That, he said, also has helped him spend less time on the field processing and more time reacting.
"Knowing when not to throw the ball and when to run, when to throw the ball to the running back and things like that, I stay in the film room looking at the bad things I did last year and just learn off of that," he said.
Quarterbacks coach Tony Petersen, a former MU signal-caller and 1988 Southern Conference Athlete of the Year, said one could tell how much more comfortable Cato was in the pocket just by looking at him on the practice field.
"He's going through his reads easier," Petersen said. "He's hitting certain things he didn't last year.
He's not letting some things bother him. When they look comfortable out there, it's probably because they are and they're playing better."
Holliday isn't just impressed with the way Cato has improved as a passer.
He also likes how the sophomore has evolved as a leader. Cato may still be young, but he has starting experience many of his teammates have yet to gain. And he's Marshall's starting quarterback, a role that carries great responsibility no matter the age.
"He's improved his leadership skills and the way he's taking charge, it's his team," Holliday said. "He understands that."
Cato knows he needs to be a leader.
At Monday's afternoon practice, he and sophomore running back Travon Van met for an energetic chest bump, and Cato said he must help set the tone for the team.
"I've got to bring excitement to the whole team - defense, coaching staff, the fans, I've got to bring it," he said. "I'm trying to bring enough excitement as I can to get everyone to play at a higher level."
Contact sportswriter Derek Redd at derek.r...@dailymail.com or 304-348-1712. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/marshall.