Czerwiec’s Role as Falcon Team Leader Grows
Click here for Rick Tittsler's photo
album from Aug. 26th practice.
Click herefor Rick Tittsler's photo album from Aug. 25th practice.
MEQUON, Wis. - When Patrick Czerwiec crosses the white lines and steps onto hallowed ground he demands respect because he knows in the end all eyes will be on him. As a quarterback entering his second year as a full-time starter, Czerwiec isn't engaged in a head-to-head quarterback competition, but that doesn't mean the developing junior is taking training camp any less seriously than last year.
Czerwiec (Norridge, Ill.) put on an impressive showing during Sunday afternoon's 11-on-11 period at Century Stadium, darting balls to receivers on 25-yard crossing routes and connecting with his sure-handed slot receivers on deep post patterns.
On the outside looking in, it would appear that his confidence is sky high, but the 6-foot-1, 200-pound, right-hander he is still developing on and off the field. Last season was Czerwiec's first year as a full-time starter and he experienced his share of ups and downs along the way.
"This is going to be a better year," Czerwiec said. "We want it to be the best year, but what it is going to come down to is the last half of fall camp. If we come out here and lollygag we won't have that season. If we come out here and bust our butts we can do something special."
His resume, meanwhile, includes just 899 passing yards, 82 completions, and four touchdowns. There were moments last season when the defense dominated, but Czerwiec made his share of plays, too, and on Sunday he showed how far he's come since last year.
"I have been very impressed with him," first year Offensive Coordinator Henny Hiemenz said. "For a guy that really only has one year under his belt, he has tremendous leadership. The guys really look to him for guidance."
It took until the fifth game of last season for Czerwiec to connect with a receiver in the end zone, but during a five-game stretch in the middle of the season he showed the control and presence in the pocket of a quarterback who had been directing the offense for years.
"The nice thing is that in the next day or so the entire offense will be installed and he will have time to really start to perfect things," Hiemenz said. "Right now he is still learning the offense like the freshmen, which is the hard part for him. The great thing is that he is a student and he wants to be coached. He wants to know everything."
Czerwiec knows as well as anyone that his future is on the rise with the Falcons less than two weeks from their season opener. He displays the leadership of a veteran quarterback and as each day passes his development and confidence continues to grow.