Sunday, April 12, 2009

I hope Bill Lynch knows what he's doing

The IU football team completed its second spring scrimmage yesterday. Once again Ben Chappell was at quarterback and Kellen Lewis played wide receiver.

The coaches say Chappell has just as good a grasp of the spread offense as Lewis. Chappell threw for 111 yards and an interception yesterday, completing eight of 10 passes. But Lewis is the former second-team all Big Ten QB, who now is learning a new position.

In 2001, Antwaan Randle El switched from QB to receiver to open the season, the best chance for a bowl appearance in several years. Randle El also was a Heisman Trophy contender. The Hoosiers opened with a 35-14 thrashing by North Carolina State. Randle El had to move back to QB and the Hoosiers struggled through another losing season.

Neither Lewis nor Chappell played well last year, combining for 10 TDs and 11 interceptions passing in an injury-filled season. I suspect Lynch's strategy is to gain some more consistency at QB. My guess is Chappell will stand in the pocket a little longer and make more throws than Lewis, who tended to scramble when the rush closed in. That usually led to a good result -- Lewis was second on the team in rushing yards last year.

The question I ask is: If Lewis is your best all-around player, do you want to take the ball out of his hands? The '01 Hoosiers were much better with Randle El touching the ball on every play, which is why after that game against N.C. State he did not play receiver consistently again until after his college career was over.

Is Lewis that type of player? We will find out in August.

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