Shawn Robinson is TCU’s starting quarterback. That isn’t going to change anytime soon.
But coach Gary Patterson wondered aloud whether backup Mike Collins should see more playing time after the Frogs’ 42-12 victory over SMU on Friday night.
Patterson isn’t thinking anything too drastic such as switching every other series between Robinson and Collins. Instead, he threw out the idea of maybe getting Collins involved earlier in the game for a series or two.
“That’s the head coach talking, that’s not the offensive coordinator talking,” Patterson said, referring that he’ll rely on co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Sonny Cumbie to make any such determination.
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To Patterson, though, it’d be a win-win situation. He likes what he’s seen from Collins in the first two games so far and would like to get him involved earlier.
For Robinson, it’d reduce his number of snaps (thus limiting the number of plays he’s exposed to an injury). Patterson also feels it could be beneficial for quarterbacks to watch a series or two from the sidelines.
“You get a different perspective than you do watching from behind the center,” Patterson said. “Like I said, head coach talking. I’m not one of those guys that [makes decisions for Cumbie and the offensive coaches]. They have a better feel for it, but my thing is a suggestion of making it through 10 more games. There’s just things those other quarterbacks can do and they can keep you healthy, especially on certain plays.”
Robinson appeared to get banged up on his final play Friday night, a third-down run in which he exposed himself to a big hit to try and make a first down. He was looked at by trainers on the sidelines afterward, but said he was “good” in his postgame interview.
Robinson acknowledged he is still learning the risk/reward when it comes to using his feet. He’s flashed his ability to extend plays and run early on this season, scoring on an 18-yard run Friday.
But Robinson felt his overall performance was just “all right.”
“A lot of mistakes, did some good. Just got to go watch film tomorrow and get better, learn from it,” Robinson said. “Just got to be more accurate, make more plays.”
Robinson has struggled with his accuracy on the deep balls early on this season. Patterson believes Robinson isn’t getting enough air under them to allow his receivers to make plays on it.
“We’re not giving them a chance to catch it,” Patterson said. “We need to give them a chance to catch it. They can only catch the ball that they can catch. You don’t give them an opportunity, they can’t catch it.
“We need to do a better job.”
Robinson’s numbers didn’t jump off the page, either. The weather conditions weren’t ideal and he had a couple receivers drop passes on a night he completed 15-of-28 passes for 146 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
Collins, meanwhile, has done a nice job with limited opportunities. He connected with TreVontae Hights for a 57-yard score in the season opener, and then had a nice 10-yard run for a touchdown in the fourth quarter against SMU.
So Collins may have earned more playing time, as Patterson suggested. But this is still Robinson’s team. His teammates have plenty of confidence in him.
“He’s handling himself well,” senior receiver Jaelan Austin said of Robinson. “He’s playing way above his maturity level. He’s playing like a senior, honestly.”