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I am just thinking out loud here, on my opinion on our team going into next season. Also want to say that I am not pretending to have any inside information on any battles. Anyway...
- I think this is the biggest headline going into the Spring, and rightfully so, it is not only the most important position on the field, but it is probably truest form of a "position battle" that you could ever really have. I think overall, the QB position looks pretty good. We have options and I think this battle is going to result in a very good QB regardless of who the QB ends up being. Right now, I really do believe that it is between Trickett and Coker. Nothing against Jameis other than the other 2 just know the playbook much better at this stage and I really do not see Jimbo playing for the future. We could each hash this out for 10,000 words a piece if we wanted to, but I think we are all on the same page here. Trickett has the advantage when it comes to: leadership, knowledge of the playbook, consistency; and Coker has the advantage in all things physical: size, arm strength, ability to run. Understandably, I think most people are hoping Coker wins because of the high end potential, but regardless, this is the thing to watch for more than any other this Spring, and in the Fall.
- Much like last year once Chris Thompson went down, I think we will see Freeman and JWJ split 90% of the meaningful carries. I think Abram will be strictly a blocker, and I do think he will play a lot. Pender and Green will see the field, but I'd be willing to wager that most of that time will be when we are up big on an inferior opponent. Barring injury, I think they get a very small percentage of the meaningful carries.
- I think Rashad Greene is far and away the #1 target at WR. In games where he did not have the added responsibility to return punts, his numbers went way up. You add that to what his numbers were when Clint Trickett was the QB, and the natural progression he should make going from a SO to a JR, and I think he is #1. After that there are a ton of guys that will contribute. We have 5 SR WR's, and I don't see this position being an issue for the team. Only player missing from last season is Rodney Smith, and I think last season our WR's for very consistent for the most part.
- Honestly, I am somewhat over this position in the pass game. Maybe things will change with a different QB at the helm, but with Nick O'Leary being a pass catching TE, I really thought that maybe it was time to include the TE in the pass game, and while the TE numbers increased, I think that was more of a case of NOL just being a good player as opposed to the offense trying to get the ball to the TE more. I am all about the blocking assignments in the run game when it comes to the TE. I am like Haplea, Kourtzidis, and in the fall, the addition of Kerr. All of these guys can block in the run game, and since the TE get an average 2-3 targets per game, that is what I want to see out of our TE's.
- After QB, I'd say this is the position most likely to go into a 5-page tangent. A huge topic of discussion was the lack of overall numbers in recruiting for the 2013 class, but as poor as that ended up (and don't kid yourself, it was poor), it should not effect our OL unit for this upcoming season. Orelus graduated (but never played), Faircloth was DQ'd (Tour de France?), Dan "Duck Duck" Foose? I am not quite sure exactly what is going on in terms of some of our reserves. How is Pettis and Ruben Carter progressing? Not sure. What I do know is we return 4 starters off of a unit that had a very good season (underrated by most on here, but a great season to anyone not expecting SF 49ers). I think right now there are two obvious options to see who the 5th starter will be. #1) Bobby Hart starts at RT. #2) Bryan Stork starts at RT and Austin Barron starts at Center. Personally, I thought Stork had a great season at C and would rather not mess with success at C. Another option that does not appear to discussed as much is moving Matias to RT and Hart (or 'Krug or Carter) to LG. Also, a lot has been made of there being a walk-on as the 2nd team LT, but lets face reality for a second (as opposed to blaming our favorite scapegoat), we all know that if god forbid something happened to Cam Erving, that Josue Matias is going to slide over to LT. Lets also not forget that 3 FR are going to enroll and we are going to get Fahrenkrug back from injury. Speaking of 'Krug, the last thing I will say on him is that 2 years ago the OL was a train wreck, and 'Krug was a highly recruited Junior College prospect. I would not be surprised at all to see him push for playing time. If nothing else, he is a reserve that has playing experience in case someone gets hurt.
