Wyoming’s new OC likes what he sees from Sean Chambers
LARAMIE -- Tim Polasek said he doesn't like making comparisons.
So, naturally, he made three in a row: Josh Allen, Carson Wentz, Jordan Lynch.
Wyoming's new offensive coordinator sees bits and pieces of that trio in Cowboys' signal-caller Sean Chambers, he said Tuesday during his introductory press conference.
He's shaken hands with the Kerman, California product and surveyed him briefly during offseason workouts, but most of those comparisons come from watching film in his Laramie hotel room over the past two-plus weeks.
"Man, I wish I was looking at tape of a guy that was one year older from 2019," Polasek said, referring to the leg injury that claimed all but three snaps of Chambers' 2020 campaign. "... Sean has -- and I'm not going to draw comparisons -- but he has kind of that 'it' factor I saw in Carson Wentz. I think that means as much as having big arm talent or being able to run the ball efficiently."
Polasek added the way Chambers "maneuvers" in the weight room and with his teammates reminds him of what he's heard from Craig Bohl about Allen, and what he saw first hand with Lynch at Northern Illinois in 2013. Lynch was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy that year.
Polasek also coached Wentz at North Dakota State in 2012 and again from 2014-15.
Polasek, who spent the past four seasons as the offensive line coach at Iowa, was hired by Bohl on Feb. 10 to take the reins of the Cowboy offense from long-time quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator Brent Vigen, who was named the new head coach at Montana State last month.
It didn't take pouring over hours of film to see Wyoming's passing offense was abysmal during a six-game COVID-19-shortened 2020 season. In fact, freshman Levi Williams tossed just one touchdown pass. That came in the season opener at Nevada on a 22-yard strike to Gunner Gentry down the sideline.
Three times last season the Cowboys failed to eclipse the 100-yard mark through the air. Wyoming finished ninth in the 12-team Mountain West Conference in total passing yards, averaging just 153.3 per outing. Even those numbers are a bit skewed thanks to a 321-yard outing from Williams at Colorado State.
Polasek said he doesn't care about any of that.
"... Rather than focusing on the past and what we did or didn't do, we're just focused on moving forward," he said.
Polasek wasn't only impressed with what he saw from Chambers, adding that though the numbers weren't where anyone wanted them to be, Williams gained something only playing time will give you -- experience.
"We didn't hit our goals and we didn't hit our standards, but you know what he did get, he got valuable experience," Polasek said of the freshman quarterback from Texas. "And he's got film that he can learn from... You know, when I watch them move around, we have a kid that can move."
Williams completed 49.6% of his passes last season and racked up 877 yards through the air. He was also the Cowboys' third-leading rusher, tallying 100 yards and six scores on just 56 carries.
Chambers completed his one pass attempt in Reno before leaving with a broken leg, his third straight season-ending injury. In 2019, however, Chambers rushed for 567 yards and 10 touchdowns while leading the Cowboys to a 6-2 record, which included a 37-31 upset victory over Missouri in the opener.
Chambers struggled to find consistency in the passing game, completing just 43% of his throws. He did toss seven touchdown passes and amass 915 yards through the air, but he also failed to reach 100 yards passing in three of his eight starts.
Again, Polasek reiterated, the past is not his concern.
Here are his hopes for what could happen in 2021.
"I just know, if we're able to run the ball the way that we have and the way that we want to, that should create some shots," he said. "It all starts with protection."
Williams was sacked 14 times in six games. Chambers was wrapped up in the backfield when he suffered his injury, too.
Bohl joked toward the end of the press conference that Chambers has made the jersey switch from No. 12 to 2.
"He promised me he isn't going to get hurt," he smiled.
Wyoming's spring football season will start on April 6 and culminate with the annual spring game on May 8. UW, of course, didn't get on the field last spring because of the new virus making the rounds. Bohl said he bumped everything back this season for two reasons: One, to hopefully give the coronavirus time to die down. Two, to have a healthy Chambers under center.
He likes the prospects of both of those things happening.
Polasek just wants to see his quarterbacks slinging it and improving.
"I think they're solid," he said of Chambers and Williams. "I'm excited to work with them. You know, I'm not discouraged at all... I do like their overall makeup. I like their skillset, so far."