Mason NEEDS this, Pistons, after all you've put him through
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|3 days 2 hours ago||Reasons for optimism.||
1. We don't have to start 3 guys that have never played a snap before. Ben Braden is the least experienced of the likely starting 5, and at least he played in goal line situations in several games last year. Everyone else started multiple games. I
2. The TEs might be able to block. I'm as skeptical as the next guy on AJ Williams, but in the spring game he looked like a guy who can block. He also looked ok running some short routes, but I don't care if he catches a single ball as long as he can block the guy in front of him. If Williams can't block, I believe Heitzman can. He's huge and for a blocking TE is pretty athletic. Two blocking TEs instead of zero is a big step up.
3. RBs coached to cut back when the hole isn't there. One (admittedly of many) of the reasons the running game was poor last year was that the RBs never cut back instead they bounced even further in the direction the play was going. From the spring game, it was clear the RBs are being drilled to look for the cut back if there isn't a hole where the play was designed.
Unless you have 2-3 guys next to each other that blow the DL down the field, I think the OL success or lack thereof is driven by the weakest link. If one guy misses a block or goes the wrong way the play is doomed even if one or two guys had a really good block. If all of our OL and TEs are consistently adequate the OL will take a big leap forward. All of the starters (except Braden) have played a good deal, and I would argue by the end of the year Glasgow, Magnuson and Kalis were playing consistently adequate. It doesn't seem like too much of a stretch with a simplified offense that Bosch and Braden will be there by the fall. I thought both of them looked ok in the spring game.
|1 week 2 days ago||Too much negative...||
I'll admit to being an optimist, but I can't believe how negative this thread is. Here are the positives I took from Saturday:
1. Our defense blitzed and played press coverage. This is great for the defense, but it is more important for Devin Gardner and the line's development. We all watched last year's offense struggle against the blitz. The only way to be prepared to play the blitz is to practice against it early and often. If we do this all spring and fall practices and can't handle blitzes come game time, shame on us. In the fall, we will intenionally run some plays that work well against blitzes rather than forcing Gardner to make the hot read. We all saw our offense succeed against teams that didn't blitz, if we can hold our own against pressure, the offense will be fine.
2. We appear to have 2 new playmakers in Lewis and Canteen.
3. AJ Williams looked to be able to block and Heitzman did too. Competent TE blocking will make a big difference over last year.
4. I thought the OL looked a lot better in the second half of practice. Bosch and Braden looked fine and Miller had his moments. Put Magnuson and Glasgow in the starting lineup, and we could be ok.
5. Safety play was good. Jarrod Wilson had a couple nice plays, and Jeremy Clark had a couple nice plays in run support.
6. I believe the defense looks like a big step up from last year's defense even factoring in the offense.
|4 weeks 5 days ago||Not Glasgow.||
He won't displace Glasgow, since he's our best lineman. Glasgow will start somewhere whether it be center, guard or tackle. More likely replace Bosch or Kalis, possible Glasgow goes to tackle and Braden becomes the first reserve.
|6 weeks 6 days ago||Good and bad...||
This is the good and bad for where we are today. The scary part is that not only is Gardner the only SR, but Gardner, Funchess and Glasgow are the only members of the JR-SR classes on offense. 2015 will be a great year and hopefully this year talent will trump youth. At least we have players who have seen the field before at every position.
I would put Heitzman #2 on the TE list. I think we will love his position switch. Given his size and athleticism (for a primarily blocking TE) along with his experience in HS, I'll be surprised if he's not ahead of Williams by the start of the season.
|7 weeks 1 day ago||Glasgow.||
I thought Glasgow was our best OL not named Lewan or Schofield last year, especially considering he had to move over and play center. Walk-on or not, he's a good football player. He will start somewhere on the line next year and do well, whether it be C, G or RT.
|7 weeks 2 days ago||Ryan move seems like a spring test run.||
I see the Ryan move to MLB as a test run to see if he can be a disruptive force in the middle of the defense. If it doesn't work out, they move him back. Even if it doesn't work, they can play Ryan at MLB here and there to throw teams off if he's spent some time playing there. Fortunately, we have a bunch of LBs with 2 years of playing time so we can try some different things and go back to what they know if it doesn't work.
