05.Apr.2010 Projected Starting Lineup

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Last year after the Cincy game I nailed down what the starting lineup should be, and a few weeks later it came to fruition and the season improved greatly. This year, I’m going to put it in writing even earlier. You guys can judge my ability to see (or not see) talent; I’ll lay it on the line for the sake of good discussion.

QB–Ryan Katz

RB–Quiz

FB–Darkins

WRs– (1) Rodgers, (2) Wheaton, (3) Nichols (slot), (4) Catchings/Bishop

TE–(1) Joe H. (2) Camp

OL–Phillip, Pohl, Alex L., J. Andrews, Remmers/Enger

DE–(1) Miller (2) Taylor Henry

DT–(1) Paea (2) Oldander

MLB–Tony Wilson

OLB–Dwight Roberson

OLB–Doctor

LB (backup)–Akuna

CB–Hardin

CB–Poyer

CB (nickle)–Dockery

SS–Collins

FS–Mitchell

KR–Keynan Parker and Jordan Poyer (save James’ legs/reduce injury; these guys can do an equal job).

PR–James Rodgers

P–I guess it’s Hekker since we forced our best punter to transfer.

Barring injury, this should be the starting lineup come kickoff. Will it be?  I doubt it. I have a feeling we’re going to see an Unga or two thrown in, Dockery in the starting lineup, Grant Johnson on the line, maybe even Burke. I’m of the opinion you (almost) always take talent over experience and “coach up” the greenhorns, but we’re going to see a less talented lineup on opening day because Mike Riley prefers experience. Plain and simple. Let’s just see how long it takes him to make the corrections and put the right players on the field.

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  • ean says:
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    Good guess. My thought is if Enger makes it into the lineup it is if Phillip or Remmers goes down, or he starts out on the inside. Also Akuna is either starting or redshirting IMO. I think James remains a kick returner. DE could go so many ways, the JC guy and the kid from Albany could push for time.

    • angrybeaver says:
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      Trust me…Taylor Henry will play defensive end. Whether it’s just 3rd down or 1st and 2nd as well is the only question. The guy had great measurables (i.e. speed and frame) coming out of HS, and he’s bulked up enough to the point he’s on the cusp of an every-down end. Either way, he will see a ton of a time as a pass rush specialist. He only played a few downs last year and had at least one sack. If he only plays 3rd downs I’d expect Glover to be the 1st/2nd down end. He’s a beast who could be a run-stopping end like Van Orsow used to be. He and Henry would make for a nice two-headed monster.

      I don’t think Akuna redshirts–I think he’ll be like Kristick as a freshman. A special teamer and 4th LB. Why redshirt him if he already has the frame and it’s a position of need? If Pankey returns, they might. In that case I’d make Pankey the 4th LB.

    • angrybeaver says:
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      James probably does remain the kick returner. I’m fine with that–it’s nice knowing you’ll have 0 fumbles on punt/kick returns. Since he runs so many fly sweeps and decoy plays I think it would be nice to pass that responsibility off to equally explosive players and give James a rest. It comes down to whether the two I suggested can protect the ball. Poyer seems heady, so I think he would be superb back there…Parker is raw speed, but something tells me his hands might not be top-notch.

    • snatchtits says:
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      Thud goes yet another post.

      How sad does it make you that your blog really is nothing more than you and Jack trying to give each other positive affirmations as you try to convince yourselves that anyone respects your opinions?

      • angrybeaver says:
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        I thought Jack was me?

        Make up your mind.

        Also, he posted once in this thread.

        Finally, like Beetlejuice, if you say it enough maybe it will come true.

      • angrybeaver says:
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        Oh, and speaking of thuds…your new writers over there at Blitz. Wow. Between typos, syntax, and grammar errors I found about 20 errors in their first few attempts at the craft. What a joke. Then again, if you read Yahoo with any frequency you’ll soon deduct illiteracy must be a job skill over there.

  • angrybeaver says:
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    The one pick I made that I’m not thrilled with is Catchings over Wheaton. I think Wheaton has so much more upside…Catchings drops a lot of passes. But for some reason I think he’s still the best choice. Gut tells me Wheaton has a little maturing to do in many ways…next year it’s his job. Maybe even this year…again, that’s a tough call. I’d like to hear some other opinions on this one.

    • JackBeav says:
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      I was gonna say…
      When I think of Wheaton, I think of the one catch he had in the Civil War. It was a beauty of an out route that was overthrown, and he still went up to catch it while getting his feet in. That’s all I think about. Now he’s saying that he’s more relaxed in practice, and he knows what he’s doing. AND… MR is not necessarily talking him up, but he’s talking about him potentially starting. I think coach knows what the fanboys think of Catchings, and he wants to contain their expectations so they’re not disappointed when a sophomore takes over for him.

