Before Saturday’s loss to Green Bay, Wild coach Ken Matous said the injury to starting QB Alex Rouse wouldn’t cause him to look for another quarterback. Back-up Shane Mascarenas could do the job, Matous said.
But after Mascarenas threw four interceptions, including three on consecutive possessions, in the 55-41 home loss to Green Bay, Matous made it clear he’s on the lookout now. Wild fans better hope he finds one. Mascarenas may develop into a quality starter in the IFL, but he doesn’t appear to be ready yet. The Wild is 0-2, staring at 0-3 with Sioux Falls up after an off week. The Wild doesn’t have the luxury of Mascarenas learning on the job. And the QB problems are deeper than that. Is Rouse the answer? He is an indoor rookie too and threw three picks before he got hurt in the season-opening loss at Nebraska. The Wild needs an experienced QB; I have no idea if any are available at this point, like they would have been in the off-season. Matous has plenty of contacts, though. Dixie Wooten becoming a free agent saved the season in 2009. Adding to the Wild’s misery, Wooten is in Nebraska now and beat the Wild in the season opener.
The good news for the Wild is that, even with Mascarenas throwing four interceptions, the Wild was within six points with six minutes left. Even wth an average QB performance — heck, slightly below average, just not awful — the Wild wins the game. If you know any average to slightly below average experienced QBs, call the Wild office.
A few more thoughts:
1. I figured former KU star Jake Sharp would be an immediate impact player, but he hasn’t been much of a factor in two games. Sharp signed with the Wild to showcase his receiving talents for the NFL. In two games, has five catches for 30 yards. I’m confident Sharp expected much more when he signed on to play fo 225 bucks a week. I realize Sharp wants to prove he can catch the ball, but I think Matous should give him more time at running back. Matous talks about Sharp’s speed all the time, but it’s not being used much. Give him some carries, let him catch a few swing passes (like Green Bay did with their back). Sharp gets more comfortable and the Wild adds some explosiveness to their offense. Win, win.
2. If I’m Matous, I’m a little worried about the team’s attitude and toughness. The toughest, hardest working player on the field on Saturday night was Green Bay’s bowling ball of a running back, Andrew Verboncouer. He kept catching passes out of the backfield (9 catches, 67 yards) — a play the Wild never figued out how to stop. (Probably didn’t help that LB Chris Patterson was out.) He scored the game’s final TD on a 5-yard run, and it certainly seemed like the Wid players wanted no part of trying to tackle him.
4. It’s embarrassing when a pro team hs problems with the snap, as the Wild did several times on Saturday.
5. The Wild fell short of its own expectations and predictions when the game didn’t sell out. Attendance was 4,116. There may be a lesson here for rookie GM John Blazek. When you say the game is going to sell out, and it doesn’t, it looks bad.
6. Two of the Wild’s dynamic players, return man Randy Kelly and RB Darius Fudge, were bottled up on Saturday. The holes weren’t there for Fudge. I kept expecting Kelly to break one, but he never did. The Wild needs that duo to produce to win.