Texas wants more out of backup QB Print
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Tuesday, 05 August 2008 10:50
NCAAF Headline News

 AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -Big, fast and athletic, John Chiles is the player Texas fans are aching to see in action every week, not just once in a while in mop-up duty.
The problem is, he's the backup quarterback behind junior Colt McCoy, who is firmly entrenched as the starter with 51 career touchdowns passes, 5,873 yards and a 20-6 record.
After Chiles' playing time was limited as a freshman last season, coach Mack Brown promises to get him more involved this year, whether its passing, running off direct snaps or catching the ball.
He's not a threat to take over for McCoy. It's just that Brown says Chiles is too good not to be on the field. And McCoy says he loves the idea of adding a new weapon to the offense.
``John and Colt are two of our best players,'' Brown said this week as Texas opened training camp for its Aug. 30 home opener against Florida Atlantic. ``We are committed to trying to get Colt and John on the field at the same time.''
That means a busy August for Chiles, who will also continue to work as the No. 2 quarterback. Brown stressed that Chiles will not give up his backup QB duties.
``I told John when he reported Sunday, 'We're going to see if you're in shape or not,''' offensive coordinator Greg Davis said. ``He's getting a bunch of reps at several different places.''
Davis has a history of finding ways to get multiple uses out of his most talented players, going back to his days as a Georgia assistant when he helped develop Hines Ward as the do-it-all quarterback for the Bulldogs.
Brown and Davis say they're still developing a package of offensive plays to use Chiles in multiple ways. They didn't work on it in the spring to allow Chiles more time developing into a solid backup QB.
Chiles teased Texas fans with brief glimpses of what he can do in 2007.
He played in seven games but his time and snaps were extremely limited. Still, he made the most of it when given a chance.
Chiles ran for 77 yards and led two scoring drives against Rice. He scored a touchdown in a win over Iowa State and ran for a TD in the Holiday Bowl against Arizona State. He completed only one of nine pass attempts for 17 yards.
His biggest play came in his only carry in a tough win over Nebraska.
McCoy was shaken up by a hit and briefly had to leave the field with Texas trailing 17-9, and Chiles ran for 24 yards out of the zone read on his only carry.
The Longhorns had spent most of the game trying to pass against one of the country's worst run defenses, and Chiles' run seemed to turn on the light bulb in the coaching booth.
Texas went almost exclusively with the run the rest of the game and rallied to win, 28-25, behind Jamaal Charles' 216 rushing yards in the fourth quarter.
The Longhorns hoped to use Chiles more last season, but those chances never developed because Texas was deep at receiver and running back. And Chiles has yet to show he can be much of a passer.
But his flashes of skill have built high hopes for what he can produce if Texas can get the ball in his hands. At 6-foot-2 and 215 pounds, Chiles is one of the fastest players on the team, coaches say.
McCoy, who proved he can be multiple-threat QB with 492 rushing yards last season, could get some help from Chiles if he can bolster a receiving core lacking experience.
``John's good at anything he does,'' McCoy said. ``He's explosive with the ball in his hands.''
 

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