29.Aug.2011 Grading the Special Teams

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 5.0/5 (2 votes cast)

KICKER
Trevor Romaine
Max Johnson

Analysis: Romaine sounds like Kahut only with a stronger leg. If he can harness accuracy and consistency, OSU will have the second coming of Alex Serna. This guy is the biggest question mark on special teams. He has to deliver, and there's no contingency plan. Max Johnson is atrocious. He isn't even a legit D1 option, so he'll only see the field if Tony Soprano breaks Romaine's kneecaps.

Grade: C- (with upside potential)

PUNTER
Johnny Hekker
Keith Kostol

Analysis: Year four of the Johnny Hekker experiment. Apparently Mike Riley isn't a big scientific method guy, because this hypothesis was proven wrong 3 years ago. Nonetheless, here we stand with arguably the worst punter in the Pac-12. Only Arizona, at 39.2 had a worst punting average last season. Kostol doesn't seem like a solution, either.

Grade: D

HOLDER
Johnny Hekker
Keith Kostol

Analysis: If there's one thing Hekker does well, it's holding. No issues here.

Grade: B+

SNAPPER
Marcus Perry
Michael Morovick

Analysis: Marcus Perry is the man. He's had a flawless career, and his scholarship was well earned. Since long snappers are rarely injured, I'm not going to dock this unit due to a green backup. Besides, Morovick sounds like an adequate replacement.

Grade: A+

PUNT/KICK RETURNERS
Markus Wheaton
Jordan Poyer

Analysis: The Beavers have at least five guys who would be great on punt returns. They're absolutely stacked. Wheaton, Poyer, and James Rodgers are the best. The kick returning position grades out the same. Add names like Ward, Reynolds, and Parker to that list. The Beavs are loaded with dynamic options.

Grade: A+

Jump to Bottom
  • ObjCritic says:
    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)

    Romaine is supposed to be confident, nearly cocky. I hope he can maintain confidence come game time. He probably has to be questioning himself at this point. Sounds like our kick-offs will be deeper and better this year.

    From a kick coverage team perspective, I think the Beavs will be good, fast but inexperienced. Loss of Hardin as gunner, and reduction in gunner role for Poyer may hurt a little bit at first, but speed is there to compensate. Lots of fast young lb’s and receivers who just need to stay healthy gain some experience.

    Hekker is the best “qb-who-couldn’t-start-at-DI-QB-playing-punter” in the Pac-12…..and all for 2 – 3 throws per year….

    Poyer will now reportedly only “gun” when OSU thinks they have a chance to down punts inside of 10 or 20 yards.

    As stated previously, lack of application of Kenyon Parker’s speed on KO returns is a mystery; track speed, originally came in as receiver, converted to CB, seems perfect for KO return duty that would also provide the important value of resting key starters (e.g. Poyer). I think though, with all of the speed, we can expect some entertaining and dynamic returns. These will play an important role in not only field position, but I think in firing up the team. Special team this year in particular needs to be regarded and applied as a game-changing unit.

    • angry angry says:
      VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

      Great comment. I forgot to discuss coverage, but I agree with your assessment.

  • silverstream055 silverstream055 says:
    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

    I think special teams will be really good this year. Bruce Read is a proven, top-flight special teams coach. The Beavs spend a LOT of time in practice on special teams. Our returners are excellent (Poyer, JRod, Wheaton, and Brandin Cooks, too). Our special teams coverage guys have more speed this year than last year. Our blocking up front should be better. And Romaine and Hekker have been booming the ball in practices. Yes, Romaine has zero college game experience. Yes, Hekker shanked too many punts last season. But I’m cautiously optimistic that both Romaine and Hekker are going to be good (or better than good) this year. We’ll see soon enough….

  • ean says:
    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

    I think net punting yards are a way more valuable stat then average. Hekker had a 36.2 yard net… not very good but better than USC, Stanford and Oregon. Interesting enough Oregon had the worst net punting yardage in the FBS. Although Hekker was likely helped out in the net punting category by all the drives that stalled at midfield. That said with him having a full year of practicing the rugby and aussie kicks I am cautiously optimistic.

