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  1. #1
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    Little things for next year...

    What are some of the things everyone is looking to see next year? Obviously, we know what the big picture goals are, like AA learning when NOT to force the issue, or Sed Johnson to put that raw talent to work, or Knott, Klein, and Taufoo cracking skulls at LB, but I'm talking at a less obvious level. Here's a couple things I'd really like to see next year.

    1) Tiller on the field on a regular basis, and not under center.

    Unless Tiller grows leaps and bounds, and Arnaud regresses this spring, AA is going to be the starting QB. However, Tiller is just too athletic to stay on the bench. Why couldn't he be a Kerry Meier type player? Still listed as the back up QB, practicing the position some, but out there catching balls, running the ball, etc. With him, Reynolds, and AA out there, we could have 3 guys with experience throwing the football. Lots of wild options out of sets like this.

    2) Another RB to step up.

    As we learned this year, being the every down back is going to take a toll on A-Rob. We've got a good line and a stable of seemingly talented running backs. I'd love to see Beau, Bo, James, or Shontrelle (crossing fingers on that one) step up and see who can give A-Rob a breather, or allow us to run 2 RB sets, or line A-Rob out at the flank and use him on bubble screens, and out in space. I think a 2nd or 3rd home run threat out of the backfield would really open up this offense.

    3) One of the newcomers at WR to make a splash.
    It would be great to see some of the guys like Blanton and Jennert provide a lift at a position that needs it.

    4) A replacement for Catlett.
    Sure, he made a really big mistake in the KSU game, but I think we can agree that he had a very productive career at ISU, and made some big plays in his tenure. Franklin was very underutilized this year, and I think he'll have a BIG senior year, but it would be nice to see Hammerschmidt or Bykowski step up here.

    5) A replacement for Brandtner.
    I haven't seen much talk, but this is a BIG loss. Maybe the single most important player we lose this off season. Brandtner came up big quite a few times, and it's hard to not think we'll miss his cannon leg. Hopefully Powell can do it. I remember thinking the same thing when Troy Blankenship graduated.

    I didn't cover much on defense, so I'm curious to see what you guys are looking for.


    In 1984, I was hospitalized for approaching perfection.

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    Re: Little things for next year...

    Good analysis of the offense and I agree, but would add that I think Darius Reynolds could be the perfect receiver for the spread and could give the offense a big lift. AA should be better in his second year with the spread and with all the returners I think the offense will have a very good year. It will have to considering the schedule.



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    Re: Little things for next year...

    I'll give the D a try:
    1) Someone on the D Line stepping up as a pass rusher:
    Finding a consistent pass rush would go a long way to helping our DBs in coverage and help our inexperienced LBs by keeping blockers off them. Top candidate would obviously be Rony Nelson but look for Woods (from the DT spot) or Willie Scott to potentially make plays here. Maggit was also touted as our best pass rusher at one point so maybe he can get things going.

    2) Safety to replace Smith:
    James Smith made his home at FS for most of his time at ISU. One of the leading tacklers in several games (not really a good thing), he did have a nose for the ball in run support. Hopefully someone can step in and play the pass from that spot. While Smith was not a liability in coverage, it was not his strength. Givens or O'Connell are the likely replacements here but Adrian Bennett could get a look also.

    3) New LBs more athletic than this years:
    With an entirely new LB core, we have to hope for athletisism and instincts to offset the lack of experience. If we get 3 LB with the athletic skills of Raven or btter we will be in good shape and probably won't see a huge drop off in production. At this point, I would predict the following starters: Klein/Tou'ou'fo(sp?) replacing Smith (significant upgrade in athletisism), Knott replaing Garrin (slight upgrade), and Lattimer/Mattison replacing Raven when we use 3 LBs (no significant upgrde here).

    I didn't intend to ramble like this so I'll stop for now.



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    Re: Little things for next year...

    I'll go with take some shots down the field, but do so when the defense allows it. With our running game, we should be able to suck the safeties up a bit, but it seems like we've been fooled by the defense at times, and go deep when there is a safety over the top.



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    Re: Little things for next year...

    Plain and simple... our offense has to get a LOT better. If our defense, with all the senior losses, is as good as this year's defense was, we will be very succesful as long as the offense improves by leaps and bounds IMO.

    Simply, we do not have the amount of losses on the offensive side as we do on the defensive side. The offense MUST step it up this year. Wally Burnham has done wonders for this team thus far. Tom Herman has not IMO. I like Herman and I think he will get it done, but his offense stunk this year. Look at where we are ranked in most offensive categories. It truly is offensive!

    And I think it begins with the QB. AA has to get a lot better. And he knows it. He had a bad year... period. No other way to look at it. Yes, he had injuries, but who doesn't? He had a bad year. No way to sugarcoat it. If you had know he'd throw 14 TDs and 13 INT's going into the year, what kind of record would you have predicted? The fact is, the defense played a lot better this year, and we had a running game. Without those things, we would not have won a game with the play we got from the QB position. Sorry if that offends anyone.

