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)

Robinson QBs Darius Autry and Travis Forehand share the ball

Robinson juniors Darius Autry, left, and Travis Forehand will share snaps at quarterback. Coach Shawn Taylor says neither has outplayed the other and both contribute to the offense.


Robinson juniors Darius Autry, left, and Travis Forehand will share snaps at quarterback. Coach Shawn Taylor says neither has outplayed the other and both contribute to the offense.

TAMPA — It was the first major decision of Shawn Taylor's tenure, and the new Robinson coach never arrived at it. In football terms, the dude deferred. With stern conviction, he compromised.

"Don't need to (decide)," Taylor, seated in a corner desk in the coaches' portable, said assertively.

That wasn't the initial plan. All spring and summer, Taylor allowed juniors Darius Autry and Travis Forehand to compete for the right to replace all-state quarterback Zain Gilmore.

They shared snaps in practice, in 7-on-7 games, even Friday's preseason classic.

All the while, Taylor and his offensive staff — led by coordinator Craig Everhart — conferred: Do we go with Autry, the more mobile option with the leadership gene; or Forehand, the 6-foot-5 pocket passer?

Even after Friday's 51-6 preseason rout of Osceola, when both performed solidly, the jury remained hung. Sunday, Taylor announced he had broken the deadlock — sort of.

Both will continue playing. "The thing about it is, they both have assets that we can use in coach Everhart's offense," said Taylor, who alternated the two by series Friday.

"He runs his offense with the spread-option and play-action and the deep ball. One single guy can't do all the plays, but one of them can between the two. And to be honest, when you're a (defensive) coach it's a pain to prepare for two guys."

Though stark contrasts physically (Autry is 5-11), the two traveled parallel paths to this stage of their careers. Both shared snaps on the Knights' junior varsity in 2011 ("It was neck and neck the whole time on JV, too," Forehand says) before opting not to play in 2012.

Autry, brother of ex-Knights flag football star Deliah Autry, focused on baseball. Forehand, who also plays basketball (7.7 ppg, 8.8 rpg last winter), says he clashed with former Knights football coaches and acknowledged attitude problems of his own.

Taylor recruited both back.

"When we lost Zain (to graduation) there was nobody behind Zain," he said. "It's hard to win without a quarterback."

Friday, they finished a combined 9-for-14 for 176 yards and three TDs (two by Autry). Both performed well, Taylor said, but both also made communication errors.

"Neither one has outplayed the other for more than that last play," said Taylor, whose team hosts Sickles in Friday's regular-season opener.

"When I've looked at it, if you look at, 'What have you done for me lately?' like the last play, then you can pick one. But as soon as you look at a whole game or a whole practice … we end up back at the same spot. They're tied."

As a result, Taylor gladly subjects himself to the cynics who recycle the adage about really having no quarterback at all if you have to use two. Whether the adage applies in this case will be known in short order.

Robinson opens the season with Sickles, Plant, Jefferson and Armwood.

"I have heard that (saying), but I don't agree with that, because I know I'm a good quarterback and I know Darius is a good quarterback," Forehand said.

"We've been working, so there's no way we don't have a quarterback. … Our offense, with what we're trying to do, it just so happens we both fit in it."

Joey Knight can be reached at or on Twitter @JoeyHomeTeam.

Robinson QBs Darius Autry and Travis Forehand share the ball 08/27/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 28, 2013 12:13pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Fennelly: Dirk Koetter's apology no way to keep this fidget spinning


    TAMPA — It all began with a fidget spinner.

    This tweet from the Bucs, mocking the Falcons' 28-3 lead they lost in the Super Bowl against the Falcons, prompted a public apology from head coach Dirk Koetter, who called it "unprofessional and not smart."
  2. Perfection's not easy in baseball, just ask Calvary Christian


    CLEARWATER — Of the more than 300 varsity high school baseball teams in Florida, only one has won every game this season: Calvary Christian. The Warriors are a perfect 28-0.

    Calvary Christian's Matheu Nelson (63) prepares to take an at bat during the first inning of Wednesday's (5/10/17) region baseball semifinal game between Trinity Prep and Calvary Christian in Clearwater.
  3. Rays shut out Angels to cap homestand, get back to .500 (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays completed their seven-game homestand Thursday with a 4-0 victory against the Angels, a win that moved them back to .500 for the season.

    Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria (3) high fives designated hitter Corey Dickerson (10) after they score on the single by center fielder Colby Rasmus (28) in the first inning of the game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Los Angeles Angels at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Thursday, May 25, 2017.
  4. Bucs suspended RB Doug Martin breaks his silence and says his drug problem is 'definitely behind me.'


    He would not talk about the drug he abused. He didn’t identify the rehab facility he entered last January or how long he was there.

    Doug Martin was contrite but optimistic about returning to the form he demonstrated as the NFL's second leading rusher two years ago.
  5. Kickoff times announced for Florida-Michigan, FSU-Alabama


    College football's blockbuster Sept. 2 season openers finally have kickoff times.