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Preseason Review: Quarterbacks

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With Saturday's season opener against Indiana State approaching, GoldandBlack.com takes a position-by-position look back at preseason practice. Here are the quarterbacks.
The general consensus opinion regarding sophomore quarterback Curtis Painter coming out of the preseason is a simple, "So far, so good."
Painter had a very good camp throwing the ball, notably showing marked progress throwing the ball down the field, though the emergence of certain receivers — Greg Orton, for one — contributed to that.
Mechanics were an off-season priority for Painter, and progress has been made, by all accounts. But naturally, Painter seems to have made the most progress in the areas that simply come with experience: knowledge of Purdue's offense and command of the Boilermaker huddle.
Painter is still a young quarterback, though; his decision-making likely won't be flawless just yet, having played in only a handful of games. A number of the interceptions he threw during training camp were at least in some part others' fault; still, he threw the occasional ugly pick.
In the final analysis, however, Painter seems poised for a solid sophomore season, in all phases of the game, with a brighter future lying ahead. In the short term, fulfilling a role of not necessarily winning games, but also not losing them seems like a lay-up.
Redshirt freshman Joey Elliott appears entrenched at No. 2. He had a solid preseason, making his share of plays. Elliott needs to improve his decision-making while, of course, getting more and more practice experience under his belt, along with a better working knowledge of Purdue's offense.
Freshman Keith Smith made plays just about every time he took the field in scrimmage work, but like any young quarterback has lots to learn. Though it appeared at one point as if he might push Elliott for the backup job, he'll likely redshirt, barring catastrophe at the position.
Fellow freshman Jeff Panfil had his ups and downs during camp, but certainly showed some flashes of what made him a highly regarded recruiting property. He'll redshirt.
NEXT: Running backs
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