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?"