  • ObjCritic says:
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    I think there’s no way Poyer takes over for Dockery unless Dockery is injured. Riley simply favors experience, and Poyer only started getting CB reps in preparing for the LV bowl. I’d still rather see Poyer first at the “free” safety (I know OSU doesn’t distinguish between FS and SS), and if not that, then starting as a CB. With Poyer’s ability to see the field, his instincts and athleticism, I think if he were at FS OSU might not get beat over the deep middle so often. I just don’t think Collins plays too smart…

    Put Hardin at one corner, and let the new recruit Ryan Hanford push Dockery on the other side. Hanford is bigger than Dockery and at worst, one comes in for the nickel package. Most of OSU’s current, young CB’s seem like they need to gain more weight, and obviously haven’t really stood out if the answer was to move Poyer to CB at LV bowl practices.

    I actually think Wheaton can take Catchings job this year, particularly since Catchings got a redshirt and will have a chance to keep playing. I know this may sounds contradictory to my comments on Dockery/Poyer, but Wheaton has had a full year as a receiver. Wheaton just has speed and something extra that I think we’ll get him past Catchings. I see Catchings becoming one of those players that makes a few nice contributions as a role player in his last year, but never quite meets his original expectations (in fairness, some of if due to injury, and diabetes). Cathcings is a good practice player, but he just doesn’t get it done during game time (drops, injuries).

    Watching Wheaton at WSU reverse his field on a fly sweep and turning a loss into a 9+ yard gain, it was clear he just has an extra gear that cannot be coached. Combine that with Katz’s arm…throw in James Rodgers too, that’s a lot of speed the D has to respect.

    Agree on the LB’s – Ungas will get too much time, and Akuna will play as a true freshman, similar to Kristick. I’m hoping you’re right on Doctor, but I think he too gets limited reps. Doctor/Wilson/Akuna sounds good in the near future…

    • angrybeaver says:
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      I think Poyer has a shot to take Dockery’s job, actually. He’s a natural, and I think that shines through. Dockery is also just an average corner, so put those two things together and it could (i.e. should) happen. Dock would be a good nickle CB.

      I agree Wheaton could take Catchings job. Like I said in my comment above, that pick made me uneasy, and I think Wheaton sees the field quite a bit even if he doesn’t start. I’m trying to understand why I like Catchings more even though Wheaton has so much more upside, and the only resolution to that question is that Wheaton simply isn’t ready yet (in terms of maturity, route running, weight, etc) but I am basing that on the end of last season, so it’s not fair, and that’s why I don’t love my pick. But as of this moment, I’d go with Catchings and cross my fingers he can hold onto the ball.

  • katoosh says:
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    P–I guess it’s Hekker since we forced our best punter to transfer

    I’m sorry, I think this is really funny. Hekker IS the best punter we’ve got! But he’s still here. Am I missing out on something?

    • angrybeaver says:
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      Yes, Allen transferred, and he was better. Now Hekker is the best via attrition.

      • katoosh says:
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        Did we really force Allen to leave? I thought he was known as the “lazy one”, in regards to his work ethics?

      • angrybeaver says:
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        A lazy punter? Come on, man.

        Force…no, but the guy transferred for playing time. It was more like coercion if you want to be technical.

  • ObjCritic says:
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    Wow, a bit of a surprise here:

    http://blog.oregonlive.com/behindbeaversbeat/2010/04/post_28.html

    Incoming CB Ryan Handford is “good enough to fight for a starting CB spot this year” and “failing that, would be an excellent nickle back.” That is encouraging.

    The O-line has me a little concerned. Can’t figure out why OSU can’t seem to populate its O-line with at least *** players on a consistent basis. Having a top recruit like Phillip mixed in with a couple of walk-ons and underachieving back-ups makes for a shallow rotation. With Cav’s rep, and a few O-lineman making it to the NFL, you’d think OSU would be able to recruit better O-line talent.

    • angrybeaver says:
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      The class of Andrews, Enger, and Thomas was an excellent offensive line group. Problem is the classes before that were poor, and we’re weeding through those guys now.

    • angrybeaver says:
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      As far as Handford, I really doubt he starts. He has good ability but he doesn’t know the defense. I do think Dockery’s position is up for grabs, but my feeling is Poyer is the guy there–he’s just such a natural at the sport, I think you could put him anywhere (e.g. see what he did with his one kickoff return).

  • Beavocalypse says:
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    Catchings, to me, is like Anthony Wheat-Brown (Or just Brown, was it, by the end of his time at OSU) a receiver with some good potential who just never got over the injuries hump but ended up helping us out. However, if he can recover and assuming he picks up the improvement he made last year (before he had to take the redshirt) and builds on that, we’ll see a dynamic duo of Rodgers and himself, with Bishop and Wheaton backing the two of them up and making for a pretty damn strong core.

