IRVING, Texas -- Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville had a plan for the spring. An injured finger and a broken foot scrapped it. Now, entering fall practice, he's got another one to decide his starting quarterback, and part of it took place on Tuesday at Big 12 media days. Tuberville brought both seniors, Taylor Potts and Steven Sheffield, to face the media as part of the competition that will climax -- he hopes -- by the second scrimmage of the fall.
"I wanted to see how they handled themselves in front of you and the TV cameras," Tuberville told a room of reporters. "Your quarterback is your team leader, not your head coach. Your quarterback has to have the respect of every player on the team."
The two split time a season ago under former coach Mike Leach, but Sheffield re-broke his foot early on in spring practice. Potts followed suit a day later with a broken and lacerated finger on his throwing hand. Tuberville spent most of his time addressing their similarities rather than their differences when discussing his evaluation of the pair.
"They've both been starters in the Big 12. They've both been backups in the Big 12. They've both been injured. They've won games," he said. "They've gone through some tough situations, and both can play."
But only one can play when the season opener against SMU kicks off on September 5 in a nationally televised Sunday game. And he's remained consistent on his stance this spring: His starter won't be temporary.
"We look at everything from how they handle the pregame all the way to how they handle the meeting at the end of the scrimmage," he said. "You can look at a guy and you can think that they might be the guy to get the job done and throw them the football, 40-yard out route or 60-yard deep pass, but there's a lot more to a quarterback. They've got to make decisions. And decisions of winning games. If I'm at the end of a game and we're trying to drive the ball down, and I can run it, but I can also think I can throw a pass in there 30 yards to get the first down … will they make the right decision to do that?"