Monday marked the 11th practice that the Wisconsin football team has had during fall camp. After practice media had the opportunity to speak with coaches from both the offensive and defensive sides of the Badgers coaching staff. Bucky’s 5th Quarter was able to check-in with defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard and quarterbacks coach Jon Budmayr to get their impressions on what has transpired so far in fall camp. We ran the interview with Leonhard on Tuesday and here is what Budmayr had to say.
Assistant coach Jon Budmayr enters his second season as the quarterbacks coach, and fifth season on the Wisconsin football staff. The former Wisconsin quarterback is tasked with helping develop a room this fall in the midst of competition for the starting role and and backup position. With four players all vying for those two primary roles his coaching position is more important than ever before. Here is what Budmayr had to say about his observations from fall camp so far.
Practice just wrapped up. Thought that Chase Wolf looked really good. Lead some touchdown drives, and was very accurate. He drove the ball with some zip. Seems to have elevated his game as fall camp has progressed.— Matt Belz (@savedbythebelz) August 9, 2019
Budmayr was asked about what he has seen from redshirt freshman Chase Wolf, and said “Chase has a lot of playmaking ability. He has a good grasp of the offense right now. What’s even better though is he’s playing with confidence, and he’s got a great understanding of the types of throws that he can make. With that we have to rein him in a bit with some decision making, which he understands. It’s important to him. He can make some unique throws and extend some plays with his feet that present some problems and it’s been fun to watch him grow in that area.”
Budmayr continued complimenting Wolf later, saying “he’s got a great presence to him on and off the field. I love the way he handles himself in the huddle, and I love the way he handles himself on the sidelines, in the meeting rooms, and on the field. I think he feels as though no matter what the situation is he is going to have an opportunity to move the sticks or make a play, and when you play with that confidence it definitely is noticeable.”
In speaking about the player with the most returning experience, Jack Coan, Budmayr said,
“He’s grown in what we have asked him to do, [he’s] taken a big jump in decision making, understanding situations, and being able to protect the football. That’s not just protecting the football, not throwing picks, it’s protecting the football with your decisions. If something is not there down the field, being able to get through a progression quickly to spit the football out to a check down, avoid kind of the negatives early in downs. I’ve liked the approach he’s had to it.
He understands, he’s into it, certainly room for improvement, we’ve got to keep going though. He’s taken what we have asked of him in the spring, stretching the ball down the field, making good decisions, playing within yourself, and that has been fun to see so far.”
Budmayr indicated that he and Jack went over a lot of what he did last year, and that Jack is “understanding how to play efficiently, and that you can see him making progress. When he was playing in rhythm, particularly the Purdue game, you look at that and you see a guy on tape who is putting the ball where he wants to put it, not trying to throw away from defenders.”
Once again Coan took vast majority of the first team QB reps, and looked very solid. Will be interesting to see how the battle between Wolf and Mertz shakes out for time behind him. Thought Wolf was the more consistent passer between the younger arms today. pic.twitter.com/jkkalBoIGI— Matt Belz (@savedbythebelz) August 8, 2019
On what he’s noticed from freshman Graham Mertz, Budmayr highlighted that the early install of the offense the first week of camp was “heavy at times” leading to the freshman struggling on occasion.
However, Budmayr pointed out that “the last couple days you’ve seen Graham’s best.” He went on to note that Mertz is steadily improving,
“As with any quarterback, but especially Graham, where his feet are in rhythm. Early on in camp [his feet] got going a little bit, and once they get going, you can tell that the brain is going. So the last couple days have been fun because there hasn’t been any install, so we’ve been able to tighten down the plan and start just running plays getting ready for what would be the season. Since then he’s done a great job of getting back to that rhythm with his feet. He can make all the throws, that’s not the issue, but it’s about understanding and recognizing defensive coverages, progressions, and trusting his eyes. That is a tough thing when you take that jump. A window that might have been real last fall might not be this fall, and he’s getting that understanding.”