Here’s a quick video (a little over an hour) which shows every snap of Casey Thompson’s 2021 season at Texas in which he did not hand the ball off. So if you are bored enough to watch, don’t worry you won’t have to watch him simply hand the ball off to Texas running backs.
After watching the entire video here are a few of my thoughts on Casey Thompson as he looks to be the starter for Nebraska during the 2022 season.
Extremely accurate on short and intermediate throws.
Did I chart this? No.
Though the eye test appears to show a quarterback who is extremely accurate within 15-20 yards of the line of scrimmage. In fact, there were several swing passes that looked similar to what Nebraska has tried to run over the past few years with Adrian Martinez.
If you watched Nebraska football then you know what I’m talking about as your mental memory bank screeches in horror as you think of some of the swings or screens Nebraska ran with Martinez where the accuracy simply was not there.
With Thompson, the tempo and timing of those swings and screens were impressive. It looks like the play were actually executed as they were intended to be.
The other short and intermediate throws came out of his hand quickly and on time, at least from my point of view.
It is hard to watch Casey Thompson and not compare him to Adrian Martinez in trying to think of what Nebraska is getting. So when I notice his accuracy on short and intermediate throws it is in some way taking a shot at Martinez.
So with that said...
Thompson seems to struggle with the deep ball
If you were to watch him against Oklahoma, you may wonder what the heck I’m talking about as he placed multiple deep passes right in the hands of his Texas receivers.
However, if you were to watch the rest of the season you would see that he over threw his receivers on more than a few occasions when they were running wide open.
One thing (among many) Martinez did well last year was the deep ball. So in an attempt to be fair, where Casey Thompson may excel and Martinez struggled, there are areas like the deep ball that Martinez would probably be considered the better passer.
How will he fare against B1G defenses?
As I watched him dice up some of the defenses he faced, I couldn’t help but wonder if this is what we should expect when he goes up against Big Ten defenses.
The Big 12 is not exactly known (maybe outside of Baylor) to be full of juggernauts on defense. It is also another case of somebody going from one league where you expect many possessions and opportunities to the Big Ten where teams like Minnesota and Iowa will drain clock to keep you on the sideline.
It’s a different type of football and I will be interested to see how Casey Thompson translates.
He is more mobile than I expected.
Fast forward to 13:43 of the video I posted above. That play surprised me and there are several others from the 2021 season.
He doesn’t appear to be as athletic or as quick as Martinez but he can definitely go get you 10-15 yards on a scramble if he needs.
Before taking out yards lost on sacks, he did have 259 yards rushing in 2021 and scored four rushing touchdowns.
Prefers to sit in the pocket.
He appears to be more willing to sit in the pocket and go through his progressions compared to Adrian Martinez.
That doesn’t mean he’s perfect. There were times that he would drift and drift and drift back as there was pressure in his face.
He probably held on to the ball a little long as took some pretty big hits. On the other hand, there were times he got the ball right out as he got hit and got the first down on a third and long.
Is he the same type of winner as Adrian Martinez?
Martinez won three games last season and Thompson’s Texas team won five. He was not the starting quarter back for one of those losses and one of those wins but that part should be a bit of a concern.
From all we can tell he is a great kid, just like Martinez, and maybe he did the best that he could with what was surrounding him.
In the end he is a different player and has different strengths/weaknesses. It should be exciting to see what he ends up doing for Nebraska in 2022.