Another amazing observation. We can move a player who started at SDE some of last year to tight end with no concerns about that lack of depth on the DL. This is a little less exciting since we have a bunch of solid players, but not much WOW at SDE other than Taco.
I'm assuming Dawson is at LT because Braden will likley start at RT. I seem to remember seeing somewhere that LTT was the nominal LT with Magnuson out and before he had surgery.
|13 weeks 6 hours ago||Safety options.||
I'll be stunned if Wilson and Dymonte aren't the starting safeties in the fall, but if one of them isn't ready I suspect Jeremy Clark is a viable option (looked good in the spring game). Down the line, Hill and Dawson both sound like very athletic players who could develop into excellent safeties.
|15 weeks 10 hours ago||Willie Henry.||
Henry's got enough size/strength to play NT. If Pipkins isn't ready to go, I think Henry is the NT with Wormley at the 3T to start the year. I see Hurst and Pipkins backing up at both positions and pushing to start as the year moves along.
|15 weeks 1 day ago||Can the 2014 guys add weight?||
I think that Funchess and Darboh will get the bulk of the catches along with Butt and a few from Chesson.
Of the 2013 and 2014 guys, I was thinking that Harris and Canteen would both make an impact, but I was surprised to watch their highlight tapes and see how skinny they are. Granted Harris' tape was from 2012 so maybe he's put on good weight while injured (?). Ways did not look as skinny, so maybe he'll play. All of them are very talented.
My bet is 1-2 of the 2014 guys contribute with some big plays and that if it's only one of them that Jones will be the other WR getting PT.
|17 weeks 3 days ago||Run defense?||
Would make sense based on size, but he'd need to dramatically improve his run defense. Certainly an option on passing downs.
|17 weeks 4 days ago||Skins||
I see Clark-wde, Henry-nt, Wormley and Beyer. Pipkins at NT with Henry at 3T if Pipkins is back ready to go. Hurst and Poggi will be next year's version of Henry and Wormley. Play more and more as the year goes on. Charlton will amaze here and there and play a lot by the end of the year.
|24 weeks 4 days ago||Similar to last year.||
I see the game going a lot like last year. State won't be able to move the ball but will find there way to a touchdown and a field goal somehow. We'll play it tight to avoid turnovers and win 13-10.
As long as we are -1 or better in turnover margin, I see us winning. I just don't see their offense moving the ball against our D.
|25 weeks 4 days ago||MSU game will look nothing like IU||
Borges' game plan against MSU will be completely different because it will be a completely different game. It will be a grind it out game, and if we get 20 points that will likely be enough to win. TOs will be our doom. Borges will smartly call a safer game (I don't mean run on every 1st down). If it works all is well. If we lose, Borges will be criticized for not using the IU game plan.
|25 weeks 5 days ago||More Magnuson?||
I thought Magnuson was in there pretty much the whole game. I did see Kalis on a goal-line play as the extra lineman and a few more plays. I am far from certain this is correct.
I thought Magnuson, Burzynski and Bosch all looked good enough. None are likely to blow people off the ball, but they'll block the guy they are supposed and not be a liability against a pass rush. This is good enough for me in 2013.
|28 weeks 4 days ago||Re-watched U-conn game, feel a little better.||
The first half was awful, but after watching the second half, I feel better about Devin. I felt like he needed to spend the bye week getting his confidence back. I was surprised to watch the second half and watch a poised Gardner play pretty well. He threw 1 bad pass and other than that looked pretty good.
