"The language that he learned at Florida State is different from the language we teach here, obviously. It's taken him some time.''
Truth be told, it's far from finished, either. Again, the way Holgorsen works, communication is more essential than in perhaps any offense in football. You can argue that it's overdone or that he's a control freak or anything else you like, but it's one of the things that has made his offense successful over the years. And it's way more than just sign language to signal plays. Everyone does that. It's reading and reacting and communicating again. It's changing things and reading again and maybe changing the play.
"He may change the play altogether,'' Holgorsen said. "But he has no clue how to do that at this point.
"He has to learn that and then know what to do with the ball. That's a whole different thing. That's experience. The good news is that when he snaps the ball he reacts to the game of football and that's what's good about him.''
It's also the dilemma Holgorsen faced from the beginning of the season. It was apparent as camp wore down that Trickett was the best and most experienced quarterback, but what if the offense - with all those new parts - fell apart because he wasn't adept at running it?
"We got to a point where we had to make a decision and just go with it,'' Holgorsen said. "I don't think anyone would have been happy about losing to William & Mary.''
And so the next week he wasn't going to throw a guy who had never run the offense into a game at Oklahoma, so he stuck with Millard. When that didn't work out and he still didn't feel comfortable with Trickett, he went to Childress. Only when his hand was forced did Holgorsen try Trickett, and by that time he at least had a working knowledge of the communication aspect.
It's far from a finished product, though.
"We've been practicing that all week. We just walk by each other and do it,'' Holgorsen said. "I had a real good one for him the other day, but hopefully you all didn't see that one.
"It's two people communicating. I have to get better at it and he's got to get better at it. We've both got to get better at it. Through games and through practices we'll improve on that. It's not just getting the signal. It's getting it and relaying it to everyone else. That's just the job of a quarterback. We do it a little bit differently than what Clint's used to, and we're going to adapt as coaches. He will adapt and we will get better.''
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com or follow him at Twitter.com/dphickman1.