Position Battles (Spring and Fall)
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    Position Battles (Spring and Fall)

    What are the top three position battle for both the spring and fall that people are looking forward too??

    Spring:
    1. Offensive Line- is there any truth to the rumor that we have been hearing?? Hashing out a rough depthchart for these positions could look like a recruitng class with how young they all might be.
    2. Linebacker- I want to see who steps up and becomes a leader here. Odds say that it should be Jesse Smith's job to lose but who will take the other two. Could be something where we have a 1a and 1b.
    3. Defensive Tackle- I hope the Jerrod Black can step in and become a force here. Having a guy like that in the middle, both size and age, could help us for a long time.

    Fall
    1. Wide Reciever- When Carlon, Darks and Johnson get to town there should be a good amount of competition for the 4 or 5 spots that will see the field the most. Hopefully Johnson can atleast become a red-zone threat for us.
    2. Quarter Back- I don't think that this will be fully resolved in the Fall. I would lay pretty good odds that we see both Bates and Arnaud with the 1s during the spring game. Hopefully this sparks a lot of work by both of them this summer and we get a good quality QB out of this.
    3. Kick Returner- I think that, including newcomers, we will have a lot of guys trying out for this spot. Hopefully we can find an all-conference type player here.

    Well that is what I am looking forward to, how about you?



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    Re: Position Battles (Spring and Fall)

    I'm looking forward to the cheerleading tryouts! I enjoyed watching those at the Rec back in the day.


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    Re: Position Battles (Spring and Fall)

    I'd pencil in Arnaud as the starter at QB. Its his job to lose and he has 1 year more year in the system plus some game expirience over Bates working to his advantage too. I think Bates needs to consider moving to WR if he doesn't win the job, he's too talented to be sitting on the bench as we saw last season.


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    Re: Position Battles (Spring and Fall)

    You're not looking for a "me, too" post, probably, but imho you're right on target with the areas you mention.

    Some believe Bates will play WR if he's not the top quarterback; imho, no way is that going to happen. Arnaud was out with injury five games last fall. If he wins the top job, the coaches will not consider putting a less than fully prepared and practiced No. 2 on the field.

    No. 2 quarterback is a more important job, it seems to me, than a part-time WR job, particularly if Chizik and McFarland are determined to get the No. 2 some snaps come Hell or high water. The more talented Bates is, the more critical it is he remain at QB, imho.

    Jerrod Black is the key guy on the interior DL I'm looking forward to hearing about during spring ball. Is he ready to step up and start as a second-year freshman? Tough job, but maybe there's a reason we didn't go after JUCO DTs (or maybe we did and struck out?).

    Who will become the other interior DL starter? Will Nate Frere develop? Bailey Johnson played some last fall as a rs frosh, is he ready to go? Austin Alburtis hasn't been heard from lately after some early expectations, will he be in the interior mix?

    And then there are the JUCOs, Michael Tate, who was redshirted in the wake of a persistent ankle injury suffered last fall, and Chris Weir, who has one season remaining to make an impact.

    Can we get an efficient four-man rotation from this group of candidates?

    Coach McFarland, according to a report, said the linebackers will be fast. They could be pretty big, too, considering Mathis and Bell have height and weight. And Garrin, what's he looking like now after two years on campus, will he climb into the 225-230 pound range finally? Bibbs, is he healthy? He's got one and done, can he win a spot and have a good senior campaign?

    Josh Raven has been one of my faves since watching his high school video -- he was just so darn fast. His knee rehab must have gone well, because he saw quite a bit of PT last fall, didn't he? Overall, though, our LBers won't be an experienced group, it doesn't appear.

    It looks like fall camp will be crucial for developing the specialty game -- frosh kickers and other newcomers who might earn kick returning jobs, and maybe a couple or three others whose speed will earn them coverage jobs, will have to blend in with special teams then.

    And development of the secondary, only so much can happen here in the spring since some critical newcomers -- Banks, Johnson, Benton -- won't get here before summer. I recall that we were so short of bodies by the time the last game rolled around last fall, at KU, that the coaches could not put nickel and dime coverage packages on the field. These newcomers loom large in the development of the pass coverage game, don't they?

