Thursday, October 13, 2011

Larry Smith vs. Jordan Rodgers? It's not that simple

After James Franklin stated in Monday’s press conference that Larry Smith was injured but could have returned against Alabama if needed and that there would be a competition this week, Vandy reporters and bloggers (not us) began to salivate over the possibility that Franklin was going to bench Larry in favor of Jordan Rodgers. It’s not that simple.

First of all, Franklin talks about players competing all the time. After last night’s practice, somebody asked Franklin who was getting the most reps at quarterback, thinking that the guy playing the most in practice would be winning the quarterback competition that everybody got so excited about on Monday.

Franklin said this:

• Larry’s not practicing much because he’s still injured though not as much as he was on Sunday. He said he thinks Larry will be “ready to go” on Saturday because on game day “you can do some things with medicine” to get a guy ready to play. In other words, Larry may not practice at all and still start against Georgia.

• The “competition” Franklin was talking about could have been Rodgers competing against himself to improve. “Has he done anything this week to help his situation in terms of the depth chart?” Franklin said of Rodgers last night. “I’m not ready to say that.” Franklin has maintained that a healthy Smith still gives us the best chance to win.

• The “competition” Franklin was talking about could have been Rodgers competing against true freshman Josh Grady. He said he continues to be impressed with Grady and has told him to get ready to play.

• The decision could be made by “gut feeling.” And when will he make it? “It could be Saturday running out on the field he said.” And who might it be? “It could be Larry to Josh Grady.”

All this reminds me a little bit of our quarterback situation in 2008 at this exact point in the season: Fans were screaming for Mackenzie Adams to get the start against Mississippi State after he’d relieved an injured Chris Nickson early in the Auburn game.

Of course, Nickson started and Adams tried to bail us out of a bitter loss in Starkville. Then Bobby Johnson benched Nickson in the next game against Duke and started Adams, who along with the rest of the offense performed miserably in a demoralizing homecoming loss.

It was musical chairs for the rest of the season while both guys battled injury and ineptitude. Nickson got the nod against Kentucky and led us to a rousing victory to become bowl eligible, then both guys were hurt at the end of the season and we were forced to take the wraps off redshirt frosh Larry Smith, who showed flashes of brilliance against Wake Forest and then started against Boston College in the Music City Bowl.

I don’t think our current situation is nearly as dramatic. For one thing, Jordan Rodgers isn’t coming off a heroic performance in a dramatic upset of a ranked team from Alabama like Adams was, and Rodgers doesn’t have a Top 10 upset under his belt like Adams did (in South Carolina the year earlier).

And Smith, while certainly a threat to tuck and run, doesn’t pose the same dangerous running threat that Nickson did.

Oh, and we’re not 5-0.

Meanwhile, many of our fans are acting like we’re going to walk all over Georgia. Folks, Georgia has an enormous defensive line and freakish athletes just like South Carolina and Alabama did. Arkansas and Florida do too.

In other words, with our current offensive line and wide receivers, we might as well go ahead and throw Josh Grady’s name into the mix as well. The odds just keep getting better that he’ll be on the field before the season’s over.


even more anonymous said...

I read that as saying Grady will play if Rodgers goes down and Smith's not able.


I don't think we know for sure what Franklin will do.

even more anonymous said...

I sure don't know. But it really is fun watching him do it.

Greg M said...

Eleven words. "Larry Smith does not give us the best chance to win!!"

Greg M said...

Appreciate all he has tried to do..but just sayin. Eleven words.

jayden said...

Hopefully everyone will stop saying that scrambling is a plus for Larry. Yes, he's tall, black, and has the build of an athlete, but Jordan is the better runner and he showed it tonight. Not that scrambling is the biggest point in the qb debate, but it bothers me when people say that based on looks alone.

Also, I'm not sure how many snaps Barron Dixon was on the field, but he got in on the tackle for maybe the only 2 plays he was out there. Good start

Anonymous said...

I agree Jayden.....but not real sure that Larry being "Black" has anything to do with your argument......kinda makes you sound a little ignorant. Go Dores !

jayden said...

Go fuck yourself. I know his color has nothing to do with anything, I'm listing the reasons why people assume he's better.

Another Loud-Mouth Vanderbilt Alum said...

So now against Georgia, Jordan Rodgers showed that he can run......Now get Smith outa there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Let it go was a good game to watch and a game that Vandy and Coach Franklin can measure his team progress. I loved the fight and the fact that we even had a chance to win at the end. Its safe to say that we can stop the Larry Smith comparisons; even CJF realized that Rogers likely deserves to lead the team next week based on his performance. While Rogers performance was not great, it was good enough to keep us in a position to win late in the 4th qtr. I still feel this team will get to 6 wins.