    I would LOVE to see Akuna play, but I really doubt Riley will make such a smart move- he’ll play Ungas, Keo Camat, and others until I will want to rip my eyeballs out.

    A funny note here, is when I played NCAA 10, I actually switched Suaesi Tuimanei to an OLB. Figured he failed as a secondary player, but his speed would be good inside. lol Of course that is a game with no bearing on reality whatsoever, but hey, I don’t like the idea of him playing safety ever again…so sticking him in OLB purgatory made me laugh.

    Speaking of secondary…I think who starts at CB will ultimately make no real difference, as I imagine that Poyer is going to eventually win his way into the line up…as Dockery is just…meh. I think Poyer will do this by making plays when he hits the field, and I believe he very well might when Dockery gets torched a couple of times.

  • angrybeaver says:
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    I waffled. Went ahead and listed Wheaton as the best available starter.

    This after reading on a daily basis about Catchings’ (and Bishops) non-stop drops. Looks like it’s the same ol’ for those two. I thought Catchings would work hard and make progress in that area but from all reports he hasn’t. I can’t think of a more inappropriately named WR than Catchings. “It’s like an ice cream man named melt!”

    • angrybeaver says:
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      What’s wrong, man?

      • beavball4 says:
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        I know its not related to football but jahii carson, the one everyone who follows basketball has been excited about for the last year and a half, just decomitted from the beavs today

    • angrybeaver says:
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      Oh yeah, just read that.

      http://www.azcentral.com/members/Blog/Richardobert/77849

      Sounds like he’s just looking around, but will end up a Beav. Wonder if this has to do with the president’s approval rating? Kids…

      • angrybeaver says:
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        Even if he does go somewhere else, I won’t be too upset. We saw what happened to Kansas, Kentucky, Syracuse, etc…the flashy ankle-breaker is nice, but team ball, 3-point shooting, and fundamental defense win at the college level.

    • JackBeav says:
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      I’m not too worried about Carson. I’d rather have him solidly in the fold. But when you play in the big time recruiting circles, you get situations like this. So there’s no reason to throw a fit.

      It’s also why I like to wait until after the regular signing period to look at next year’s recruits with a serious eye. Coach Rob will be working the AAU circuit like a dog. We have some fantastic kids looking at OSU, and one or two of them are going to come here. The problem will be that many of them will not last a full four years in school.

      Oh well.

      • angrybeaver says:
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        That’s pretty much exactly how I look at it too. When we got his commit almost 2 years in advance I remember thinking it was at best a soft verbal–just too much time for things to go wrong.

        His coach seems to think he’s still going to wind up a Beaver. Again, I don’t care either way because the glam/ankle-breakers rarely win championship (see Kansas/Kentucky, Syracuse, et al). Last one-on-one/ankle-breaker I remember on a championship team was Carmelo Anthony. Memory could be failing me on that one, though. I’m more psyched about Collier–a big man getting the Uconn vote of confidence is huge in my opinion. That school has had some of the best college bigs under Calhoun..they always have a great combo of skill and heart/toughness.

  • angrybeaver says:
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    From Buker: “The scrimmage part of Friday afternoon’s practice at Reser didn’t go well for the Beavers’ offensive line, which had trouble containing a ferocious pass rush led by DEs Gabe Miller and Taylor Henry.

    “They’re going to set a (freaking) record for sacks!” yelled out offensive line coach Mike Cavanaugh at one point.”

    Um, that’s because you have the right DEs but wrong tackles in there, coach.

  • angrybeaver says:
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    And this:

    “But it was not a good sign that Miller – coming from the left side – was so fast off the ball he occasionally left starting RT Mike Remmers flat-footed. … Cav laid into his RT, too, letting him know that allowing Miller to blow in so easily was unacceptable. … on the left side, Wilder McAndrews and Timi Oshinowo both struggled at times to keep Henry and Co. out of the backfield.”

    Yep.

    Now can we see Enger get a shot for Remmers? Andrews at guard? Please?

  • JackBeav says:
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    I’d love nothing more than tp throw the youngsters into the mix. I’m also waiting for news that Kelly will replace Ellis. I can see why they have Andrews backing up Linnenkohl. But I don’t get why he can’t also play. I think he needs the contact.

    We’ll see on that one.

    I’d be willing to bet that not much actually impresses Coach Cav. If Miller and Henry (sounds like a couple beers) impress Cav, then I’m all in.

  • JackBeav says:
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    “I loved it,” was Riley’s reaction to Wheaton’s impressive catches. “Near the end of the scrimmage, he ran that big in-route. That was a great sign right there. That is a big play in our offense, that backside ‘six.’ And we need him to make that play. He caught a corner route over there, too. Those two routes together, if a guy can do well with those two routes, he can play the split end for us. So to see those two catches was very good.”

    I’m going to continue to think

    • JackBeav says:
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      … that MR likes Wheaton. It’s hard to miss his talent.

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