The backup QB embraces the chance to lead the scout-team offense
POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Aug 24, 2010
LAST UPDATED: 1:53 a.m. HST, Aug 24, 2010
For the next week, Southern California's quarterback is a Punahou School graduate who has a "Rainbow Warrior" decal on his white helmet and wears glasses when he is not playing football.
Cayman Shutter is serving as the Trojans' quarterback during Hawaii's practices in preparation for the Sept. 2 opener at Aloha Stadium.
Later, Shutter will portray Boise State's Kellen Moore, Nevada's Colin Kaepernick, New Mexico State's co-starters, and every other quarterback on the Warriors' 2010 schedule.
"Cayman is, by far, the best guy to come over and run the scout team's offense," UH associate head coach Rich Miano said. "He understands formations. He understands being a leader. The voice inflection, the count -- his whole approach is a serious approach."
Bryant Moniz, who is the Warriors' No. 1 quarterback, and Brent Rausch, the top backup, take most of the snaps when UH's offense practices against the scout defense. Shane Austin, the No. 3 quarterback, and David Graves are on the side, taking what is termed "mental reps." Shutter, a second-year freshman, embraced the request to run the scout offense against the Warriors' No. 1 defense.
"It's good work for me," Shutter said. "Only one or two quarterbacks get reps (with the UH offense) every day. If you're not the starter or the backup, and you're a younger guy, there's no better way to improve and work on your own individual skills than to play on the scout team. I get to deal with a rush in my face and an aggressive defense, and having to throw to all different routes against all kinds of blitzes and coverages. I look forward to playing on the scout team and making the defense better, and also making myself better."
During the defensive drills, the scouts will be shown flash cards featuring USC plays. Shutter tries to employ some of the basics of the Warriors' four-wide offense -- cadences, protection calls -- into USC's plays.
"That will definitely give the defense the best look," Shutter said. "If we try to go out and run something that we've never seen before, never practiced before, we're not going to be able to give the defense the best look we can."
The Trojans run a pro-style offense featuring two backs and a tight end. Shutter and Rausch are considered to have the strongest arms among the Warriors quarterbacks. Miano said Shutter can make all of the throws in USC's offense.
"He goes out there and tries to complete passes," Miano said. "He's physically good enough to give us a good look. He really takes control."
Shutter said he enjoys working against defensive coordinator Dave Aranda. Shutter sometimes attends defensive meetings.
"Some of the looks (Aranda) gives you are brain-scrambling," Shutter said. "I've learned a lot from the way he sets up formations and blitzes."
Miano said: "Our scouts work very hard. We can't win if we don't have a great scout team. We can't win if those guys don't take their job seriously. The receivers are fast, athletic and run good routes. The offensive linemen are firing off the ball. And the quarterback is in command. We notice those things."