Before I explain myself, I want to clarify some things to preempt the inevitable responses:
- Tate should continue to start. DRob is our backup and Sheridan should never see the field unless necessary (injuries)
- Gardner should redshirt unless he is some sort of a freak, once in a generation athlete, leaving no question that he is vastly superior to our other options
- I understand Tate is a freshman and will undoubtedly improve as time goes on. I'm not asking for perfection or flawless performance.
- I know he is injured. This thread is not about physical shortcomings.
OK, that said - I think Tate's decision-making is by far his weak spot and needs a LOT of improvement. I know that's not shocking or groundbreaking since he is a freshman, I'm just surprised because I never thought it would be the mental aspect that would be his downfall. He has been coached to be a QB since he was in diapers, most likely. I always thought his size would be his biggest issue.
- very often making the wrong read on our bread-and-butter play, the read option. He has gotten better, though.
- taking too many sacks
- unnecessarily scrambling
- shitload of fumbling
- not taking the shorter passes when they are wide open
- throwing into coverage
- similarly, trying to be a hero on every pass. While sometimes exciting, this is a recipe for disaster in the long term.
- biggest issue IMO: never EVER throwing the ball away. Football 101. I know we all rip on Jimmeh for tossing it OOB everytime a defender gets within 10 yards, but Tate could learn something from him in this regard.
Luckily, these are all things that can be improved over time. I, like many others, was lulled into a false sense of security after the first 4 games. He has looked awfully human since then. Coach him up, coaches.