Light em up
Let’s start with the most obvious. Jake Browning is going to have to have a couple games, down the stretch, that are reminiscent of his 2016 season, when he finished sixth in the Heisman Trophy voting. Truly eye-popping numbers will be necessary for Browning to wash the bad taste he left in potential NFL scout’s mouths with his poor play. A return to form will help greatly. He doesn’t need to win, he needs to look incredible, and then win.
When he walks off the field on the Palouse November 23, the narrative needs to be how Jake Browning was the best quarterback playing that day, not the college football passing leader Washington State’s Gardner Minshew II. He not only needs to win the head-to-head QB battle, but he also needs to be flawless, perfect and explosive in the victory.
Browning desperately needs to sling the ball around the field. He’ll need to match the amount of 300-yard games over the last two seasons combined, over the last two games of the regular season, and then surpass it in Washington’s bowl game. A couple of four touchdown/zero turnover, games wouldn’t hurt either.
Display ability to make smart decisions
One of the biggest challenges for Browning has been deciding when to throw the ball away and when to try and extend a play. No one is ever going to confuse Browning with Michael Vick, Russell Wilson or Steve Young, he’s mobile, just not in the mold of the above-mentioned quarterbacks.
This season, Browning has been under duress. Part of the reason was due to injuries along the offensive line, but some of that could have been avoided by throwing the ball away. Far too often he’s taken critical sacks placing the offense in ridiculously bad situations. Live to play another down.
The time to exorcize his personal demons is dwindling. Browning must put something on tape showing that his internal clock and instincts are in line with NFL standards. The senior must show that he can choose when to extend plays, or throw the ball away, intelligently.
Browning simply can’t get away with holding the ball as he’s done the last two seasons at the NFL level. The game is so much faster in the pros if he keeps up what he’s doing, Browning will get creamed. He isn’t elusive, and as such, he needs to display advanced pocket awareness and decision making.
This brings us to the next topic…