Monday, August 31, 2009

Are They Ready?

Is it just me, or does anyone else feel completely in the dark on whether the Commodore offense is ready?

Just five days out from kickoff against Western Carolina, you could be forgiven if you've been biting your nails about the prospect of 12 straight weeks without a break for these players. While it's gotten a lot better than in years past, depth is still a serious issue at key positions. The latest in a string of injury reports out of camp last week was that offensive guard Reilly Lauer hurt his elbow and was kept out of Thursday and Friday practice. They say it's not too serious, but you think about losing key players like him and Jared Hawkins (still out) and Chris Marve (still not at 100%), and it does make you curious how this team is going to fare over 12 games without a bye week.

Steven Stone will miss at least the first month with his broken foot, making the return of DE Theron Kadri a potentially huge bonus. Still, the prospect of Stone's absence from big games like Miss. State and Rice has me a little more nervous about the one position I was most confident about prior to camp. It's also worth asking whether Kadri's decision to leave the team last week, and then to come back over the weekend, might be the last kind of distraction our guys need the week prior to first game of the season.

So while on the one hand I'm loving the press about the defense fueling our hopes of a repeat bowl season, I'm kind of hating the press about the defense fueling our hopes of a repeat bowl season. What's new with this offense, I ask? And no, telling me that James Williams is looking forward to his first start as an O-lineman is not the reassuring tidbit I was hoping for.

Much has been made about our lack of height and inexperience at wide receiver, and Chris Low (unsurprisingly) rated Vanderbilt last in the league at the wideout position. I'm less concerned about the predictions than the fact that we haven't heard much lately about the progress being made in executing the no-huddle spread. Has Larry been hitting his targets? Has everyone memorized the routes and mastered the audibles? Having a strong stable of young backs who like their coach is great and all, but unless there's some last-minute scheming to run a spread option, we all know that this offense requires a legitimate passing attack to be effective. I guess the bottom line for me is that with the entire offensive line returning, as well as more backfield depth and better tight end play than we've had in a decade or more, I would have hoped to be hearing more about the offense right about now. In the words of Michael Scott, "What the dealio?"


Bobby O'Shea said...

The offensive unit for every team in the SEC East (save Florida) is the big question heading into the season. As far as I'm concerned, outside Florida (and perhaps Georgia) every team in the division is as likely to finish 3rd as they are 6th (I think UGA is the second best team in the east). Given how untested the wide receivers are, I really think the coaching staff should consider moving Jamie Graham back to wide receiver on a more permanent basis.

vandygold28 said...

i'll be at the first 3 games and can't wait. no matter where we are we should handle western carolina. and we'll know all the answers to your questions on september 12 about how we are doing and how prepared we are. i'm just excited its here! officially a football season week!

Anything but Gatorade said...

The question marks on offense are really almost as much reason to be optimistic as nervous about how/whether the Dores will move the ball this year. I'm planning on being entertained by some plays we might not have seen before.

Oh, wait, is Ted Cain still OC? Check that, nervous it is.

Stanimal said...

Truth of the matter is that no one knows what expect from this offense. And I doubt Bobby J. is too anxious to show his hand about how the no-huddle spread is progressing, because it's pretty much a gimmick in itself and he doesn't want it to be too public. I think the team is really making an affirmative attempt to stay undercover until the first kick-off, which may be it's best weapon since, much like us, the rest of the SEC has no idea what to expect.

Anonymous said...

i personally hope that most of the gimmicky plays and the secrets are kept until LSU. we can beat western carolina w/out too crazy of an offense.