ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 8: Vad Lee #2 of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets carries the ball for an 81-yard gain against the Presbyterian Blue Hose at Bobby Dodd Stadium on September 8, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
Let's face it, quarterback is the most important position in football, regardless of the scheme. He handles the ball on (nearly) every snap, makes decisions on protection, decides who to throw the ball to, and in some cases has the freedom to override the coach's playcall. These reasons are why everyone in football puts too much blame on the quarterback when the team loses and too much credit on him when the team wins. The "too much blame" part is the subject of this article.
Tevin Washington's record as a starter is 9-8, which better than 0.500, but this is clearly unacceptable. While many of the losses aren't Tevin's fault, he's the quarterback, so he's getting the blame. No one says, "Right guard Feet McBlockswell has a 9-8 record, so I wonder if it's time to see what the backup can do." That's why everyone is clamoring for Vad Lee to see more action. Well, Ken Sugiura at the AJC wrote a story on Paul Johnson's press conference this week that has a lot of juicy information on how Vad Lee and Tevin Washington will be used in the near future. More after the jump.
Basically, what Paul Johnson said was that Synjyn Days and Vad Lee are situational players backing up Tevin Washington. We saw in the Presbyterian game what that means. Days is the wildcat quarterback that runs the QB draw. Save the fumble in the endzone, he did pretty well. Johnson also said in the press conference that he is working more at A-back than quarterback. Lee, on the other hand, may have a different and more significant role.
Johnson said that Lee "could possibly progress to the point where he’s playing all the time some." While this statement is extremely vague and self-contradictory, here's my interpretation: "Right now, Vad Lee is still learning the playbook and trying to figure out the offense. However, he's good enough to where, as the season moves on, we can put him in for a series, he'll get experience, and he'll have a chance to make some plays."
I definitely don't see this happening in close games where a single mistake could cost us the game, but if we had a two score lead or are playing a lesser opponent, I could see this happening a few times throughout a game. Early in the game this past weekend, Lee came in for a series to spell Washington. While that drive ended after two drops by his receivers, I think this is how we will see him used in the future. This means that next season, when he's the starter full time (and as Johnson said, we'll all be clamoring for Justin Thomas), he won't be as green as he is now, and this season, he'll add a little playmaking ability to the quarterback position.
The question is, if Washington starts to struggle through ACC play as he did last year, will we see a little more of the "situational" guys and less of the starter?