So looking over the statline for Purdue quarterbacks in their first actual year of play time (as in more than the 10 attempts TerBush had and so on) since Drew Brees graduated and it was interesting to see that there was very little immediate success (besides Joey Elliot and Brandon Kirsch), leading to the belief that there's a very, very good chance that the passing game this year should improve tenfold. And while it does hurt to have Keith Smith be denied a sixth year of eligibility, he didn't exactly play much last season (a healthy Ralph Bolden is also a huge boost).
It's interesting looking back at how ineffective the first year campaigns of Kyle Orton and Curtis Painter were. Orton's atrocious completion rate paling only to his two touchdowns in 142 attempts (1 TD per 71 attempts) or Painter's not so nice 3-5 ratio with only one touchdown pass per 57 attempts. Out of the nine quarterbacks, only four actually posted positive TD-INT ratios (Kirsch, Siller, Elliot, Henry) and Siller's could very well be accredited to his limited playtime.
Out of all the new quarterbacks, Joey Elliot by far posted the best numbers in the bunch. What should be interesting is how a majority of the Purdue quarterbacks rise to power. In a lot of programs you'll see the starter finish out his career and then after graduation the team has to break in a new quarterback. Well that has happened only twice since Drew Brees graduated (not counting Brandon Hance). Kyle Orton saw his debut late season after Tiller had had enough of the mediocrity and ineffectiveness of Hance (leading Hance to transfer and almost starting at USC over the likes of Matt Leinart...Phil Steele even had him as the starter in his preview). Brandon Kirsch's first real playtime came in result to a mix of Orton being injured and struggling (also in part to his nagging injuries). Curtis Painter was forced to start in place for Brandon Kirsch, Siller for Painter and in 2010 both Rob Henry and Sean Robinson took over the starting job midseason.
In summary, throughout the years it seems many young quarterbacks at Purdue have been rushed into action due to a mix of injuries and ineffectiveness from the original starters. And in most situations they've shown positive strides but still had rough edges and posted average at best statistics. If the quarterback situation sticks to tradition, the 2011 season should see starting quarterback Rob Henry showing a lot of progress and posting much, much better statistics (as well as either seeing either a dynamic and stellar junior year or having Sean Robinson start games due to a midseason injury to Henry as Orton, Kirsch and Painter all suffered from injury issues throughout their careers).