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Air Force's Tim Jefferson Is More Then Just A Running Quarterback

Air Force is known for running the ball with their option offense that has opposing teams having to watch for cut blocks and the defending the boring fullback dive.   Good luck trying to find an Air Force team that was not in the top ten nationally in running the ball.  Do not expect that to change in 2010, but look for the Falcons to open up their playbook and allow quarterback Tim Jefferson to air it out, at least in relation to what the Falcons normally do:

Jefferson had a fantastic 30-yard pass down the middle of the field Saturday for a completion during a scrimmage. He has looked sharp all of training camp, and Jefferson and Air Force's coaches have said he's grasping the passing offense better as a junior.

Last year, Air Force ran 815 times and attempted 153 passes. The Falcons will never be close to a 50-50 offense, but if Jefferson keeps progressing, perhaps they can pass a little more.

Jefferson has shown his the ability to be able to pass well when needed as in their game against Minnesota last year Air Force threw the ball seventeen times which is a good amount for a team that runs the ball as much as they do. When Air Force does pass the ball they rarely throw screens or short passes, but rather they throw long routes once the corners and safeties move in. The deep pass is something that Jefferson has shown promise in.

One note about Jefferson is that this past spring was his first full spring to be with the team as the starter.  In the spring of 2009 Jefferson was not a ful time participant because he was battling an ankle injury and had to work on his grades, plus he was not the assumed starter. Going into spring ball this year Jefferson was the unquestioned starter and was able to fully participate.  

Utilizing Jefferson in the passing game more often will only make the Falcon run offense that much better now that teams will have to respect the passing game on more then third and long situations.