The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



Monaco: Two-quarterback attack?

Mike Monaco | Thursday, November 10, 2011

If you look at the top five NFL teams by record in the past decade, you find a fundamental, though not all that surprising characteristic shared by each franchise: steady quarterback play.

The Patriots have Tom Brady. The Colts have Peyton Manning. The Steelers have Ben Roethlisberger. The Eagles had Donovan McNabb and now have Michael Vick. And the Packers had Brett Favre and now have Aaron Rodgers.

But when it comes to interhall football, many teams eschew the strategies of the professional squads. Quite frequently, teams deploy two quarterbacks.

In a matchup between Pasquerilla West and Pangborn, both teams utilized multiple quarterbacks, with the Purple Weasels (5-2) using three. The rationale behind both teams’ decisions was similar. Hoping to get the best of both worlds, one quarterback is primarily the passer and the other is the runner.

“Both of our quarterbacks have special contributions that they make to our team,” Pangborn senior captain Liz Pawlak said.

Pasquerilla West used the same approach. Freshman Lauren Vidal began the game throwing the ball, but junior Alice Yerokun, who began the game as the running back, led the team on the final drive from the quarterback position.

When asked about Yerokun’s role for the next game, senior captain Alison Lindeen stressed the importance of flexibility.

“[Yerokun] will be switching it up the whole game,” Lindeen said. “We will probably have her at running back a little more but we like to keep our options open.”

The multi-quarterback craze reached the men’s league as well.

In a late-season game between Knott and Morrissey, both teams used two quarterbacks. Knott utilized junior Jake Coleman as well as freshman David Taiclet.

“[Coleman] did most of the running and [Taiclet] did more of the throwing,” senior captain Dan Shaffer said. “The two-quarterback attack worked well.”

The objective of the game is fairly obvious: put your team in the best position to win. For teams like Knott (3-2), that often means alternating between two quarterbacks. If the situation demands possession, a running quarterback may be the better option. If an aerial strategy is smarter, the quarterback with the better arm will likely play. It seems simple enough.

While each squad put together a solid season, only Knott and Pasquerilla West advanced to the playoffs.

Knott was knocked out in the first round while Pasquerilla West got a big win over Welsh Family to clinch a berth in the semifinals. Interestingly enough, Pasquerilla West now utilizes just one quarterback, junior Kirsten Danna. The Purple Weasels are now on the verge of their third-straight championship appearance.

Maybe quarterback stability is important.

Maybe those NFL guys know what they’re doing.