HELENA — Carroll College football coach Troy Purcell didn’t see any of the touchdowns his quarterbacks threw last season on video.
He didn’t watch any of his running backs carry the ball and he didn’t want to watch any of the defensive schemes.
“I don’t know what they did before,” Purcell said. “I didn’t know who was the first-team, or who was on scholarship and who wasn’t.”
But he prefers it that way.
“Everyone has a chance to prove themselves,” Purcell said. “I didn’t want any preconceived notions on who should be where and the order (on the depth chart). Just because they started last year doesn’t mean they will start this year.”
The Saints spent time during Saturday’s spring practice scrimmaging against one another and Purcell didn’t hesitate challenging his players.
“Show me you are a starter,” he told the team.
All four quarterbacks saw time handling the offense. With Carroll’s first game more than four months away the coaching staff isn’t rushing to put the depth chart together.
“It brings out more competition between us all,” junior quarterback Kolby Killoy said. “You have to come in every practice and be focused. You know these other guys are going to be competing with you.”
Killoy saw the most playing time last season after Reese Hiibel injured his arm early in the season.
He finished with a team-best eight touchdown passes, but the high number of interceptions and sacks led to a midseason quarterback change to Hunter Bledsoe.
Killoy and Bledsoe split time battling for the starting quarterback job in the final six weeks of last season, but now the competition has grown even bigger.
Junior Zach Leahy and NCAA Division II Colorado State-Pueblo transfer Devan Bridgewater are also looking to win the starting job next fall.
“We want to know who will make plays and extend the play, but then who is making bad plays and how to not make them worse,” Purcell said. “They all have their strengths and weaknesses and we just have to figure out what they are.”
Other competitions this spring include the running backs,with senior Major Ali followed by Jesus Parra-Gutierrez, Griphen Le and Jack McIntyre, while the nine defensive backs are also competing for four or five positions.
“Every practice is an opportunity to move up the ladder and every practice is an opportunity to move down the ladder,” Purcell said. “That’s life and that is how the world is. You have to go compete every single day.”
Carroll has five more practices before its spring game scheduled on April 27.