I also noticed on the long Touissant TD run, Gardner saw the LBs gearing up to blitz up the middle and audibled to the speed option that went for a TD. Borges also had a couple other calls geared to deal with LBs blitzing up the middle that went well. The LB blitzes confusing our interior OL has been a big worry for me, so I was glad to see we had adapted in the second half.
Anyway, if you want to feel better about the team, rewatch the U-conn game, but start right after the second half fumble. I actually think it says good things about Devin that he was able to pull it together at halftime.
|30 weeks 5 days ago||Yuck.||
That was awful, but we didn't lose. The team got away with taking the week off and playing vanilla offense and defense.
Positives: Chesson yards-after-catch looked really good. More touches for him as teams double and triple Gallen, please.
Lots of snaps for Jourdan Lewis. Not sure why we've played a different 3rd CB each week (Stribling-Hollowell-Lewis). Thought Lewis looked pretty good out there.
Willie Henry played and appeared to look pretty good on first viewing. This season, I was expecting him to be the first DT off the bench and do well.
Prediction: U-Conn will be very sorry we played so poorly today.
|31 weeks 1 day ago||Looked like Magnuson at LT.||
My recollection from the game was that Magnuson appeared to be going in at LT, not RT (standing on that side of line before Lewan came in). I assume this was because they expected it to be only one play, and it wasn't worth moving Schofield back and forth for one play.
|31 weeks 1 day ago||Hopefully will improve with carries.||
I think Fitz will run better as he gets more in game carries with this OL. As he gets more carries and learns the tendencies of his blockers and where the holes tend to end up on a given play, he should get better.
Seems like two years ago he had trouble finding holes early in the year and then suddenly exploded after a few starts once he figured out where to go.
|31 weeks 5 days ago||Lots of Wilson||
I think it will be all Wilson and no Avery. Hoke's quotes sound like Avery won't actually play even though he says 'yeah' he'll play.
I'll also predict Countess stays at CB and someone else plays nickle so he can match up along with Taylor on their outside WRs.
|34 weeks 4 hours ago||Glasgow will start somewhere.||
I predict Glasgow will start somewhere because I think he's good. He looked pretty good in the spring game, he looked good pulling near the goal line on the last scrimmage highlights, and he started the spring game and ran with the first string in the last scrimmage. The dude is 6' 6" and moves like a football player. My guess for the starters would be Glasgow at guard and Miller at center. The only way I can see Glasgow not starting is if it were Braden at guard and Miller at center.
It would be one huge line if it were Lewan-Bryant-Glasgow-Kalis-Schofield.
The suspense will end Friday after today's scrimmage so the line can get some run as a unit the rest of the way.
|34 weeks 4 days ago||Glasgow looked good.||
If Bryant is better than Glasgow then that is a good thing. I thought Glasgow looked good in the highlights from the practice. He had a really nice pull where he nailed Morgan (I think) coming through the hole.
|34 weeks 4 days ago||Miller.||
I think Miller will be good enough. He won't overpower people, but he'll be in the right position and block the right guy.
His biggest strength is getting out and blocking a LB when that's his job. I watched him closely in the spring game, and he goes full bore for the LB and always gets there.
|38 weeks 2 days ago||Aaron Shea and Borges weapon.||
I agree completely with the Aaron Shea comparison, and I think Shallman will be a fan favorite before his career is complete. He will be used by Borges as yet another player (along with Funchess, Butt, K HIll and Bunting) that will drive defenses nuts with mismatches. I see his best role as an H-back similar to K. Hill. I see him differentiating himself from Hill with his ability to play RB enough to keep defenses honest in addition to being able to run and catch.
I can imagine a lot of combinations of personnel with Shallman that would drive defenses nuts. My favorite thought is lining up with 1 WR, Williams/Butt along with Funchess at TE with K. Hill at H-back and Shallman at RB facing 3rd and 2 or so. If the defense matches the heavy formation, I can see switching Funchess out wide with Hill and Shallman in the slots.
