During yesterday's press conference, Boston College football coach Steve Addazio formally named Tyler Murphy the starting quarterback going into the 2014 season. The transfer from Florida beat out true freshman Darius Wade, and red shirt freshman James Walsh. Of course we still don't know if Troy Flutie will come in and steal the job in the fall (joking). Wade and Walsh both looked a little overwhelmed during the spring game, and both could use more time learning the system and speed of college ball.
Murphy is going to be a very different quarterback than what we have seen in the past four years with Chase Rettig for a myriad of reasons. First off, it appears that Rettig has a stronger arm than Murphy does. We didn't see much of the long throws out of Rettig last year, but during his junior year he had the propensity to launch some down the field. I don't see this strength with Murphy, his arm is serviceable but I wouldn't expect him to throw the ball down field on a long passes often. In seven games last year with the Gators, Murphy had 7 passes of 25 yards or more. Now much of that could be due to his putrid offensive scheme, and personnel, but some could be due to his arm as well. Given BC's lack of depth at WR I don't think it would be wise for them to hucking it down the field often anyways.
The second big difference we are going to see between Murphy and Rettig is his ability to extend plays. After three years of getting plastered by opposing defenses, Rettig got into periods of happy feet, and would get rid of the ball before he was ready. On many occasions this led to mistakes, see Clemson 2013. Murphy on the other hand is mobile and can move the pocket to escape danger. This could be huge with a questionable wide receiving corp, as Murphy's legs could allow some his targets more time to get open and break down the coverage. During the spring game Murphy rolled out, which left receivers open as coverage backs had to make a split decision to either go after Murphy or stay in coverage. That confusion will be a great weapon for BC.
Of course Murphy has much better mobility than Rettig, and this new wrinkle will add more variability to BC's offense. I'd expect Ryan Day to use designed runs with Murphy, along with the possibility of some option plays depending on the situation. Murphy is fast, probably the quickest quarterback in recent memory, and that fits in well with the system that Addazio likes to run. He isn't going to be Tim Tebow, but he certainly will give BC's offense a new weapon.
The piece about Tyler Murphy that does concern me is his injury history. He missed large chunks of games last year with a shoulder injury that forced him to miss most of the end of the season. Like most mobile quarterbacks, Murphy is going to be susceptible to getting hit, and it will be very important that he gets out of bounds or slides to avoid hits. From what I saw from Wade and Walsh, we can't risk Murphy missing games because he was hit hard on a run. Smart running and play calling by both Murphy and the coaching staff are going to be crucial to a successful season.
In my opinion the health of Tyler Murphy is going to be a huge story going into the upcoming season. As our starting quarterback he may surprise some of us with what he can do on the field, however he is going to need to stay healthy if BC wants to go bowling for a 2nd straight season.