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Inside the Vipers' QB plan

From left: Aaron Murray, Chase Litton, Taylor Cornelius and Quinton Flowers

PLANT CITY, Fla. -- 'Quarterback guru.'

Google Tampa Bay Vipers head coach Marc Trestman, and that's the descriptor you're likely to see pop up in the search results.

Throughout his long career, he has developed a reputation for helping quarterbacks from Steve Young to Rich Gannon to Bernie Kosar maximize their potential.

Now Trestman is hoping to see the same results from Aaron Murray, who will be starting for the Vipers when they take the field for the first time Sunday at the New York Guardians (2 p.m. ET, FOX).

But Murray is just one of four promising quarterbacks on a roster that includes Taylor Cornelius, who threw 32 TDs for Oklahoma State in the 2018 season; Quinton Flowers, who racked up almost every school record at the University of South Florida; and Chase Litton, who was a standout at Marshall.

While Litton has been out with an illness, the other three quarterbacks have been taking reps in preparation for Sunday's game. We sat down with Trestman to get his thoughts on what he's seen out of them so far.


Trestman: We wanted Aaron Murray as our designated quarterback by the league. After talking with Aaron and our coaching staff, it was unanimous that we wanted to bring him to Tampa, not only because of his personality, but because he has played on a big stage, playing for years in the SEC and having the statistical success that he had and winning success that he had in a high profile environment. Aaron has shown great consistency at practice ... great accuracy ... and the next step obviously is to take it from practice to a bigger stage on Sunday. I'm really excited for Aaron. He really has been kind of on his own journey and I do believe that every quarterback is on their own journey, whether it's Steve Young who didn't start till he was 29 or Rich Gannon who didn't become an MVP 'till he was 34 or Kurt Warner who was bagging groceries before he became an MVP in a Super Bowl. Every quarterback has a different journey. 


Trestman: Taylor Cornelius had a very, very good OTAs. We watched him play his last year at Oklahoma State, and we are extremely high on his ability and leadership qualities. He also had a very good training camp, and he has been very productive in practice and has really won the backup role at quarterback. If something would happen to Aaron early on for some reason, Taylor would be the first quarterback to go in just because of his reps in his time that he has played in OTAs and training camp.

Tampa Bay Vipers QB Taylor Cornelius throws a pass in a scrimmage against the New York Guardians during XFL Training Camp.


Trestman: Quinton's going to play in each and every game in some capacity whether it be quarterback or in another position. I think our fans will see that we'll begin to utilize Quinton a lot of different ways. We didn't bring Quinton in here to be a running back or to be a wide receiver. We brought him in because we thought he could compete at the quarterback position, and he's had some limited time because of an injury, a tooth infection, and needed to spend some time with family ... but he has jumped back on it and is back getting reps. This will be a fluid process with Quinton as he begins to show his versatility with our team. When Quinton Flowers is in the game, he could be an extremely productive player, and we're excited about the things we can do with him.