Oregon's offense suffered in 2015 when quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. was hurt. Nowhere was this more apparent than in the Valero Alamo Bowl, when the Ducks mustered only 36 passing yards after Adams' departure in the second quarter. They blew a 31-0 lead on the way to a 47-41 triple overtime loss to TCU.
Developing talent under center, then, is instrumental to Oregon's success moving forward. Adams has exhausted his one year of eligibility in Eugene, and the Ducks must get better production from their other pieces at the position if they going to remain explosive offensively in the post-Marcus Mariota era.
In that regard, there'll be pressure on new quarterbacks coach Dave Yost, the former Washington State inside receivers coach who is reportedly joining Mark Helfrich's staff. Yost has experience coaching quarterbacks, and it should be noted that his work with the Cougars' inside receivers helped produce the nation's most productive passing attack in 2015.
Washington State, though, had the luxury of Luke Falk under center.
Oregon's quarterback situation is much murkier entering 2016, and it may well be the variable that determines whether or not the Ducks can climb back to the top of the Pac-12. Graduate transfer Dakota Prukop has intrigued Oregon, while Jeff Lockie, Taylor Alie, Travis Jonsen, Terry Wilson and Justin Herbert could all also be on the roster by spring.
So names are plentiful at the quarterback position, but it remains to be seen if effectiveness will also be present. And that's where Yost will be tasked with bridging the gap so that Oregon packs a legitimate passing threat to complement Royce Freeman and a bevy of other offensive weapons.