Unit Ratings, '08 to '09
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    Unit Ratings, '08 to '09

    ’09 Ratings and Projected Improvements
    On a scale from 1-10, with my rating from ’08, a projected rating for ’09, and then the marginal improvement or decrease.

    Defensive Backs
    By my estimation the weakest unit on the team last season, especially after Chris Brown was hurt in the Spring. What had been a decent safety tandem faltered, cornerbacks shuffled in and out all season, and Leonard Johnson, while solidifying one spot, didn’t really know how to cover. Poor tackling and coverage exacerbated the shortcomings of the units in front of them. This time around, Kennard Banks and LJ could be a very good pair of cover corners, and David Sims should help elevate safety play.
    ’08: 3 Projected ’09: 7 +/-: +4
    Note: This ’09 rating could go a notch or two higher.

    Linebackers
    The best thing we heard about these guys last season was that they could really run. Well, except for one obvious exception. That turned out to be the next thing to iirrelevant…with one obvious exception. Added experience and what appears to be some actual depth this time around may make a difference in overall performance—not to mention getting actual help from the units around them.
    ’08: 4 Projected ’09: 5 +/-: +1
    Note: I might be being harsh on their ’08 performance. After all, this group often had next to nothing as a safety net behind them.

    Defensive Line
    A lot of questions, the main thing that I’m seeing is the return of some injured players, and the possible emergence of a couple of others. Better depth in the middle could prove to be a real asset, and Chris Lyle looks like an asset any way you look at it.
    ’08: 5 Projected ’09: 6 +/-: +1
    Note: Lots of question marks, including young players and depth outside, so it’s hard to be overly enthusiastic.

    Special Teams
    The one fly in the ointment last season was punt returns, the coverage units were good, outside of a single lapse in the Iowa game. The kicking game was solidified, and should be a strength this time around. Now, those punt returns…
    ’08: 7 Projected ’09: 8 +/-: +1
    Note: A lot depends on the coverage units maintaining consistency.

    Offensive Line
    These guys were young and untested a year ago, and kept getting hit by injuries. With just about everyone back, this unit is ready to turn the corner to being a team strength.
    ’08: 4 Projected ’09: 6 +/-: +2
    Note: Could end up a notch or two higher.

    Tight End
    These guys were one of the bright spots last season as the year wore on, though they didn’t make a ton of catches. Some youth begind the principal starters, as well.
    ’08: 6 Projected ’09: 8 +/-: +2
    Note: Again, could bump a notch higher.

    Wide Receiver
    Throughout the season last fall, R.J. Sumrall was the only real playmaker. This time around there are several players with substantially more in that direction.
    ’08: 6 Projected ’09: 8 +/-: +2
    Note: I won’t say the sky is the limit, but perhaps for Iowa State’s receiving history, it is.

    Running Back
    Depth was, at best, hard working a year ago, and should be somewhat improved this time around (along with the starter), but there’s no telling until the kickoff.
    ’08: 6 Projected ’09: 7 +/-: +1
    Note: If we have a thousand yard rusher, or a true workhorse emerges, add a notch. Heck, if someone scores ten touchdowns on the ground, add one for that, too.

    Quarterback
    Things were promising until the backup quit and Austen hurt his shoulder, bringing a stumble for a couple of games, then a precarious balancing act. This time around I expect the backup to stick around—and add a little bit more to the team.
    ’08: 7 Projected ’09: 9 +/-: +2
    Note: Might be pushing it, but I think that Austen is going to have a big season.

    Coaching
    One thing that I can say for certain is that the coordinators, at least, certainly have better credentials than their predecessors. I hope that we don’t miss the departed ST coach, who impressed.
    ’08: 6 Projected ’09: 8 +/-: +2
    Note: I know that a brand new staff and first time head coach will prove to have some flaws right off the bat. We just don’t know what they are yet. Still, they already look better than the last bunch at the same stage.




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    Re: Unit Ratings, '08 to '09

    Ill have some of that KoolAid!

    Our Oline gets the same grade as the D line?



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    Re: Unit Ratings, '08 to '09

    Quote Originally Posted by ajk4st8 View Post
    Ill have some of that KoolAid!

    Our Oline gets the same grade as the D line?
    Both are really unproven. Especially reshuffled in their current alignment, it might take the OL some time to settle in. We'll see.

    I might have been conservative with the OL guys, but they seem to be the key to the offense, so I may as well be hard on them.




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    Re: Unit Ratings, '08 to '09

    I do agree that the additions of a healthy Black and Johnson could be huge on the Dline.



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    Re: Unit Ratings, '08 to '09

    Quote Originally Posted by ajk4st8 View Post
    I do agree that the additions of a healthy Black and Johnson could be huge on the Dline.
    Especially if they all stay healthy. depth has a quality all it's own.




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    Re: Unit Ratings, '08 to '09

    Quote Originally Posted by Aclone View Post
    ’09 Ratings and Projected Improvements
    On a scale from 1-10, with my rating from ’08, a projected rating for ’09, and then the marginal improvement or decrease.