    • angry angry says:
      VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)

      I think the eyeball test is better than average or net average, and if you’ve watch Hekker for three years you know he sucks, no matter what the numbers (good or bad) say.

      I’m not going to fall for the talk that this is the year he improves. Until he proves otherwise, he’s junk.

      Harsh, but real talk.

      • ean says:
        VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
        Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

        He kicks a great looking ball with good hang time when he gets ahold of it. You can’t deny his ability it is his consistency that needs to improve. Plus last year was his first year of working in the aussie and rugby boots. I think he will be middle of the Pac personally.

  • progressivebeav says:
    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

    (Slow day at the office…)

    Buker posted this video of the Oregonian videographer getting ran over by Murphy. Nice hit, but check out Mannion’s slow delivery: http://www.twitvid.com/P800H

    Doesn’t look like it’s changed much since his HS film. Not very compact. fwiw

    • angry angry says:
      VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

      It still looks long, and look how badly the LT was beaten. I can’t make out the number…if that is Remmers….wow.

  • NCAA_viOlation NCAA_viOlation says:
    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

    Unrelated, but I found this on a Michigan blog about Aziz Shittu. According to these guys, CAL is in his top 3 along with Nevada and T A&M. Not sure where somebody said they saw OSU in the top 3, but apparently that isn’t correct, at least according to Scout. Not a surprise, but thought I’d share in case anybody’s interested.

    http://mgoblog.com/mgoboard/aziz-shittu-top-3

  • ean says:
    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

    Also I am a little worried about Wheaton and Poyer returning kicks (especially Wheaton). Both guys are counted on at their skill positions a lot and returning kicks is a good way to get hurt. I would almost prefer Wheaton not return kicks considering how banged up he gets.

  • NCAA_viOlation NCAA_viOlation says:
    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

    If Romaine is supposed to have such a strong leg, would you be in favor of him just kicking the ball through the end zone on the kickoff, and giving the opponent a touch-back? Or do you like the team taking it’s chances with 2 of the top gunners (Hardin/Poyer) not in coverage? I’ve always been of the school of thought that you kick go for the touch-back. I know it’s a huge momentum changer if you can pin a team within the 5 yard line, but that rarely happens. Most often the receiving team gets tackled around the 20 yard line anyway on a return. And if they do happen to break into the open field, it’s a huge momentum changer for the return team. Kicking to the returner is always high risk/low reward in my opinion. Risk being: giving up field postition, injuries, wearing out key players. And now that we have a kicker who has the leg to kick it further, I’d like to see us take advantage of that.

  • locusimperium says:
    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

    Here’s the Sept. 2nd surprise. The rest of the video is great.

    https://www.ourbeavernation.com/2012_challenge/?sid=TPG+4x1WNCEF

    • angry angry says:
      VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)

      Good video, but the surprise is that fans get to donate? Now that is funny.

      • BeaverFan says:
        VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
        Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

        I thought the video was pretty cool. I loved the highlights and the electric guitar. I think the idea of 2,012 people joining is a good idea. I am going to share it. We have to find a way to continue to compete in the new Pac-12.

    • Will Overhead says:
      VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

      I like the way they use a bunch of “found” sounds that mashed up together to sound like our fight song (in a way).

      You know – that tired technique Twix has been using to market their confections for the past two decades…

      Nice to see Eric rockin’ on the steps of the MU, though. That’s really all you needed.

      • osbeavs says:
        VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
        Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

        That guy is a douche.

        • ean says:
          VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
          Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

          have you met him? he seems like an alright guy. my wife had a class with him and he is a pretty smart kid.

        • sparkyd73 says:
          VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
          Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

          My family went to a volleyball game and a women’s basketball game, and a couple of men’s basketball games last year and Eric was at every one of them and he was there early. I don’t know the guy, but I don’t know that there is a bigger Beaver fan. I tip my hat to him and I think that if any non-athlete deserves to be highlighted in a spot for Beaver athletics, it is him.

