I want to begin by saying I like all the upside Marquise Williams has as a quarterback. Watching him in spots this past fall and in the spring his has a combination of athleticism and arm strength that should thrive in a spread offense. What I realize is that Williams is a redshirt freshman who sat behind a quarterback who after next year will be the most prolific passer in UNC history barring injury. Fans used to cheer for the back up quarterback when your starter showed no signs of success and no hope for improvement. As a Redskin fan I knew this feeling for almost twenty years prior to the NFL draft last April, but despite two outstanding seasons Renner has media members and fans discussing why Williams should play.
Why are fans discussing Marquise Williams and starting over Bryn Renner next season after Renner threw for 3300 yards and 28 touchdowns with only seven interceptions? Is it because Bryn Renner just doesn’t run the football? Is it the message board hype machine that pumps up the back up as the savior? The theory on Larry Fedoras offense when discussed in social media is that Williams and his ability to run and throw is the future of the offense and that may be so however there is more to running this offense that just taking a snap running QB draw.
From game footage it appears fans have a higher trust in Williams than the coaching staff. Whether they are calling plays that they feel will be successful or ones they know he is confidant with they have limited the offense in his appearances in games. I do like the idea o changing it up some to keep the defense off balance especially since UNC runs so many plays, but the ways Coach Anderson used Williams gave an impression he does not fully trust the young quarterback. That is not a slight at Williams because Renner was in the same situation when fans wanted him in for T.J. Yates before he was ready. The play calling for Williams became so predictable you though Darrell Moody was calling the plays for M. Williams. There were plays where Williams ran for good yardage, but to see what he can do it would have nice to see him run the actual offense.
The spring will come and Coach Fedora will give his usual coach speak saying the competition for quarterback is wide open, but truly the competition to watch will not be between Renner and Williams, but for the number two spot behind Renner. Williams, Coker, Trubisky (January enrollee). I hope we see Williams progress this spring into a more consistent passer to compliment his running ability. He has a great arm and he just needs more time in the offense. He may turn out to be better than Renner, but for now let us just allow the young man time to develop before anointing him the future savior of UNC football.