    Defensive Backs
    By my estimation the weakest unit on the team last season, especially after Chris Brown was hurt in the Spring. What had been a decent safety tandem faltered, cornerbacks shuffled in and out all season, and Leonard Johnson, while solidifying one spot, didn’t really know how to cover. Poor tackling and coverage exacerbated the shortcomings of the units in front of them. This time around, Kennard Banks and LJ could be a very good pair of cover corners, and David Sims should help elevate safety play.
    ’08: 3 Projected ’09: 7 +/-: +4
    Note: This ’09 rating could go a notch or two higher.

    Linebackers
    The best thing we heard about these guys last season was that they could really run. Well, except for one obvious exception. That turned out to be the next thing to iirrelevant…with one obvious exception. Added experience and what appears to be some actual depth this time around may make a difference in overall performance—not to mention getting actual help from the units around them.
    ’08: 4 Projected ’09: 5 +/-: +1
    Note: I might be being harsh on their ’08 performance. After all, this group often had next to nothing as a safety net behind them.

    Defensive Line
    A lot of questions, the main thing that I’m seeing is the return of some injured players, and the possible emergence of a couple of others. Better depth in the middle could prove to be a real asset, and Chris Lyle looks like an asset any way you look at it.
    ’08: 5 Projected ’09: 6 +/-: +1
    Note: Lots of question marks, including young players and depth outside, so it’s hard to be overly enthusiastic.

    Special Teams
    The one fly in the ointment last season was punt returns, the coverage units were good, outside of a single lapse in the Iowa game. The kicking game was solidified, and should be a strength this time around. Now, those punt returns…
    ’08: 7 Projected ’09: 8 +/-: +1
    Note: A lot depends on the coverage units maintaining consistency.

    Offensive Line
    These guys were young and untested a year ago, and kept getting hit by injuries. With just about everyone back, this unit is ready to turn the corner to being a team strength.
    ’08: 4 Projected ’09: 6 +/-: +2
    Note: Could end up a notch or two higher.

    Tight End
    These guys were one of the bright spots last season as the year wore on, though they didn’t make a ton of catches. Some youth begind the principal starters, as well.
    ’08: 6 Projected ’09: 8 +/-: +2
    Note: Again, could bump a notch higher.

    Wide Receiver
    Throughout the season last fall, R.J. Sumrall was the only real playmaker. This time around there are several players with substantially more in that direction.
    ’08: 6 Projected ’09: 8 +/-: +2
    Note: I won’t say the sky is the limit, but perhaps for Iowa State’s receiving history, it is.

    Running Back
    Depth was, at best, hard working a year ago, and should be somewhat improved this time around (along with the starter), but there’s no telling until the kickoff.
    ’08: 6 Projected ’09: 7 +/-: +1
    Note: If we have a thousand yard rusher, or a true workhorse emerges, add a notch. Heck, if someone scores ten touchdowns on the ground, add one for that, too.

    Quarterback
    Things were promising until the backup quit and Austen hurt his shoulder, bringing a stumble for a couple of games, then a precarious balancing act. This time around I expect the backup to stick around—and add a little bit more to the team.
    ’08: 7 Projected ’09: 9 +/-: +2
    Note: Might be pushing it, but I think that Austen is going to have a big season.

    Coaching
    One thing that I can say for certain is that the coordinators, at least, certainly have better credentials than their predecessors. I hope that we don’t miss the departed ST coach, who impressed.
    ’08: 6 Projected ’09: 8 +/-: +2
    Note: I know that a brand new staff and first time head coach will prove to have some flaws right off the bat. We just don’t know what they are yet. Still, they already look better than the last bunch at the same stage.

    The staff last year was worth a 4 or 5. You rated them too high. They sure looked green although they had been n football awhile.


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    Re: Unit Ratings, '08 to '09

    Coaching might be more than a 6 to 8. I would say a 3 to 7.

    I think DL might need to stay the same for now, with better upside potential.

    By the end of the year, QB might be a 9, but let's not freak out if everything doesn't look great initially. AA has had to learn his third different offense.



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    Re: Unit Ratings, '08 to '09

    AA has to feel like that really good backup pro QB that gets traded from team to team and has to learn a new offense every year or two. Might help him when that time comes, because pro teams will know he can do it.


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    Re: Unit Ratings, '08 to '09

    [QUOTE=CycloneWarning;1220080]Coaching might be more than a 6 to 8. I would say a 3 to 7.
    QUOTE]

    I'm with you on this one. Game day coaching last year made Mac look like the king of halftime adjustments. Until he's coached a game, hard to go higher than 7 on Paul - certainly his Coordinators have a better pedigree than Shizzles. Call it Koolaid, but I think before he's done Paul will be recognized as a star. Lord knows he's got good gene pool.



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    Re: Unit Ratings, '08 to '09

    Wow, pass me the Kool Aide. Unless this was on a 15 point scale of course!



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    Re: Unit Ratings, '08 to '09

    That's some serious optimism!



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    Re: Unit Ratings, '08 to '09

    Geez, you are giving Chizik and Co. a 6 out of 10? No way, their game day follies would be at best a 4 in my book. No huddle, yet still not getting plays in? That's terrible.

    I'll agree with some that your are a tad optimistic on a lot of this stuff. Obviously, we'll just have to wait and see. I definitely think we'll see improvement last year. Returning starters seems to be a bonus for every other team, why not ours. I'm just afraid a few of your marks for last year, especially on the Defense, might be a tad high.



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