Daily Camera (Boulder)
something I haven’t done before in my career, but it is what it is given our circumstances.”
COVID-19 caused a cancellation of CU’S spring practices just a few days before they were set to begin in March. The Buffs also spent the first half of the summer working out remotely. In July and August, CU was able to return for voluntary workouts and conduct walkthroughs, but Dorrell has yet to go through an actual practice with his team.
If all goes well, they will get 25 practices in before the opener.
“We’re going to make the best assessment we can, given these 25 practices and that’s the best we can do,” Dorrell said. “I believe we’ll get someone out there that can manage our team and manage our offense and do some good things and probably get better as the season progresses.”
While there isn’t much game experience among the quarterbacks — 47 career passes between them — there is a great deal of experience among the coaches.
Together, Dorrell, Langsdorf and offensive coordinator Darrin Chiaverini have several decades of experience with coaching offense in general and, in the case of Dorrell and Langsdorf, quarterbacks specifically.
“I feel like I have really good coaches, particularly our quarterback coach, Danny Langsdorf,” Dorrell said. “He’s a veteran coach, he’s coached a number of players and some of them are playing in the (NFL).”
The challenge for Dorrell and his staff, he said, is to take all that knowledge among the coaches and tailor it to the quarterbacks.
“Whatever we decide idea-wise what to do, it has to fit the skill set of our quarterback and the people that we operate with,” Dorrell said. “So it’s not really how much we know; it’s really what they can do and do it at a high level.
“We’ve been really guarded about not putting in too much, just because we haven’t had a lot of field time. As soon as we get someone established and starting and playing, we can continue to add more to that players’ plate, as long as he can digest it and as long as it fits what he does best. That’s how we’ll treat these next 25 practices is really try to cut it down to the things that are important for that player to feel confident that he can be successful.”
Noyer has the most experience, going 21-for-41 for 179 yards and two interceptions in his career, but he hasn’t played quarterback in a game since 2018. Previous head coach Mel Tucker moved him to safety last season and then Noyer planned to transfer this past offseason before deciding to come back and play quarterback.
Lytle enters his fourth year at CU. He went 4-for-5 for 55 yards and an interception on a snowy day against Utah in 2018 and was injured on his only pass of the 2019 season.
“Those two guys are kind of the primary guys to see how that’s going to turn out with the reps and the competition that we go through camp,” Dorrell told the Pac12 Network.
Lewis is somewhat of a darkhorse, Dorrell said. While Lewis has already set team records in the weight room, Dorrell said, “He’s got a little bit further to go because it’s so new to him compared to the other two that have been in the program.”
Lewis will have a shot at the starting job, however.
“I’ve been very, very impressed with him,” Dorrell said. “He’s an extremely talented kid, a tremendous athlete. He has a really good arm. His challenge, like most people in your first year, is picking up the scheme, being able to perform in a timely manner and understand it to navigate it and own it. That’s always a challenge for a freshman to do.”
With a limited window of time to prepare, there’s also a possibility CU takes the competition into the season. But, Dorrell goes into camp feeling good about the Buffs’ ability to find a quality starter.
“All three are very talented players,” he said. “They lack some experience, obviously, but we think between the three we’re going to be able to find a solid player that can manage the offense and hopefully grow and get better week after week when we play.”