out and full speed. He’s got a nasty attitude when he gets to the ball. He’s going to finish plays, and that’s what we like about him.”

Even without Earl Bennett (NFL), George Smith and Alex Washington (both injured), Vanderbilt is confident in its receiving corps, writes Patton.

"It's been a long time coming," said Justin Wheeler. "I've been working hard for three years. I'm going to step up. We've got some young guys that can play. We've got talent, we can catch the ball, we can block and we're going to make it happen."

We'll all find out tomorrow.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

"Even if Nickson impresses against Miami, it's not going to mean much. Sure, it's a start, but the real test will come next Thursday against South Carolina."

Don't sleep on Miami. These guys are going to compete for the MAC title. And while SC's defense is surely faster and more athletic than the Redhawks,' this isn't some high school D. They've got two Butkus candidates at linebacker. I'm a bit worried about this game.
This isn't the road environment that fires our guys up, yet it is in fact a pretty decent team that I think you'll see in a minor bowl at the end of the season. Regardless of Nickson's play, I'm hoping/thinking the defense will be stingy enough to get us over the hump. Then with SC's shaky QB situation, that game seems like a low scoring, up for grabs game as well.