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Tom Herman discusses Sam Ehlinger’s accuracy and Shane Buechele’s leadership at Big 12 media days

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NCAA Football: Big 12 Media Day Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Herman weighed in on his two competing quarterbacks and highlighted areas where both need improvement and have, thus far, shown some progress.

First, Ehlinger:

With Sam, it was tightening his release up a little bit. He had gotten into bad habits, broke his wrist his senior year in high school and never felt healed, totally. He worked his tail off and he made some throws this spring that I hadn’t seen him make in the year that we have been around him.

True. I re-watched the entire season in preparation for Thinking Texas Football and Ehlinger’s inconsistent accuracy was obvious. He completed only 57% of his passes and while that was good stuff in football until the 1980s, new football rules, possession passing, and the primacy of the spread have made 60%+ the only real acceptable mark for any passing offense. Obviously, yards per attempt is still the king of measures, but it’s correlated to completion percentage.

Herman had an equally pointed observation for Buechele:

For Shane, it was to take charge of the offense, to be a vocal leader and to not just be a passive participant in each play but to be the, as I tell him, you’re not the third string violinist, you are a conductor of the orchestra and he really improved in that area.

Buechele has a little bit more of a baseball player’s mentality in his approach to the game, which works well when things are going well and you’re surrounded by veteran teammates. Teammates respect and follow the level of performance. They don’t need the rah-rah. But when the offense isn’t working and the performance isn’t there, the quarterback has to do a bit more in terms of vocalization and inspiration. Not to mention assertive direction of all of his teammates at WR, RB and on the OL. Sounds like Shane made strides here.

Nonetheless, I think it’s Sam’s job to lose. But have little doubt that both athletes will see action. If you want to understand why....

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