Team chemistry key to Oregon QB decision, says former defensive coordinator

BY foxsports • July 27, 2015

Former Oregon defense coordinator is skeptical of incoming QB Vernon Adams' timeline. Needless to say, he's likely not the only one who thinks it will be difficult for the Eastern Washington graduate transfer to earn the starting job in 23 days.

“I think it’s very difficult, I really do,” Aliotti said, according to Ryan Thorburn of The Register-Guard. “When you have a bunch of guys that have gone through winter conditioning, summer football, all the years ahead of him that they’ve already put in … I would have to think that Jeff Lockie, knowing what I know of Jeff, has ingratiated himself with this group of men to where they have to feel good about Jeff."

Adams is finishing up his final undergraduate class in order to finally graduate from Eastern Washington. He is not eligible to participate in activities with the Ducks until he passes his final class, which he expects to do on Aug. 13. 

No one is doubting Adams' talent. He's one of the most accomplished FCS players of the past decade. But earning the starting job at Oregon over a player like Jeff Lockie, who has been in the program for a couple of years? In 23 days? It's a monumental task for Adams.

However, Aliotti also believes that if Adams comes in and establish himself as the better player early, the Ducks won't have any problems with inserting him into the starting lineup.

"If Vernon Adams comes in and he’s lights out in three weeks, that won’t be a problem. If Vernon Adams comes in and he’s not lights out and he doesn’t fit into the culture … it becomes extremely difficult. And now, potentially, there could be a big problem amongst the team.”

Obviously the Ducks will be without Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota this season. However, Aliotti believes that whomever is the Ducks next QB should be able to succeed early just by being a game manager.

“The obvious thing is that it won’t be Marcus at quarterback next year,” Aliotti said, according to Thorburn. “We’re talking about a Heisman Trophy winner. But I believe the quarterback can be more of a manager early in the season until he, whoever that guy becomes, can get his feet underneath him.”

(h/t The Register-Guard)

Photo Credit: Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

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