04.Aug.2010 Discussion: Offense
With one month until kickoff and only a few days until camp, it's a good time to set expectations for each squad.
Clearly Katz is next in line for the job. Arriving on campus early and getting the extra seasoning (coupled with his solid performance) locked him in. I'm comfortable with Vaz as a backup. Lomax is interesting. The only news you ever hear about the guy is how well he's performing. People who judge QBs on the eye test always say that he must add weight. Well, if the line does their job, not really. Lomax is someone I think we'll enjoy watching by his senior season. Consistent, heady play trumps athleticism.
The backup RB situation is uncomfortable. Neither McCants nor Stevenson strike me as guys who can step in and keep the offense churning. Both have shown glimpses of decent play in non-pressure situations, but pretend Quiz goes down game 1. Can these guys carry the Beavs through a season? No.
Like most pundits, I like this bunch.
The top four are, in order: Rodgers, Wheaton, Nichols, and Bishop. I'm curious to see what Kevan Walker can do. Munoz appears to be a good possession receiver in the making but probably won't see the field until next year when Nichols graduates. Mitch Singler is a walk-on to keep an eye on.
Halahuni is a prize down the seam who will make life easy for the WRs and RBs. This is a luxury the team has lacked since Newton graduated. Jonathan Reese red-shirted last year, so if Halahuni goes down I imagine he'd step in as the pass-catching TE/H-Back. The other guys are solid blockers.
This is where I expect the most shifting during fall camp. Most media reports list Philipp, Johnson, Linnenkohl, Ellis, and Remmers as the starters. Phillip and Linnenkohl are future pros. The other three guys are walk-ons. It's a top-heavy line. Johnson and Remmers had nightmare series and games last season, the worst of which cost the Beavers a victory versus Arizona. I actually like Ellis better than both of them. Watch for Grant Enger. He is not even being mentioned anywhere at this point, but I expect him to be a surprise, much like Linnenkohl came on at this point in his career a few years back. Remmers and Johnson are weak links, and if someone plays well enough to surpass either the line will be better for it. The three players poised to make a push are Ryan Pohl, Grant Enger, and Josh Andrews.
Johnny Hekker drags this unit down quite a bit, and I still have no idea which field goals Kahut is going to make or miss. Additionally, Justin cannot sniff a touch back. Good coaching will mask some problems but not all. Tackling (with the plethora of safeties on the roster) and the return game should be excellent.
It's interesting, because when thinking about the upcoming season I figured offensive firepower would be a given, but when I objectively grade out the units I realize that might not be the case. Of course there's a synergy in football, and an A+ RB could boost the on-paper-value of a B+ line. That's what great players do. It's clear to me, more than ever, that Quiz needs to put this team on his back the first four weeks while the greenhorns acclimate.