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Wednesday, September 17, 2014
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Published: Tuesday, 8/19/2014

Quarterback job still up in the air

Toledo coaches like that competition for position has been fierce

BY NICHOLAS PIOTROWICZ
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

As fall camp began its third week Monday, there still is no movement on the University of Toledo's quarterback situation.

Rockets coach Matt Campbell said last week that the team expected to make a decision on a No. 1 quarterback at the end of the second week, but he and the coaching staff decided they need more time to pick between Phillip Ely, Logan Woodside, and Michael Julian.

“I don't think it's a bad thing. It's not one of those things where it's, ‘Man, we're all disappointed because we haven't made a decision,’” Campbell said. “I'll be really honest with you, I think we're more excited that nobody has kind of fallen off.”

Campbell said the position battles, including the one at quarterback, could continue into the first few games.

None of the three candidates has played his way out of the race, which Campbell said he thinks could help in the long run.

“It's one of the situations I look at where, from the quarterback standpoint, it's awesome,” Campbell said. “We know this: we're going to need more than one guy to play for us and win football games this year.”

At middle linebacker, Campbell said the competition between Rogers grad Ray Bush and incumbent Chase Murdock is “dead even.”

There, too, Campbell said the competition might not be decided before the Aug. 30 opener against New Hampshire.

“I think both guys have done some good things and then done some things they have to continue to work on and get better at,” Campbell said. “I think the more you look at it, the heat is still on and the competition is still fierce.”

SWANSON IMPRESSES: Running back Terry Swanson has made himself noticed during fall camp. The freshman from Aliquippa (Pa.) High School has made a habit of big plays during camp, and Campbell said the staff has been impressed with him. Whether taking carries or playing special teams, Campbell said Swanson “proved he deserves the right to play for us.”

WORK IN PROGRESS: Through two scrimmages, Campbell pointed out two big areas in which he would like to see improvement. He said Toledo has to do a better job of understanding situations on offense, and the defense has to be able to keep pace with fast offenses.

“It showed up on both sides of the ball that we're not a finished product yet. We still have a lot of work to do,” Campbell said.

Contact Nicholas Piotrowicz at: npiotrowicz@theblade.com, 724-6110, or on Twitter @NickPiotrowicz



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