Either Sean Canfield or Lyle Moevao started at quarterback for Oregon State over the past three years, so it's a spring of transition at the position for the Beavers, one of just two Pac-10 programs that won't welcome back their starting quarterback from 2010.
Whoops. Make that one of three. Oregon recently joined the Beavers and Arizona State as programs searching for a new signal-caller.
It's not like offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf doesn't have anything to work with, though. He's got four of five starting offensive linemen back as well as plenty of talent at receiver.
The Beavers started spring practices this week, so it seemed like a good time to check in with Langsdorf.
So ... no Sean Canfield or Lyle Moevao: That's got to feel different.
Danny Langsdorf: It sure does. We had such a veteran presence at that position for two years. That's pretty unique. Having both of them gone, I'm still getting used to it. But we ran into this a couple of years ago when we lost Matt Moore. We've got two guys who we think are both capable of playing for us in [Ryan] Katz and [Peter] Lalich. We'll let them battle it out and see which one is our best guy.
Tell me about those two quarterbacks: First Katz. What are his strengths and where does he need work?
DL: He's got an unbelievable arm -- probably the strongest we've had here in a long time. He's very talented throwing the ball. He's got to work on his accuracy and being able to harness that strength in his arm. He's got to show a little touch on the ball and just be able to spread the ball around to where guys can catch it. I think he's got a good command of the offense. He's been here long enough. He hasn't played a lot but he played in a few games last year and got some good game experience. We feel great where he's at and the amount of talent he possesses. He's already been exciting to start spring ball.
And Virginia transfer Lalich?
DL: Peter has a little bit of experience in games, although it was at Virginia, but playing in some games is always a good thing, for a quarterback especially. He's a smart kid who can pick up our system fast. He's also got a good arm. I'd say Katz is probably more mobile than Peter right now, but [Lalich] is a big, strong drop-back passer. We feel like we've got two guys who can really throw the ball well. And Cody Vaz is in there, too. He's our [redshirt] freshman and he's also got a talented arm. Those three guys right there are proving they can make a lot of throws in our offense.
The general feeling is Katz is ahead: Is that true?
DL: It's still pretty early but you can say that in the sense that he's been here the longest. He's played in games in our system. All those things are to his advantage. So if you watch us take a team period, the first snaps are going to Ryan for sure. But I don't think that is to say that competition is at all over. We've got a lot of time before we play our first game. We've got a lot of situations to put those guys through to see who can handle the entire game the best. We'll do that throughout spring practices. But I think if you had to make a decision right today you'd probably say that.
Part II on Friday: Langsdorf talks about the Rodgers brothers, other offensive weapons and the rugged schedule.