Friday, August 03, 2012

Whitmer talks about first practice as UConn's starting QB

With Paul Pasqualoni announcing yesterday that Chandler Whitmer was No. 1 on the depth chart at quarterback, naturally Whitmer was a popular guy with the media following Friday's practice.

Whitmer discussed the advantage of heading into fall camp knowing he is the No. 1 guy.

"It is chemistry," Whitmer said. "I think getting out there and getting into a rhythm with the guys who are going to be out there is something that is exciting

"He (Pasqualoni) called me in the office. I have been working all summer and he told me yesterday. I have been trying to improve myself all summer and get better and try to win games."

Pasqualoni, who resisted the temptation to name Whitmer the starting QB despite an impressive showing in the spring game by the junior college transfer and again at the Big East media day on Tuesday, addressed why he made the move on Thursday.

"We wanted to give the starter coming into camp more of an opportunity with the reps to work with the first team guys in an effort to develop the communication aspect, the chemistry aspect, the feel for each other aspect," Pasqualoni said. "Under the conditions of the position right now I just thought we'd go this way. It is a judgment call on my part. Sometimes you try to gather all the important information you can and you make the gut call. I think it is going to help Chandler in regards of being the starter and I think it is going to help the selection of who the backup is because we are not going to make it through the season with one quarterback. We are going to need another guy to go in and win the game so I felt it was going to help us all around."

While Whitmer may be the No. 1 guy at QB, Michael Nebrich may have been the most consistently impresssive thrower on Friday. Bear in mind it was a practice without pads and almost no contact so take this info for what it's worth but Pasqualoni said he was impressed with the improvement Nebrich has made on throwing the deep ball. Whitmer threw some nice balls but also forced the issue a little too much leading to some ill-advised throws.

"I think the whole offense kind of did click which is surprising since it is our first day," Nebrich said. "I think the offseason work really panned out for all of us and hopefully we keep it going through the rest of camp."

Nebrich downplayed the announcement of Whitmer at the No. 1 QB.

"Me and Chandler are good friends," Nebrich said. "We really didn't care who Coach Pasqualoni named the starter, me and him have been working hard the whole offseason and we are going to continue to support each other out here. I think that is what you saw today, we were both completing a lot of throws today. We are both trying to make each other better. Whoever can help the team win the best that is who they are going to play. I am going to support him; he is gong to support me it doesn't matter."

Staying on the subject of the quarterbacks, Pasqualoni said that Scott McCummings should be returning soon but he did not know the exact date. McCummings has been excused from the early part of camp to tend to personal matters, A broken left thumb kept freshman Casey Cochran limited to the role of reluctant spectactor. Pasqualoni did not have a definitive timeline of when he would come to a decision whether or not to redshirt Cochran.

"We could make it by the UMass game but typically we might not make it until the sixth game of the year and that is kind of the rule for freshmen redshirt guys," Pasqualoni said. "Some of them it is a clear that you redshirt them at the end of camp, other guys it is not quite as clear. It (varies) depending on the guy, depending on the needs."

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