Jack Coan Has Different Spin On 'Game Manager' Label

Photo: Michael Caterina/South Bend Tribune-USA TODAY Sports

Notre Dame quarterback Jack Coan showed plenty of positives after transferring to join the Fighting Irish from Wisconsin—a deal that paid off well for both parties involved. 

Despite his success, completing more than 65% of his passing attempts for 3,150 yards with 25 touchdowns and seven interceptions, Coan has still largely been classified as a “game manager.” But when you take a look at his film, there are some big plays there and some good showings of him pushing the ball downfield. 

Regardless of how he’s viewed, Coan is confident in what he brings to the table and has a fresh perspective of “game manager” that doesn’t reflect the negative stigma so many have given it.

“I feel like I showed my ability to come into a new place and learn an offense right away and mesh with all new teammates and have success on the field,” Coan said. “Going from college to the NFL, that’s going to translate. I feel like I’m a smart football player with a high football IQ and I move around in the pocket well.”

Even though Coan hasn’t shown an incredible amount of mobility, something that should be considered secondary to the quarterback position anyway, he has navigated the pocket well. And don’t forget that he can still do it with his legs from time to time.

The transfer portal is a controversial topic for some, but it’s proven advantageous for quarterbacks like Coan. With the switch in scheme between Wisconsin and Notre Dame, Coan expanded his football intelligence and was able to sling the rock around more.

“At Notre Dame, we definitely passed the ball more than at Wisconsin. I threw more, more routes, more routes,” Coan said. “The coaches there helped me expand on my knowledge and that helped. I’ve been working more on continuing to throw the ball well and work on my velocity on big throws. Maybe at Wisconsin, I didn’t show my deep ball ability enough and I showed that a little more at Notre Dame… 

“I know the term ‘game manager’ has been thrown around but I view that as a positive and is some stuff I actually try to do. A game manager is someone who keeps his team in good situations and doesn’t turn the ball over… has a high completion percentage and just makes smart and efficient decisions. I have a chunk-to-check-down mentality on every play and if I like the look a defense is giving me, I’ll check it down and if the shot is there, I’ll take it. That’s how I play and I try to make the right decisions.”

Coan also seemed to be more in command and had a bit more freedom with the Fighting Irish.

“I’d say I had a little bit more control over the offense at Notre Dame than I did at Wisconsin. The coaches at Notre Dame taught me a lot about run schemes and different types of big points for different plays. As far as protections, changing protections, certain protection rules, and specific looks a defense is giving us game-plan-wise, I feel like a lot was put on my plate at Notre Dame. It was a lot of fun to play with.”

It will be interesting to see where Coan lands, but there’s no doubt he’s shown enough to be given a shot and has plenty of the tools an NFL team would want to expand upon.

Written By:

Crissy Froyd

Feature Writer

Crissy Froyd is a graduating senior at LSU, also serving as the managing editor of the LSU division of USA TODAY SMG. Crissy has specialized primarily in quarterback analysis and features for the better part of her career and covers the Tennessee Titans in addition to the LSU Tigers.

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