Can Price Bounce Back?
Q: “Keith, what makes you more confident that you can have a better season [in 2013]?”
A: “I have a lot to prove to myself and a lot to prove to you guys…”
Not sure anybody can word it better than Keith Price did himself at Pac-12 Media Day in July.
The Washington Huskies have a glaring question mark of a quarterback, and his name is Keith Price. Standing 6’1″ and weighing around 200 lbs., Price has all the physical tools needed to be a successful quarterback for Washington. He was a successful quarterback for UW as a sophomore in 2011, creating high expectations for 2012.
On the surface, Price’s 2012 numbers aren’t awful. He completed 60.9 percent of his passes, and he threw for 209.8 yards per game.
However, those stats are skewed by offensive coordinator Eric Kiesau’s system, which heavily utilizes quick passes, making it easier to rack up total yards and keep a high completion percentage.
If you look deeper, things start to get ugly. Price averaged just 6.3 yards per attempt, ranking 92nd in the nation. He also struggled with turnovers, throwing 13 interceptions to his 19 touchdowns.
The biggest problem with Price’s 2012 season didn’t exactly have to do with him throwing the ball, but the lack thereof. Many times he was uncomfortable and hesitant in the pocket. As a result, he threw the ball out of bounds too often and took too many sacks, obviously ruining the offense’s production.
The Supporting Cast
Price’s struggles in 2012 can somewhat be blamed on the amount of youth that started around him, with freshman and sophomores seemingly at every position.
With the growing pains in the rear-view mirror, the extra experience of both Price and those surrounding him could let him prove 2011 wasn’t a fluke.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins, if he avoids suspension, is the type of target quarterbacks wish they had. With a strong 2012, running back Bishop Sankey made his case for more handoffs this season, and the Huskies could benefit from giving some to him. Washington will have to find a center, but other than that, the offensive line returns with about a season of starts under its belt.
If Price increases his comfort level and pocket presence, the raw talent of him and his teammates will shine through, and he could turn back into an NFL prospect while leading Washington to its best season in recent memory.
If he can’t, Huskies fans may find themselves watching 2011 highlights, thinking the two words that hurt the most: “What if?”
Price was certainly right in saying he has to prove himself. The real question is whether he was telling the truth when he said “I perform my best…when people are doubting me.”
They’re doubting, Keith. Show us what you’ve got.