    For myself, the two key areas I'll be watching during spring drills are:

    1) Pass rush -- the front seven, starters and backups, are on campus now. Can this element of the defense, with so many inexperienced guys forced to step up on the interior and at linebacker, get better?

    2) Offensive line -- it's been reported that a coach has said perhaps only one returning starter (out of four) will keep his job (I've known the person who passed on this comment for more than 20 years, impeccable and unimpeachable source, imho).

    Seems to me as goes the offensive line, goes the team: gotta protect the new QB, maintain ball control with an efficient running game, keep the defense off the field. Don't think we've got a more experienced unit on the team than the OLine. And the young guys, apparently, are ready to give it a big shove forward.

    Spring ball, lookin' forward to it.


    Last edited by CyValley; 03-03-2008 at 11:45 AM.

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    Re: Position Battles (Spring and Fall)

    I'm kind of interested to see what is going to happen at running back. You can't argue with what A-rob did last year filling in for Bass, but Bass looked pretty good at times before the injury. If the offensive like is a good as everyone is predicting, this could be a fun position to watch!



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    Re: Position Battles (Spring and Fall)

    I think that aside from the concerns ably listed by CyValley, I want to see what either Rashawn Parker or Chris Lyle can develop as a pass rusher on the edge. We pretty much got nothing from the rush end spot last season, that can't continue.



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    Re: Position Battles (Spring and Fall)

    If Bates doesn't win the QB job, I'd be on the lookout for vultures from other BCS schools looking to snatch him away. Since he didn't redshirt last year, a decison to transfer can really only help him since he'll be allowed to use his redshirt during the transfer year.



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    Re: Position Battles (Spring and Fall)

    Losing Bates would really hurt since he's our best recruiter among the players too. Who's to say he won't win the QB job though? Remember, he was recruited to play qb even though we already had Arnaud.



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    Re: Position Battles (Spring and Fall)

    Quote Originally Posted by leg4cy View Post
    If Bates doesn't win the QB job, I'd be on the lookout for vultures from other BCS schools looking to snatch him away. Since he didn't redshirt last year, a decison to transfer can really only help him since he'll be allowed to use his redshirt during the transfer year.
    Who says he wouldn't redshirt while backing up? AA did his first season. Or, he could redshirt next year, while Tiller is the backup, so he could compete for the starting spot one day.

    Assuming he doesn't win the starting job outright.



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    Re: Position Battles (Spring and Fall)

    Last year was AA's second season, he rs'd.



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    Re: Position Battles (Spring and Fall)

    Lets consider the two QB's

    Arnaud
    -Hell of an arm
    -Real Game time Experience

    Bates
    -Speed and Ability to create
    -Has been in games, not as a QB though

    with the speed difference between these two, I could easily see that we will see both of them next year at QB. It would've been nice if they weren't the same year. If and only if Bates doesn't win the starting job in the next two springs, look for him to change positions his junior year. That is just my opinion though.



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    Re: Position Battles (Spring and Fall)

    Quote Originally Posted by Aclone View Post
    Who says he wouldn't redshirt while backing up? AA did his first season. Or, he could redshirt next year, while Tiller is the backup, so he could compete for the starting spot one day.

    Assuming he doesn't win the starting job outright.
    I was thinking the same thing. If he is a true backup and he never has to see the field then it would be great to redshirt him. He will be the best backup on the team, it is hard for Freshman QBs to be ready right away.

    I think it would be hard for Jessie Smith to lose his starting job. He is becoming a very good player.


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    Re: Position Battles (Spring and Fall)

    Quote Originally Posted by cyismydog View Post
    Last year was AA's second season, he rs'd.
    What I said. He redshirted his first season while being the primary backup.

    Bates could do the same, this season or next.



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    Re: Position Battles (Spring and Fall)

    Jesse Smith was all over the field in the Oklahoma(?) game. The one where he hurt his ankle and came back and made a ton of tackles.



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    Re: Position Battles (Spring and Fall)

    Quote Originally Posted by kingcy View Post
    I think it would be hard for Jessie Smith to lose his starting job. He is becoming a very good player.
    He's still a step slow (or more) for the pass coverage Chizik wants his middle linebacker to do in the Cover-2. I know that I don't enjoy seeing an opposing receiver rip off gaping chunks of yardage over the middle. Too much of that over the past twenty-plus years.



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