          • NCAA_viOlation NCAA_viOlation says:
            VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
            Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

            Beaver Joe is the non-athelete who trumps them all. Don’t see him much anymore but he still comes to games. Anybody ever catch him at basketball games in the late 90’s when he’d perform air-brahma bull riding? Classic

          • NCAA_viOlation NCAA_viOlation says:
            VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
            Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

            He’s also the original free-throw guy. Much better than that knob at the blazer games. I think Joe got banned from Gill for being too loud. Is that possible?

          • SatGame says:
            VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
            Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

            I think what they are doing on http://www.OurBeaverNation.com is pretty cool. I like the idea of trying to get all the fans involved no matter what the giving level is.

        • Billy says:
          VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
          Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

          Have you ever met or talked to him? Very cordial and respectful kid, also very loyal Beaver fan. Not cool besmirching someone you know nothing about, yet I have no problem declaring you seem to be an asshole!!

  • slamadam says:
    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

    did romaine kick in the spring game, or was it just max johnson? (he looked terrible)

  • Warren says:
    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +4 (from 4 votes)

    http://www.capitalonebowl.com/schedule

    Vote for Benny Beaver!

    • NCAA_viOlation NCAA_viOlation says:
      VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)

      while you’re at it, vote for Mike the Tiger as well

  • Orange Lantern says:
    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)

    Very cool Benny Beaver Capital One Mascot Video here:

    http://beaverbyte.com

    (I think if Benny wins the voting it is like $50,000 or more to OSU!)

    • NCAA_viOlation NCAA_viOlation says:
      VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

      “Nobody messes with my Beaver!!” yikes…..

  • ObjCritic says:
    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

    OT but these are just getting ridiculous…

    http://www.nikeblog.com/2011/08/25/2011-boise-state-pro-combat-uniforms/

    • NCAA_viOlation NCAA_viOlation says:
      VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

      They look nice, but they’re more hype than anything. I have yet to see a game won by the team with the slickest looking uniforms. Now, if they could create a uniform that is more “slick” in the slippery sense, so a player is harder to tackle, I could see how that would be an advantage.
      Also, I’m tired of the gloves with logos on the palms that require players to put their hands together to finish the picture.

      Logos shouldn’t even be allowed on the gloves. Look at page 15 of the NCAA rulesbook (from 2009-2010

      d. If worn, gloves or hand pads must be gray in color on the back, including
      the backs of the fingers. It is strongly recommended that the palms also
      be gray; however, black on the palms is acceptable. The recommended
      shades of gray are Pantone Cool Gray 8C, Cool Gray 9C, 423C and
      430C.

  • ObjCritic says:
    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)

    BTW – I’m looking forward to the breakdown of the coaching staff….

  • rsteve503 rsteve503 says:
    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

    I was hoping there was an Angry analysis of the team last year, for comparison, but no such luck. But keep up the good work, we can look back from the future to see how well such analysis works.

    On the uniform thing, let me ask a Q. Looking for opinions — is it an advantage or a disadvantage for a team if their players wear a uniform that really stands out. I would think that for a QB, its easier to see your players, if they stand out, and easier to see if they are covered if the other team stands out.

  • them beavers them beavers says:
    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

    I know that I’m being CPT obvious again (maybe I should just change my screen name) but after the team lost James at WR they lost another big part of their game, with kick returns. It was James ability to return kicks during the BSU game that kept the beavers in it. From everyone’s reporting it seems that this will not be as big of a problem to replace him as once thought. Though, I think that it takes more than just speed to be a good returner. It seems to take an almost natural ability to return kicks. The beavers have also been very fortunate in their string of returners from Sammy to James it feels to be a position that the beavers can just reloaded at rather than rebuild. This is how I feel about the RB so not having Quizz does not scare me much yes it will take some time to find the one and for that one to find himself but that is what college football is all about having new begins ever three to four years.

