Ole Miss' spring practice began Monday and, like many things covered with Houston Nutt's fingerprints, short bursts of sentences were everywhere and standard tasks were made exponentially more difficult, with a dash of controlled chaos tossed in the mix. The two biggest concerns facing Ole Miss as they (noticed I avoided saying "we," which will stop shortly I am sure) are repairing a defense that hemorrhaged everyth OH THE BLOOD SO MUCH BLOOD BANDAGES STAT OH IT WON'T STOP IT'S BLEEDING OUT AND NOW THERE'S SPINAL FLUID EVERYWHERE and finding a quarterback out of a pool of four candidates.
Now, narrowing four quarterbacks down to one starter is somewhat of a difficult task, but not impossible. However, if you thought that, you would be terribly wrong because that is not how Houston Nutt chooses to live. Yes, there are four breathing quarterbacks that could win the job, but their skill sets cannot be described simply as "strong arm" or "great pocket presence." No, friends, their skills sets include "he has a stuttering problem and can't get the call out correctly," "we need ANOTHER waiver to get him eligible," "has not taken a Division I snap," and "surely his confidence is okay after being given the starting job, then not having it two and a half quarters into a game one loss against a I-AA team."
Those are the problems that bounce off the walls in the world of Houston Nutt. And to help educate those unfamiliar with Randall Mackey, Nathan Stanley, Barry Brunetti, and Zack Stoudt, I am here to offer you assistance by summarizing what each quarterback brings to the table through the use of pictures, video, or gentle sobbing.
That type of athleticism and arm strength, but minus the left handedness and hopefully the sense of entitlement and affinity for dog fighting. Just so we're clear, HE'S NOT THE NEXT MICHAEL VICK, but he has all the tools that remind you of Vick. There remains the whole stuttering issue, as mentioned above, and if this were to happen during an important moment, or any moment really, things would not go well:
Not well at all.
Now, that's the way you conduct a handoff! And that also concludes the skills in which the Ole Miss coaches are comfortable with Stanley displaying.
"Just fill this out and we'll get back to you, oh, wait, when does your season start? September 3rd? We'll send you a fax September 2nd at 4:59. Enjoy your summer."
Brunetti could turn out to be the most gifted of all four, but any chance he gets to spend significant time with the first team offense before the season starts was sucked away last August when the Sports Gods gave us our 10-year allotment of inexplicable fortune by overruling the initial NCAA decision in which Jeremiah Masoli was declared ineligible.
While throwing a ball 75 yards into a net is an impressive feat (or just throwing anything 75 yards), it remains the most impressive thing I've seen of Stoudt, which means it's not that impressive. I hope that he proves my initial reaction of him entering a game wrong, which will be something like OH NO WHY WHY WHY DAMN YOU HOUSTON NUTT AND DAVID LEE I KNEW THIS REUNION WAS GOING TO BE A DISASTER DAMN THIS WHOLE SPORT HOW CAN, followed by me passing out from lack of oxygen.
At the end of this search, no matter who wins the job, it probably will not matter because last time checked, Tyrone Nix was still in charge of coordinating defense, and opposing offenses surveyed our defense like Sherman looked across Georgia right before he left Atlanta.