Frerotte: QBs can 'lose so much' not getting first-team reps in practice

Josh Luckenbaugh
November 27, 2018 - 9:56 am

After the Redskins' Thanksgiving loss at Dallas, Jay Gruden told reporters Colt McCoy didn't get a single rep with the first-team offense in practice before the game. And according to former Redskins quarterback Gus Frerotte, not getting those practice reps can have a major impact if you don't take the practice you do get seriously. 

"When you go to a practice ... and you see the backup quarterback taking all the reps in scout team, and if you just go through the motions in those reps, you lose so much," Frerotte told The Junkies Tuesday. 

"I'll never forget, and the guy that taught me this was (Hall of Fame Redskins cornerback) Darrell Green: when I was a rookie and I was doing all the scout team stuff and I was just throwing to the circle guy that the defensive coaches said, 'Throw here so we can pick it off.'"

"And I was doing that, and Darrell Green goes, 'Why are you doing that, Gus?' And I said, 'That's what the coaches tell me to do.' And he said, 'Well, that doesn't make you any better, and it definitely doesn't make me any better, because those guys aren't doing that on the team we're playing against. So go out every day like it's a game situation, and practice as hard as you can, and do what your reads tell you to do.'"

"When you go in those situations ... they're the same plays you have on your offense, so I'm sure Colt takes it seriously," Frerotte continued. "Have the guys run routes, so that you can make those throws if you do get in the game, and it shows he's been taking those things seriously in practice."

McCoy had a mixed bag of a game in the 31-23 defeat to the Cowboys, throwing two touchdowns as well as three interceptions. Frerotte didn't think McCoy looked unprepared, despite not getting to practice with the starters. 

"Even though he didn't get reps in practice, he's still throwing those routes and all those things, and he's taken a lot of reps because there's probably days that Alex was beat up and he wasn't getting all the reps," Frerotte said. "They want to say the backup doesn't get a lot of reps, but you get enough to be substantial in a game."

"Colt's been in the league long enough that he understands how to throw the ball into certain areas. If he was a rookie coming into that situation, I wouldn't foresee him playing as well."

And with a huge matchup against the Eagles looming next Monday, Frerotte says McCoy faces an entirely different animal this week: getting too much practice. 

"Sometimes, the longer you have to wait, it becomes a little harder," he told The Junkies. "Because it's more practice, it's more preparation, instead of just going out and playing."

"He'll be excited when the game starts, but he'll have to go through all the preparations, and now he's dealing with the media where he probably didn't have to deal with it before."

"It's a lot different when you become the starter, there's a lot of other things that come into play, but I think he'll be ready. Colt seems to have a really good head on his shoulders and understand the game. It's gonna be a big game and it's gonna be a lot of fun to watch."

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