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Sterlin Gilbert Working on Quinton Flowers’ Throwing Motion

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The Bulls’ new offensive coordinator is taking on the only shortcoming left in Flowers’ game.

East Carolina v South Florida Photo by Jason Behnken / Getty Images

ESPN’s Andrea Adelson has a feature up about Quinton Flowers on their college football blog. It covers Charlie Strong’s memories of recruiting Flowers (he wanted him as a safety) and points out that Strong hasn’t had an established quarterback to work with since his last year at Louisville, when Teddy Bridgewater was a senior.

Adelson also interviewed offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert about how he is settling in to work with Flowers. Early quotes from Gilbert before spring practice might have made you think that he was going to try and fit Flowers into the system he’s most comfortable running. Fortunately, this story reveals that no, it’s the other way around.

Once spring practice ends, Gilbert will sit down with Flowers and talk about the direction the offense should go.

"He’s really talented and coming back off what he did, it’s one of those things where don’t reinvent the wheel with him," Gilbert said. "We’re just in a hurry to find out what he does best, and let’s go do that. It’s not like we’re going to try to take him down another path and make him comfortable with something new. It’s like, 'Hey, let’s do what he does really well, and let’s do a lot of it.'"

Gilbert is a descendent of the Baylor offensive coaching tree. As you might remember, last year USF incorporated some of the concepts of that system in the Gulf Coast Offense, with the extremely wide receiver splits and stack formations. So there should already be some built-in similarities. From other quotes we’ve seen, it sounds like the biggest challenge is adjusting to how the plays are sent in and what they’re called, even though they’re mostly the same plays.

Flowers also revealed that Gilbert has been working with him on his throwing motion:

Flowers used to wind up to throw, wasting precious seconds in his delivery. That wind up is gone, allowing Flowers to deliver the ball with more accuracy and velocity.

"When we’re warming, up he’ll put his hand right on my chest and I can’t wind up and throw because that’s what I was doing," Flowers said. "Now, it’s just keep it at a 90-degree angle and release it. Everything’s falling into place just by listening to him. My release has gotten quicker. My ball location, my accuracy."

Flowers’ throwing motion has been a bit like a catapult, like someone setting the ball in the palm of his hand, pulling his arm back, and letting it fly. It was a very slow delivery with a lot of wasted motion, and it may have led to some of his accuracy issues (though they have waned with time). I don’t know what Q’s NFL prospects are, but if this helps make him a better passer, it certainly won’t hurt his chances.