- The defense in all units is going to be all about adjusting to a new style, because we know we talent on every level. As far as DL goes, no matter what anyone says about "returning starters" I think we can all agree that at DT, being a starter really means nothing. Amp and Dawkins were our starters last season, but also seem to recall Jernigan and McAllister being out there all the time. Bottom line, regardless of how many starters we have back at DT, I will very good about Demonte McAllister, Eddie Goldman, and Nile Lawrence-Stample. Also, lets not forget that Jacobbi is back and has a ton of starting experience. At DE, I think the last 2 games we played last season really helped ease my mind on Mario Edwards Jr., for him, it is only a matter of time until he is greatness. The other spot can be filled by a number of guys, but Coach Sal seems determined to make that other DE a mad man. Between the guys on campus and Hollin coming in the Fall, I think we will have a solid rotation. I do think that the "other" DE is probably going to be the biggest position battle on the entire defense.
- This is probably the easiest position to analyze. Christian Jones at WLB and Telvin Smith at MLB are locks. The SLB appears to be Terrance Smith in the clubhouse, but in actuality, the Nickel CB position is more important, because the NCB is on the field two times as much as the SLB. With Northrup, Eligwe, and then all the FR enrolling, I think this will be a very strong unit, and I am very excited to see the versatility on display (LB's with blitzing opportunities).
- While replacing Xavier Rhodes may have seemed like a huge task, putting Lamarcus Joyner has eased any concern I may have had. Now the issue is replacing Joyner at S. He is (or was) a true centerfielder back there. We all like Terrance Brooks. We all know Joyner, Waisome, and Darby are legit corners. The jury is out on Karlos. I know, I know...5-star. However, Karlos has never shown the ability to a reliable S back there. I am excited to see what he can do. Also love the versatility of Tyler Hunter, he can play corner, S, and Nickel. P.J. Williams is a star in the making. I am not sure where everyone will line up, but these guys are all so good, the big thing will be learning the terminology and having assignment down. That is easier said than done, but I think we have talent...to say the least.
- Aguayo is a lock to be the starting K from Jimbo is saying. Our coverage units are always incredible with the athletes we have. Beatty needs to work on hang-time for sure. One thing is for sure when listening to Jimbo, he is not happy with Bracy missing so much time. This may be the only area he can contribute, because it sounds like very little work is being put in due to track. Also, I just want to say it before it happens (actually I have been saying it for a while now) but Kermit is going to be better than Bracy. Bracy has the track speed, but Kermit is a wild card, he is the closest thing to Greg Reid on ST that we will see for a while.
"Some people think football is a matter of life and death, I assure you, it is much more serious than that."
Pretty much agree with you. Whoever wins the QB job is going to be a good player surrounded by a large amount of talent. Defensively we have quality depth at every position and could be better than last year. We just need to solidify the OL and hope we don't get many injuries there. Looking around the country nobody has tremendous depth at OL but ours could be the weak link of the team. Our starters will be fine and guys like Carter, Krug and Lovelady need to play good when called upon. Maybe Foose will get healthy and become a factor.
Karlos hasn't shown himself to be a liability, he has actually shown he has the tools to be reliable. He is maturing now as junior and see a spot that can be his with Joyner moving around.
Let's let Kermit and Bracy play some college football before we put them in family competition. I pretty much agree with you on everything else except that Mario Pender will see a lot of playing time competing for carries in spring and fall camp and if Ryan Green can step in and show he a threat he will see more then regular garbage time, you just don't leave talent with speed on the bench.
Karlos has shown flashes of greatness and flashes that make you scratch your head. When he has a line on you, he can put the hitstick on. He will also miss tackles in the open field. His ability to play the pass has never been showcased.
Karlos making tackles in the open field as the (last chance defender) at safety is what concerns me also. Some people don't realize how good Joyner was at making that long touchdown saving tackle. We didn't give up the long play much and that is because of joyners skills at safety. I am pulling for Karlos to be a success and I believe he can be under pruitts tutelage, its just a concern of mine right now as I witnessed karlos whiff on many 1 on 1 open field tackles.
This post was edited by Steebo 13 months ago
Chris Nee of 247Sports.com. You can follow me on twitter @CNee247.
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