Cutcliffe Shows Confidence In Quarterbacks

The spotlight may have been focused on Duke football today for the annual spring game, but the attention was not limited to football players who took the field.

One question was stuck in everyone's mind after reports surfaced this weekend that Michigan is no longer interested in having the former Duke point guard line up at quarterback: What is going to happen to Greg Paulus?

Senior quarterback Thaddeus Lewis' starting spot was certainly never in question, but Cutcliffe's swift decision to tell Paulus that the job was not open for competition gave the second-team All-ACC quarterback confidence.

"It  makes you feel good," Lewis said from the field after the game. "It lets you know the kind of trust that Coach [Cutcliffe] has in me and Sean [Renfree]. It just helps you to keep working hard and doing the things that you're doing."

Lewis let the media know that no matter what Cutcliffe had decided, however, he is more than willing to earn his spot—regardless of the sport. Lewis was even asked jokingly about playing point guard for Duke and responded with a laugh.

"I never doubted it at all, and even if [Cutcliffe] gave [Paulus] the opportunity, you know I'm a competitor," Lewis said of his coach's decision. "But if I got a shot to go out there and play point guard, I'm going to compete. It might not be the best thing for me, but I'm going to compete."

Lewis added that he used to be a decent basketball player, but that he was probably a better middle school player than a high school player.

Regardless of what Paulus ultimately decides to do, it was clear that Lewis supported him as a fellow Duke athlete.

"I think he just wanted to do something because he's a competitor and I think he's not ready to give up sports in general or in college," Lewis said. " I spoke to him briefly, but not too much about it. He just said that he's trying to do what he loves to do."

And knowing that his spot is secure may not be Lewis' only reason to be confident heading into the season. As Cutcliffe pointed out, the fall season will mark the first time that Lewis has had the same offensive coordinator two years in a row while at Duke.


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