The Huskies are expected by many to field a dangerous offence in 2015 with a strong receiving corps, veteran offensive line, deep and talented group of tailbacks, and their fourth year signal caller, Drew Burko. Burko dazzled in practice on Tuesday morning, connecting on throw after throw in scrimmage, with third year receiver Julan Lynch being his most frequent target. Huskie Outsider spoke with Drew Burko and his position coach, Laurence Nixon, following practice.
“It was a really good morning,” Burko acknowledged about the practice. “The offence was really clicking. We expanded our offence with some new stuff and it was helping us out today.”
As stated earlier, Burko will have the benefit of a veteran line in front of him, with the only loss being center Brad Nehring to graduation. He is being replaced by another veteran, Matt Czerniak, who played most of last season, at guard, in place of an injured Mat Leung. Drew was asked about any adjustment that needs to be made with a new man snapping him the ball. “Maybe a little bit, but Matt played all last year so he knows what he’s doing.”
Burko sees the potential in this talented offence. “We can do a lot,” he confirmed. “We just need to execute; we have a lot of potential, but we need to show it…I know our coaches have talked about that. We can’t take anything for granted; we have to come out every day and work hard. We can’t be hurting ourselves with mistakes.”
Laurence Nixon is entering his second season as the QB coach. He was pleased with what he saw from his starting QB this morning, and pointed to some hard work and attention that Burko put in during the offseason, in particular with his footwork. “Drew is really taking to this offence well,” Nixon affirmed. “We’ve been building on it for the last year; there’s still some things in the playbook that were in there last year, but there’s a lot of great new wrinkles and some things for the quarterback position to make it more structured. Drew has studied hard this offseason and he’s been working with Scott (offensive coordinator Flory). The big difference between this time last year and this year is his feet. We put on the Manitoba game from week 1 last year, and it’s night and day the difference a year later. That’s what I like to see; he’s been working on his footwork during the offseason and even continuing into the first two days of camp. It has been allowing us to progress in these different throws because his feet are in the right spot and the mechanics are there.” Nixon, with five years experience as a CIS quarterback to draw upon, was asked how difficult an adjustment it would be for a QB to make these kind of adjustments. Nixon re-iterated the dedicated work that Drew has put in. “He’s worked really hard at it, and he didn’t really have any bad habits – he just needed a little bit of consistency. Everything works up – our offence is built around our footwork, everything from our 3 step drop, or a quick sort of hinge step, to a 5 step drop. We’ve got plays designed and timed up with our feet, so getting the right steps and footwork down has allowed us to progress and build on things, and you were seeing it with a great day that he had today.”