  • osubaby osubaby says:
    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

    I’m not worried about the RB position either. I said it earlier this year that I was glad Quizz was leaving. The team needs to rally around themselves and not one player. The last three backs before Quizz were not the focal point of the offense 95% of the time. As far as return men, I feel like we have always been strong in that section, Lawson, Sammie,James and now we’ll see.

    • sparkyd73 says:
      VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

      I understand your sentiment around not having a focal point and I will say that I’m not all that concerned about the RB position this year. But, a RB to have as many touches as he had without a fumble is truly mindblowing and that is an area that does concern me a bit.

      • NCAA_viOlation NCAA_viOlation says:
        VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
        Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

        I still think that 1 fumble Quizz was credited with in his career, wasn’t even a fumble. Watch the youtube video from that game (Las Vegas Bowl vs. BYU) Canfield’s pass wasn’t backwards, it was sideways. Their feet were on the same yard line when the ball left Canfield’s hand. Shouldn’t have been a backwards pass, which means the dropped catch shouldn’t have been a fumble, which means BYU shouldn’t have recovered for a touchdown. Big play.

  • Beaverface says:
    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

    Just read that for the third day in a row, Markus Wheaton hasn’t been able to run (hip) and is now a concern for the opener. This is getting old. What the hell is going on down there?

    • osubaby osubaby says:
      VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

      Where are you hearing this?

      • mckalk mckalk says:
        VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
        Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

        I just read it on Gazette Times from Cliff. I was coming in to check if there was any further detail. When did Wheaton get hurt?

    • angry angry says:
      VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)

      He should be fine. Hip flexor isn’t a big deal and usually heals quickly with rest and stretching.

      Dr. Angry

  • NCAA_viOlation NCAA_viOlation says:
    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

    Getting tired of our reporters saying this Sac State game is starting to look like Appalachian State/Michigan. Sac State is a decent FCS Subdivision team, but are not future champions. They play in the Big Sky conference and have a hard enough time beating Portland State on a regular basis. Appalachian state were 2-time defending FCS Subdivision Champions. On top of that, their upset of Michigan was a first of it’s kind type of upset. FCS Subdivision teams don’t beat FBS teams very often for good reason.

    • mckalk mckalk says:
      VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

      One would think the Beavs have better depth even with the injuries and would win handily, but you never know. There are a couple of “upsets” every year and some close calls. I think two years ago Cal Poly should have beaten Wisconsin, but their placekicker missed some crucial kicks and the final score was 36-35. Jacksonville St. came from behind to beat Masoli and Ole Miss last year. We all know what James Madison did to Va Tech. It’s a chance for FCS kids to make their mark and sometimes you see some inspired play. Sacramento St. used to be the doormat of the Big Sky, but the football program has improved steadily over the last few years. I’m kind of glad the Beavs are not playing Eastern Washington! Talent and depth using win out, but not every time.

      • Max says:
        VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
        Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)

        Why did you have to bring up the Cal Poly/Wisconsin game? Cal Poly was definitely the better team that day unfortunately the Poly kicker was channeling his inner Serna.

        -Cal Poly Alum

  • Brady says:
    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

    Can you explain why all the team that I root for just don’t seem to care about the punter? To me, it seems like a hugely underrated position.

  • VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

    This condition hinders much more those who workout right from functioning when
    compared with just about every other pain. Being flexible
    is another way of being strong and steadfast. Don’t
    let the sequined handbag or Victorian jewelry pass you by;
    as you swing by Madison’s vintage clothing shops, sorting through each rack and bin can easily become a whole-day affair.

  • Xooma says:
    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

    Richard’s Wellness Resources site that it “can help to support your immune system in a wide variety of circumstances, and even helps keep your own cells healthier while reducing the toxic burden associated with immune system battles. But tests with humans won’t be forthcoming right away. There are many sites that offer various kinds of training for little or no money (one example is The Elevision Network).

  • Recruiting Updates

  • Categories

  • Archives