The athletic talent of Taylor Martinez is undeniable. It’s been painfully obvious since the moment he took control of the Nebraska Cornhuskers offense when he was a freshman, and dazzled the college football world with his ability to run the football. Passing hasn’t always been as smooth for him, however.
Martinez, to his credit, recognized it and took steps last season to improve his quarterback mechanics. He set career marks in several passing statistics in 2012, so Martinez is taking the same approach this offseason and will once again spend his summer working on the little things to make himself a better quarterback.
During his junior season in 2012, Martinez set career marks in yards, completion percentage and passing touchdowns, throwing for 2,871 yards and 23 touchdowns while completing 62 percent of his passes. That marked an 800-yard increase in passing yards, six point improvement in his completion percentage and 10 additional touchdowns from his sophomore season.
Martinez recognizes, however, that there is still room for improvement. The Huskers QB struggled against pressure and his fundamentals tended to break down as the season wore on and when defenders got into his face. That affected his accuracy when under duress and led to way more turnovers than he would like, including 12 interceptions.
So in an effort to continue his development as a quarterback, Martinez will be reuniting with quarterbacks coach Steve Calhoun. The LA-based specialist worked with Martinez in 2012, putting him through 13 sessions of drills designed to improve his technique as a quarterback. The results were evident, though Calhoun credits Martinez’s fundamentals breaking down to the lessons he learned not being engrained in his muscle memory.
While Martinez returns home to Southern California for about a month this summer, he plans on working out with Calhoun extensively, working through technique drills as well as passing drills with receivers. The goal is for Martinez to become more consistent with his improved fundamentals, especially when under pressure, to allow him to be more accurate and make better decisions with the football in all kind of situations.
The Cornhuskers are facing some pressure to win in the Big Ten next season, and getting the best out of Martinez in his senior season will go a long ways in making that happen. Is 2013 the year that Taylor Martinez becomes a complete quarterback and leads Nebraska to their very first Big Ten Championship?