    Second... our WR's MUST either get better OR we better have some really good guys coming in. Herman himself said that we were masters of taking a 5 yd hitch pass and getting 4 yds out of it. We need to take those 5 yd hitch passes and get 10-15 yds out of them. Our WR's don't do anything special after making the catch. I think Money, Lenz, and Darks were the only ones that could do this. But Hamilton, AA's number one target, could not do that.

    So, I think, if we can get the same defensive performance next year, and combine that with an offense that can have another 1100 yd rusher, but will also have a QB with 25+ TDs and 10 INT's or less... we could be VERY good.

    Offense will be the key. We cannot rank right around 100th in the nation in offense under Tom Herman next year. It just cannot happen.



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    Re: Little things for next year...

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclonepride View Post
    I'll go with take some shots down the field, but do so when the defense allows it. With our running game, we should be able to suck the safeties up a bit, but it seems like we've been fooled by the defense at times, and go deep when there is a safety over the top.
    That was the problem with the Iowa game. They were geared up to stop the passing game, and we kept trying to make it happen, even though the running game was working. I think Herman adjusted well over the course of the year, to playing to our strengths, and interceptions aside, Arnaud's accuracy got a lot better over the year (he quit throwing it into the dirt). I'd like to see a little more aggressiveness this year, and by that I don't mean deep shots as much as I mean a little more trickery, and just overall utilization of all the talent we have.


    In 1984, I was hospitalized for approaching perfection.

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    Re: Little things for next year...

    Defense is my number one concern. I think we have the offensive components in place to do well and year 2 of the Hermen system should flow much smoother. A healthy quarterback with a strong grip will make a big difference.

    We need to improve in all areas of defense to be good. Special Teams and turnover margin are about the only postives I found on defense this past year. Don't get me wrong; Wally did a wonderful job, but they need to get better. Pass defense in particular needs to improve. We gotta be able to put pressure on quarterbacks.


    Last edited by Bobber; 01-09-2010 at 12:09 PM.

  8. #8
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    Re: Little things for next year...

    Quote Originally Posted by Al_4_State View Post

    1) Tiller on the field on a regular basis, and not under center.

    Unless Tiller grows leaps and bounds, and Arnaud regresses this spring, AA is going to be the starting QB. However, Tiller is just too athletic to stay on the bench. Why couldn't he be a Kerry Meier type player? Still listed as the back up QB, practicing the position some, but out there catching balls, running the ball, etc. With him, Reynolds, and AA out there, we could have 3 guys with experience throwing the football. Lots of wild options out of sets like this.
    I agree that Tiller could be a great weapon in this capacity, but it will not happen until we have a capable option at QB #3. Kansas had this with Pick. Hopefully Capella, Barnett, or even Beuker progress to that point.



  9. #9
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    Re: Little things for next year...

    I look for several guys in the 2010 recruiting class to have an impact in 2010.

    1. Rony Nelson
    2. Anthony Young
    3. Chris Young
    4. Durrell Givens

    And then guys like Benton, Reynolds and Klein will also improve and mature into their own.



  10. #10
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    Re: Little things for next year...

    Excellent point on Brantner. Who will replace him?

    Can they run 20 yards?


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  11. #11
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    Re: Little things for next year...

    2 things:

    1.) Pressure in the backfield WITHOUT having to blitz

    2.) A quick slant to a WR who has the skill to take it to the house



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    Re: Little things for next year...

    We need the defensive line to get a pass rush. That will solve a lot of the problems we had this year in pass defense.
    On offense, we need a passing game.



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    Re: Little things for next year...

    Tiller, IMO, will be the third string QB next year allowing him to play in the slot. Jarred Barnett already runs the current offense in high school and he runs it very, very well. He makes better reads than AA does and throws the ball better. Maybe not as hard yet, but with more accuracy. He's quicker and shiftier than AA. I have very little doubt that JB is the starter come the 2011-2012 season.

    The only way that JT is second string next season, is if JB uses his RS. Which is possible because JB could probably use some more weight room time.



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    Re: Little things for next year...

    Quote Originally Posted by Stewo View Post
    Tiller, IMO, will be the third string QB next year allowing him to play in the slot. Jarred Barnett already runs the current offense in high school and he runs it very, very well. He makes better reads than AA does and throws the ball better. Maybe not as hard yet, but with more accuracy. He's quicker and shiftier than AA. I have very little doubt that JB is the starter come the 2011-2012 season.

    The only way that JT is second string next season, is if JB uses his RS. Which is possible because JB could probably use some more weight room time.
    Why don't you think Tiller has a future at qb?



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    Re: Little things for next year...

    Cornerbacks recognizing and getting off their blocks faster, both against the run and to shut down the WR bubble screen.

    Recognition of the RB headed out to the flats as the dump-off receiver, and adjusting to pick him up before he can get the ball with some space. It seemed like against some of our better opponents (A&M in particular comes to mind) we were so scared of giving up the big play we would sell out against it, leaving Johnson to dump it off to the RB who didn't have anyone within 5 yards of him.



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