Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hudson's Wynn says knee not to blame for struggles

HUDSON — It's not the knee.

Zack Wynn makes that audible immediately upon stepping to the line of questioning. Hudson's junior quarterback knows people see the six interceptions — in only two games — on his stat line, as well as the cumbersome black brace on his left knee, and draw conclusions.

In most other cases, they might be correct. Wynn, the North Suncoast passing leader in 2007, had surgery to repair a torn ACL in December. Nine months later, he's struggling with his mechanics and timing. The association seems feasible. Wynn insists it's false.

"(The knee) is fine," said Wynn, whose 1-1 team hosts Pasco in a Class 3A, District 8 showdown Friday. "The next morning there's no pain at all in it. There's no hurt, no pain at all."

So how else to explain a start that even Wynn describes as "mediocre"? And why so much scrutiny on the performance of a high school junior?

We'll start with the second question first. Perhaps no area team's playoff hopes hinge on its quarterback play as much as Hudson's.

As for the first inquiry: A lot of factors have been attributed to Hudson's preseason loss to Springstead and season-opening defeat at Ridgewood. And none can be found beneath Wynn's left kneecap.

"He's a better quarterback than he was last year," Cobras coach Mark Nash said. "It's just we don't have the team around him right now to showcase him like we did last year."

The roster validates Nash's claim. Only one of Wynn's top five receivers from the 2007 team — senior Hunter Newton — is on this year's roster. And while the newcomers have flashed potential — sophomore Dylan Buono has 10 catches for 220 yards — Wynn hasn't fully clicked with the new batch of skill players around him.

Additionally, Nash says he has been baffled by the struggles of an offensive line that returned three starters.

"That's the surprising thing to me at this point," he said. "We virtually have the same offensive line we had last year and we're not playing anywhere near the level we played at last year. That's been the biggest shock to me. I don't know; I can't put my finger on it."

Even so, Wynn (34-for-54, 442 yards, four touchdowns) is on track to easily shatter his 2007 passing yardage total (1,698 yards). He said he was encouraged by his team's last performance, a 33-3 win over Hernando during which he threw a pick on his second pass attempt, but finished with three touchdown throws.

A bye week also helped. Last Wednesday, Wynn said he threw about 200 passes, most in pass-skel work with his receivers. Offensive coordinator Rob Mahler corroborates that total.

"My arm was dragging pretty low after that," he said. "I went home and iced it immediately."

But the knee required nary a cube.

"I'm real confident," Wynn said. "I think the line stepped up (against Hernando); I had plenty of time to throw last week. I'm pretty confident we'll come out this week and play our best football against Pasco."

Hudson's Wynn says knee not to blame for struggles 09/23/08 [Last modified: Thursday, September 25, 2008 4:28pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Lightning edges Red Wings on road

    Lightning Strikes

    DETROIT — The digs were different, the Lightning seeing the masterfully-done new Little Caesar's Arena for the first time.

    Lightning center/Red Wings’ killer Tyler Johnson gets past defenseman Trevor Daley on his way to the first goal of the game.
  2. Armwood pulls away to defeat Plant 27-7, remain undefeated


    SEFFNER — First-year Armwood coach Evan Davis pulled out all the stops to get his team psyched for Monday's annual grudge match against Plant.

    Armwood defensive end Malcolm Lamar (97) gets fired up before the start of the game between Plant High School Panthers and the Armwood High School Hawks in Suffer, Fla. on Monday, Oct. 16, 2017.
  3. Bucs journal: Dirk Koetter says Vernon Hargreaves needs to improve


    TAMPA — The Bucs now rank 31st in the NFL in pass defense, allowing 301 yards per game in their 2-3 start, and coach Dirk Koetter was asked Monday how concerned he is with the play of second-year CB Vernon Hargreaves.

    Ryan Fitzpatrick, throwing an incompletion under pressure after replacing injured Jameis Winston against the Cardinals,  would start this Sunday in Buffalo if Winston’s shoulder is still bothering him.
  4. Backhand shot makes Nikita Kucherov's offense even more dangerous

    Lightning Strikes

    DETROIT — Nikita Kucherov is on a historic streak, just the fourth player in the past 30 years to score a goal in each of his first six games.

    Nikita Kucherov’s backhand shot adds to his strong scoring.
  5. Rick Pitino officially fired by Louisville amid federal corruption probe


    In an expected move, the University of Louisville Athletic Association's Board of Directors on Monday voted unanimously to fire men's basketball coach Rick Pitino. The decision came 19 days after Louisville acknowledged that its men's basketball program was being investigated as part of a federal corruption probe and …

    In this Oct. 20, 2016, file photo, Louisville head basketball coach Rick Pitino reacts to a question during a press conference in Louisville, Ky. Louisville's Athletic Association on Monday officially fired Pitino, nearly three weeks after the school acknowledged that its men's basketball program is being investigated as part of a federal corruption probe. [AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley, File]