21.Aug.2009 Fall Camp, Week 2
Went to see another practice today just to confirm earlier suspicions. This team has several flaws that will cost it at least 4 games this year. They are:
1. The secondary: This is a glaring weakness in practice. Canfield and the wideouts are torching these guys. Don’t listen to the other sites that portend a vacillating battle between offense and defense–they’re painting an orange picture. The truth is that the secondary has looked much like Atlanta after Sherman’s March to the Sea. I saw a freshman WR blow by Tim “I shut down Deshawn Jackson 2 years ago because of great DE play and I’m still talking about it today, even after getting toasted by Utah wideouts” Clark today. If you want to paint this picture orange, do it in this way: by being absolutely inept, our CB’s have boosted Canfield’s (and the rest of the offenses’) confidence. The offense carries this team, the CBs cost us 4 games minimum. Lance Mitchell is the lone player in this group.
2. Offensive line: This should come as no surprise. Grant Johnson, a impliable and wooden walk-on, has beaten out Ryan Pohl at Guard. This means we have two walk-ons on our starting offensive line. Not a good thing. Remmers, who is also upright and stiff as a board, is consistently being rustled to the side by ends, and he is protecting Canfield’s blind side. Can you say turnovers? This is a serious matter and begs a legitimate question: how can you expect to compete with the top half of the Pac-1o when you have two walk-ons starting on your line? These are players that not even a single Division II schools offered. And Ryan Pohl, what does this say about you?
3. Running Back: It’s not a matter of if Quiz goes down, it’s a matter of when. A player of such stature cannot endure a full season in the Pac-10, and before you object, realize that history is on my side. Jovan Stevenson has looked pedestrian. Jefferson needs a redshirt season and should not be in any conversation ever regarding the starting tailback position. The guy simply does not have the agility, grace or vision to play RB full time. He should be converted to LB or delegated to 3rd string RB and special teams. The funny thing is, other sites try to portray Ashton as the second coming of ex-Viking Robert Smith. Yes, and Ryan McCants is Steven Jackson.
4. Depth: Noticeably lacking depth everywhere except WR, DE, and QB. An injury anywhere else on the field, particularly RB, and the season is in jeopardy. Attribute this to poor recruiting.
5. Special teams: oft overlooked in the media’s practice reports are the special teams. Hekker has looked better this year than last, but he’s still inconsistent, shanking 20 yard punts 20% of the time. Understand that, while Hekker had excellent numbers against Pitt, much of that can be attributed to fortuitous bounces. With our secondary, we can afford Hekker’’s right leg liability even less than last year. Justin has looked pretty good kicking field goals. Expect a 75% season from him.
My prediction is that we get absolutely smoked when playing any team with a passing game. Arizona State and their 4 WRs sets are going to be a real mismatch. We don’t have two Pac-1o corners, nevermind four. Cal and USC, with their respective passing games, are definite loses as well. That leaves tweeners like Oregon, Washington, and Stanford. We’ll probably lose two of those games due to the combination of CB play and punting deficiency. The amazing thing about this situation is that Riley had two years to address the punting dilemma. David Ross should be developed into a shut down corner at this stage of his career–this is a failure placed squarely on the coaching staff.
Expect this squad to lose four games minimum. Most likely five, and in a worst case scenario, six.