Alen Dumonjic


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Developmental QB: Zac Dysert

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Miami (OH) quarterback Zac Dysert was an interesting evaluation this past college football season because he had little help around him, yet he made a plethora of plays. Some good, some bad – that’s just how Dysert is as a passer. And that, understandably, could turn some teams off as they seek their future face of the franchise.

But there’s raw talent to work with when it comes to the Miami senior, and one of those talents is his remarkable ability to throw on the move to his left.

Being a right-handed passer is common but the ability to make throws with the ball placement and arm strength that Dysert does to his left isn’t. Why? Because most quarterbacks aren’t comfortable throwing across their body.

One of the most recent quarterback’s that has been terrific at throwing to his left is Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers. Kaepernick’s talent has allowed the 49ers to attack the back end of the defense down the left, middle and right. That’s what Dysert offers, and here’s an example of it against Akron this past season.

Dysert stood in shotgun set with a stacked twin set to his left. This meant two receivers tightly aligned, which is done to make it difficult for the defense to press the receivers as well as to coordinate responsibilities post-snap. The two routes were simple. The first would run a quick out while the second would be a quick double-move that would ultimately work the deep safety vertically.



When Dysert dropped back, he waited for the vertical route to develop. While doing so, pressure came from his right, forcing him to move up in the pocket and eventually out to near the left flat.



Forcing the Miami signal-caller outside of the pocket is the exact opposite what the defense hopes for. He’s a quality passer on the move and is at his best when he’s working with a broken down pocket due to his improvisational talent.

When he gets out of the pocket on this play, he’s able to shred the Akron defense with the deep ball with a simple flick of the wrist, which is followed by the ball softly landing into the hands of the receiver in the end zone. His ball placement on this throw is sublime, with the football flying over the top of the defensive back where only the receiver can get it.



This talent is something that will surely intrigue NFL personnel men, as it is a sign of what he is able to do when he has the ball longer in his hands. In most cases, quarterbacks that hold the ball longer tend to make mistakes but that’s not the case with Dysert, who possesses instincts to make defenses pay for their undisciplined pass-rush.

Although he’s dangerous on the move, there are concerns with his game as well. One could make the case that Dysert might be too much of a gunslinger and that he’s careless with the ball. He makes far too many questionable throws, such as throwing back across the middle of the field or into double coverage like he did against Ohio.

It was 3rd-&-8 with 29 seconds left in the first half. The ball was on the opponent’s 10-yard line and Dysert was in an empty shotgun set.  He had trips (three receivers) to his right and twins (two receivers) to his left. With Ohio giving a large cushion defensively to protect the goal-line, he couldn’t afford to force the football into coverage because it was surely going to be an interception. This was situational football 101.



When he dropped back, it appeared that no one was open, forcing him to hold the ball longer than expected. Eventually, he was faced with pressure and had to leave the pocket and move to his right. This was supposed to be a situation where he excelled – on the move, improvising and making plays.



And then he threw an awful interception. He tried to throw the football high into the back of the end zone to his receiver but only found an Ohio defender. There were three defenders in the immediate area and Dysert had no business throwing the football. If he threw the ball away, the offense could have tacked on three more points to their nine-point lead.



Gunslingers are acceptable to a degree. Coaches will always pull their hair out when they have them on their team, but gunslingers make a lot of plays that traditional quarterbacks don’t make. However, they also make mistakes, like Dysert, when they cannot.

It’s something that Dysert will have to learn to do because he doesn’t throw the ball away enough. Even when he has time in the pocket, he holds on to the ball too long and takes too many sacks. That leads to long down and distances, which he may or may not be able to handle at the next level.

Moreover, Dysert has to improve his footwork. It is quite poor, which may have something to do with three different offenses in three years. He stands flat-footed in the pocket and doesn’t always transfer his weight, leading to scattershot accuracy.

Overall, he’s a developmental quarterback. These types of quarterbacks usually have a late round label attached to their name, suggesting their lacking in talent. However, Dysert isn’t – he simply needs to go to a team with continuity in its coaching staff and that could teach him the fundamentals of the position. How much they can coach him up is a different question, as is if he’s a franchise quarterback or not, but he definitely has some talent to mold.

Alen Dumonjic has also contributed to The Boston Globe, The Sideline View, and The Score. He can be found on Twitter at @Dumonjic_Alen.
Email :Alen Dumonjic

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