No plans to flip-flop starters at Tech

LUBBOCK, Texas -- Texas Tech has a problem, but it’s one offensive coordinator Neal Brown welcomes.

“There’s a lot of people that would like to have one guy,” he said. “We’ve got two guys.”

Brown’s two guys are quarterbacks Steven Sheffield and Taylor Potts, a pair of seniors competing to run Brown’s offense in the fall -- a job that, if won, won’t be lost easily.

“Once we make that decision, there’s not going to be a whole lot of flip-flopping,” Brown said. “We’re going to give that guy some rope where he’s not peeking over his shoulder all the time, we’re going to hand him the reins and he’s going to go out to play.”

But that decision likely won’t be made until fall camp, and for now, the task in front of both is learning Brown’s offense, one similar to former coach Mike Leach’s.

“The tempo they want us to play at is a little higher, so you’ve got to think quicker,” Potts said.

Both quarterbacks are receiving equal reps this spring, though in Saturday’s scrimmage, Sheffield outplayed his counterpart, completing 18 of his 25 passes for 222 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for a score.

Potts completed 13 of 25 passes for 141 yards and a touchdown.

“It’s been like any other spring or summer or whatever it is, there’s always competition,” Potts said. “Competition’s good.”

And both quarterbacks have no plans to chart the other’s incompletions.

“One thing I changed since I was younger is to stop worrying about that and just worry about me. That’s all I can really control,” Sheffield said. “It’s just kind of a waste of time and wasted effort if I were to be worrying about somebody else.”

The worry for both is eliminating what kept them from permanently starting as juniors, when injuries and inconsistencies sent both quarterbacks on and off the field constantly.

Brown says the focus for Sheffield is limiting the frustrating plays that his penchant for big plays sometimes led into.

“He’s not the most orthodox guy you’re going to see, but he’s got a great feel for the game. He’s got an energy about him that’s contagious,” Brown said. “He kind of flies by the seat of his pants sometimes, and sometimes that turns into negative plays.”

For Potts, it’s utilizing the arm strength Brown called “incredible.”

“Potts’ deal is he throws off his back foot a lot,” Brown said. “When he steps into his throws, he’s got as good of arm strength as you’re going to find.”

Combine that with showing his coaches he won’t exceed the 13 interceptions he threw last season could put Potts behind center this fall.

“I feel good about playing a game with either one of them,” Brown said. “We can win games with both of them. We just have to figure out who gives us the best chance to win.”