We're probably a year away before all these guys are ready to block and catch, but it will be fun to watch when they are.
|38 weeks 6 days ago||Fan favorite.||
I guess I agree with the assessment of low plus relative to some of the other guys since, he won't look like Devin Funchess outrunning linebackers 30 yards downfield, but I think he will be a fan favorite by the time he graduates. I see him as a guy that will want to be a blocking tight end as well (as well as receiving) and will have lots of Roy Roundtree-like catches where he is wide open because they though he was a blocker. I also think he will have a lot of 3rd down catches for a 1st down where a linebacker or safety just couldn't cover him.
|39 weeks 5 hours ago||3+ decent back-up OL.||
I"m with Heiko on the OL of Lewan-Braden-Miller-Kalis-Schofield as a given for the starting O-line. Watching the spring game, I though Braden was the 3rd best OL with his size and athleticism, and I liked that when Miller's job was to get out and block a LB he made sure to do it. They all need more experience playing together, especially against stunts.
I think Glasgow will be ok as the next man in, but I'm guessing that Bryant will push him by the end of the year. Bryant played with the 3rd string OL in the spring game, but he looked really good even when going against the 2nd string DL. He's big and strong, but I doubt he pulIs very well. I think he was 3rd string because he's working his way back from injury and that he'll move up in the fall. I also think Burzynski showed last year that he could play in a pinch and be ok, and he pulls well. I thought Magnuson was not too bad in the spring game but needs to get stronger. I think he would be ok to sub in for a few plays if one of the tackles has to sit out a couple plays, but I wouldn't want to see him play a whole game. I'm hopeful he'll be ready to play next year.
The OL will not dominate, especially early, but they'll be ok and get better as the year goes on. I'm just hoping they're looking pretty good for the tough games at the end of the year.
|43 weeks 16 hours ago||Scott and Canteen.||
They haven't added anyone yet, but it changes if we take both Scott and Canteen. Sound like both of them are speedy, slot guys.
|44 weeks 1 day ago||Thomas won't stay at nickle.||
I don't believe for a minute that Dymonte Thomas will stay at nickel. I believe he's playing nickel to get better at coverage and because playing safety as a true freshman is too hard. We have others that can play the nickel, but we don't have others that can grow into an all-american safety.
We need Wilson/Thomas/Clark to fill the two safety spots next year and Hill, Dawson and maybe Stribling as back-ups further down the line. It's a little tight, but if Wilson and Thomas can both play there won't be many snaps for anyone else for a few years.
|44 weeks 2 days ago||Miller-Kugler center battle will be a good one, later.||
My read on our centers is that Miller is going to be just fine. I think by the end of this year, Miller will be showing well in the UFRs and noone will be worried about who will play center in 2014. Given that Miller and most likely Glasgow would be at least 'ok' at center (Burzynski might be ok too), I don't see any way that Kugler plays this year.
In 2014 Kugler will likely push Miller, but I'm guessing Miller will be the starter at least at the beginning of the year. He'll have started for a year and have an extra year in the system. Plus, success at center is less about being a super athlete and more about technique, knowing who to block and getting the line calls right. I can see Kugler getting a shot at playing guard if he doesn't win the center job.
By 2015, we'll have two very good centers, and I can see Kugler being just too good to not be on the field.
|44 weeks 6 days ago||Poggi=Van Bergen=Godin.||
I see all three of these guys as being very similar, and I think that's just fine. I also think with the current coaching, Poggi and Godin will reach senior Van Bergen much earlier in their careers (redshirt sophomore year?). I'll take a senior Van Bergen level talent at 3T and another at 5T happily.
I agree he looks like a high floor, medium ceiling kind of guy. It's great to have players like this mixed in with boom/bust guys like Charlton (don't see him busting) and Hurst.
|45 weeks 5 days ago||My worst as well.||
I was at that game at the 1990 Rose Bowl against USC which was the worst loss.
Sitting through the Tennessee Outback Bowl was the least fun football game I've ever been to.