Stuff I've Been Pondering (Football)

Discussion in 'The Tiger's Den' started by Bandit88, Feb 15, 2010.

  1. Bandit88

    Bandit88 Old Enough to Know Better

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    1. Will the OL really be better next year after losing Black and Hitt, both of them long-time starters?

    I think Black was probably overrated, and Hitt was clearly not a force by any measure. But both were pretty experienced. Next year's line will be relatively inexperienced, particularly so if Hebert loses his center job like some folks seem to think he will.

    2. Assuming the OL will be even marginally better, are JJ's passing-game issues fixable, or not really?

    If JJ's struggles (to find open receivers and time his throws) were mostly experience-based, then I am optimistic. If, however, his issue is that he's just not that kind of QB, then we may get to see some competition in the Fall. I doubt we see much to hang our hats on in the Spring - Lee and Garrett are gonna get hard looks, regardless of how much JJ improves. The Fall practice will tell the story.

    3. Will the defense really miss Rahim Alem and Chad Jones? Or will their replacements be as good/better?

    My opinion - won't miss them. Alem did not have a strong year at all, and I don't think Chad Jones achieved anything approaching Laron Landry or even Craig Steltz-type impact as a Safety. He had a couple of big plays and one big game. I think their replacements step up and play just as well. We'll see.

    4. Which two RBs carry the load?

    I think Ridley is one of them if he stays healthy. Question really is, can Murphy step up? Or does Ford get lots of carries? Calhoun? Spencer Ware?

    5. Does Russell Shepard have an impact next season?

    I think Shepard will be fully integrated into the playbook with the right focus (channeling Percy Harvin) and will be the kind of back that causes defenses to focus on him regardless of where he is. I hope he gets tons of yardage and big plays. If the staff pulls the WildTiger crap from last year without allowing him to throw, it's going to be another disappointing year. And I may have to eat some crow....:lol:
     
  2. LaSalleAve

    LaSalleAve when in doubt, mumble

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    How about this one.

    Q: Will our defensive line get any pressure on the quarterback?
     
  3. red55

    red55 curmudgeon Staff Member

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    The line couldn't be any worse, it must get better. We always lose starters every year, what is important is who is returning. I think we will be fine at tackle. Barksdale is solid and there are young, but talented candidates to replace Black. The problem last year was at both guards and at center.

    Hitt and Hebert are hard players, but are undersized OL in the SEC. Hitt got by on smart play when Big Herm and Brett Helms working the inside with him, but with Hebert and Dworaczyk, his play dropped off considerably. Hebert simply got manhandled by SEC tackles and nose guards, although he was a good blocker if he could get to the linebacker, which didn't happen enough.

    Dworaczyk was simply green and unable to fill Herman's shoes, but he looks like a player, has the size, and may have been playing out-of-position. When Black went out and Dworaczyk moved over to tackle, he looked more comfortable. I would not be surprised to see Dworaczyk at right tackle and Barksdale move over to left tackle.

    I thought Blackwell looked very good when he got into the game and he'll probably take one of the guard spots. I expect new faces at center and the other guard. Faulk, Lonergan, Spencer and Parsons seem like the top candidates to me.

    I think if Jefferson had the right stuff, we'd know it by now. He's got the arm, but he seems slow in reading defenses and making decisions. A QB that can recognize the open receiver and get the ball away quickly could take Jefferson's job with a lesser arm.

    Alem is replaceable. We won't get another Chad Jones, but we do have DB's who can play in the SEC. We should be fine.

    Murphy and Ridley, if healthy. Shepard and Ford will play.

    If he decides to be the best slotback in college football and focus on that, he can be so.
     
  4. lsudolemite

    lsudolemite CodeJockey Extraordinaire

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    1. I'm with Red on this one, can't possibly get any worse.

    2. I'm not ready to write off JJ just yet. I can't shake the feeling that somewhere deep down is a good solid QB ready to come out. But his success will depend in large part on whether the coaches, regardless of who actually pulls the strings in that department now, will put him in a situation to make the most out of his skill set and put him in a better position to succeed, rather than forcing him to fit some predetermined scheme he's ill-suited for (option, anyone?) Another understated, but still important, reason for his perceived ineffectiveness is the almost complete lack of a running game to help him out. You rely solely on a sophomore QB with a freshman's experience to win games for you in the SEC, and the outcome likely won't be pretty.

    3. No and no. Alem was a one-trick pony who became ineffective once defenses figured him out. Chad Jones was the poster child for inconsistent hot and cold play. People forget that for every highlight reel hit Chad Jones laid on someone, there were two plays where he either took a bad angle to the ball or missed a tackle. Give me a non-flashy safety with solid fundamentals any day.

    4. Ford will get his touches, but Ridley probably splits time with Murphy.

    5. IF, IF the coaches can figure out how to use him properly, he should have a big impact next season.

    I'll also second the opinion that the DL play absolutely must step up, in both stopping the run and pass rushing.
     
  5. HatcherTiger

    HatcherTiger Freedom Isn't Free

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    I think the answer to #4 depends in part on the answer to issue #1. When Charles Scott was fully healthy he couldn't run the ball with our 0-line. To me its not a question of who will carry the load at RB as much as can anyone carry the load at RB next season. The talent is there to run the ball, its a matter of whether we can get production which depends on execution!
     
  6. CParso

    CParso Founding Member

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    It will probably be slightly improved.


    I've heard rumblings that a lot of the issues were really related to the WR's & not JJ's fault. Having a real WR coach should fix that issue.

    Assuming young players step up, they should not really be missed.

    We'll see what the word is about Ford in Spring practice, but as of now I expect Ridley & Murphy to split carries until Ware works his way in & pushes one of them out.

    I think Gonzales was brought in specifically with Shepard in mind, and yes I think he will have an impact.
     
  7. LEGACY TIGER

    LEGACY TIGER Defy Yourself

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    I mentioned something to this before, but didn't really get any response from anyone. From what I have heard, in the coaches breakdown of JJ they have determined a good portion of his shortcomings were due to WR's dropping the ball. Causing key drives to stall which lead to several other issues. The numbers that I have heard are that 38% of JJ's incompletions could be attributed to WR's dropping the ball. If this is the case I would think that a good WR coach could make a big difference in this area. Opening up the offense to being more productive in several other areas.

    This is not to say that there aren't several other issues with the offense that need to be addressed, but it is an area that certainly could use improving.
     
  8. red55

    red55 curmudgeon Staff Member

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    I'm not sure that I buy that. It doesn't explain all the errant passes, passes at the ankles, late releases, and sacks for not getting the ball away quick enough. I'm hoping that "Passing Game Coordinator" means that Gonzales will be working with the quarterbacks. Jefferson needs help in reading those defenses and getting that ball away.
     
  9. Chase4LSU

    Chase4LSU Waiting on Mettenberger

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    I agree to a point. If even half of the 38% of dropped passes were caught throughout the season, we might have either won more games or produced more offense that possibly could have altered some fans' view of our program in its current state. The number does not explain the screwup passes or the bad judgement calls, but it is worth considering.
     
  10. Bandit88

    Bandit88 Old Enough to Know Better

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    I dunno. I watched some passes get flat-out dropped. But the far bigger issue was JJ's inability to see the play happening. Dropped passes don't cause teams to stack the box and dare a QB to beat them. I think a lot of that has to do with reading coverages and knowing where the mismatches are and where the receivers will open up and putting the ball there.

    I'm hopeful this has more to do with experience than aptitude. Because I'd love to see him tear it up next year.
     

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