By John Patrick
I thought I did a good job of hiding my surprise Thursday when Boise State football coach Bryan Harsin answered my question about Brett Rypien and Montell Cozart. Unfortunately, I used the term “battling for playing time” after Harsin said this week that Rypien was the starter.
Coach Harsin stated, “Well they’re not battling. So there’s no battling. I think we made that very clear.” It was a legitimate question about the relationship between his two quarterbacks whose roles seemed to flip-flop last Saturday against Troy.
Listen to the question and see the reaction here:
Harsin was asked today about Rypien/Cozart friendship despite battling for playing time. He had a pretty direct answer… pic.twitter.com/7xLUR42qyZ
— B.J. Rains (@BJRains) September 7, 2017
Rypien, the two-time All-Mountain West quarterback, was on the sideline while Cozart, a graduate transfer from Kansas, led Boise State on a game-clinching drive. Both talked about each other this week. Cozart said, “We’re always going to have each other’s back and we are going to continue to feed off one other. Brett and I have been best friends since I got here, and it’s going to continue to grow and be better as a friendship.”
Cozart’s comment showed me that Rypien is truly a leader of this team, whether he is on the field or not. Rypien immediately befriended the new quarterback who could eventually take away some of his playing time. He is focused on winning. He said this week, “My relationship is great with Montell. I think he’s done nothing but good things since he’s been here. … He’s helped me out, pushed me every single day. I think I’m better because of him. … We’ve been competing every single day with each other.”
After listening to Rypien’s comments again, I should have used the word competing in my question to Harsin, or left it out altogether. Maybe I wouldn’t have been dressed down by the head coach. We had some fun at my expense during Idaho Sports Talk on Thursday. Caves and Prater called my question a softball. Perhaps, but I thought it might get an interesting response from a coach’s perspective.
Harsin didn’t get into the dynamic of the Rypien/Cozart relationship, but his answer was passionate.
John “JP’’ Patrick produces Idaho Sports Talk with Caves & Prater weekdays from 3-6 p.m. on KTIK 93.1 FM The Ticket. He can be found @JPKTIK (Twitter).