Monday, August 27, 2007

Here it comes! Football is almost back...

After a long winter and a long hot summer, Falcon football is almost back. The Falcon Nation looks on in, shall we say, nervous optimism. More punditry and predictions later in the week. Now, let's look at how we lining up to enter the season.

The earlier post mentioned that Tyler Sheehan has replaced Anthony Turner. At no time have I seen either of these players lead our offense consistently and effectively. I always believed Turner would win the job, and can only conclude that Sheehan has looked that much better in practice. Also, I don't think Coach Brandon is as big a fan of the runspread as Urban Meyer is. He prefers the passspread from Brandon I-III.

So Sheehan gets the nod. A couple hopes. That he performs and puts the QB deal behind the team. That he can complete 60% of his passes, go upfield, and limit his turnovers.

The other BIG BIG news is a RB, where Willie Geter, true FR from Miami, FL, has vaulted to the starter, over last year's starter Chris Bullock and JUCO transfer hypeboy Eric Ransom. For the record, it is Bullock #2, Ransom #3, though he has not been healthy. We are very deep at RB.

WR--I just don't see the depth there. Dan Macon left RB and moved to WR and is instantly on the two deep. The starters are Partridge (stud), Barnes (athlete yet to prove at WR), Marques Parks (believed decent but unknown), and Ty Pronty, who was a backup in the Spring Game to a FR, Kelvin Davis who short armed a pass and left school.

Second string at WR is the highly touted Zach Charles, (fast) but not a shown pass catcher, Macon, totally untested Derek Brighton and Calvin Wiley.

TE is Jimmy Sheidler, even though it isn't a position we use much, and the FB is Pete Winovich. Don't use that much, either.

On the line--we're pretty good and stable. Nystrom, Steffy, Lichtensteiger (3 time All MAC), Curtis and Huselman go L-R. This and RB are the proven strong points of the attack.

On to defense. The line is anchored by Diryal Briggs, a true stud, and 3 questions. At the other E is r-JR Joe Schaefer, who was injured during the Spring. Then, at tackle, there is former TE Sean O'Drobinak and R-FR Orlando Barrow, who vaulted past Michael Ream. This does not look like an Rx for success.

I was worried about LB, because we seemed to be moving people there willynilly--a sure sign that we don't have confidence in the guys recruited to play there.

That all seems to have ended. Now, Dozier, Haneline and Hargrove go across, with Dozier moving to the middle. I like the starters, much better than before. Don't know about depth. Hope they stay healthy.

D-backfield. We remain really young here, but they played a whole season, and there is talent. At corner, Antonio Smith and Kenny Lewis are good-very good players. At Safety, Jerrett Sanderson and Jahmal Brown are also promising and getting better. I'm worried about depth at corner--those backups get lots of snaps with today's WR-laden attacks. Tarell Lewis might be OK, and Roger Williams, well, I don't know anything about him, other than founding Rhode Island. No real major changes.

Finally, our JUCO transfer kickers better make the kicking game better, or this team will not pass .500.

More later this week, just to say, I can be as optimistic as the next guy. We remain very young. 23 of 44 players are Soph or Junior. We lose only four starters off the depth chart, and one is Winovich. Next season will be our year.

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