Matt Scott’s formal introduction to a pro-style offense came a week ago Monday in St. Petersburg, Fla.
The former Arizona Wildcats quarterback was handed a playbook on the first day of practice for the East-West Shrine Game and was expected to know every inch of it in a matter of days, not weeks.
“The offense we ran at Arizona was a lot different,” Scott said Monday of the Wildcats’ spread-option. “That was one of the hardest things for me — picking up the new offense.”
Scott’s intense study sessions paid off.
He was given 15 snaps in Saturday’s showcase game for college seniors and completed three of four passes for 81 yards, including a 57-yard touchdown pass to Mississippi State’s Chad Bumphis.
Scott returned to Tucson on Monday for one day and will head to San Diego today to continue to prepare for April’s NFL draft. There, he will work with longtime quarterbacks coach George Whitfield and will be joined by Florida State’s E.J. Manuel and Oklahoma’s Landry Jones once they finish at this week’s Senior Bowl.
The Corona Calif., native will work with Whitfield up until next month’s NFL Combine in Indianapolis. Whitfield has trained the last two overall top picks in the NFL draft (Andrew Luck and Cam Newton) as well as several other elite quarterback prospects.
“It’s going to be great to work with him and enhance my skills,” Scott said. “I need to get better as a passer and more efficient. I also have to work on my footwork and reading defenses.”
Scott is projected as a mid-to-late round selection in the draft and still has several months to improve his stock.
Draft analysts who watched last week’s Shrine Game practices said Scott improved as the week went on.
ESPN.com’s Steve Muench wrote on his blog: “Arizona QB Matt Scott struggled early in the week, but he looked much better on Thursday. Scott’s footwork and release were strong, (he) got the ball out quickly, and he made a perfect throw to the corner of the end zone on a fade route.”
Read more in Tuesday's Arizona Daily Star.