Players to take the biggest step foward next season.

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A_storm_is_comin

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Jan 9, 2021
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This is going to be an especially tough year for any of these guys to step up because they are going to have to pass a returning starter, in almost every case.
Just my opinion, but I think Tampa will be the starter with AJ at the other cornerback position by the middle of the season. Also, I think Chambers and Craig McDonald will split reps at the open safety spot. Porter will probably be are kickoff returner(not sure on that on.) And Jackson will emerge as our 2nd receiver.
 
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cyclone1209

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Nov 5, 2010
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I like that Blake Peterson pick. I know Coach Rasheed is really high on him. Do you think simmons or schweiger will start at the other guard position?
Schweiger is a fine player, on the pro football focus grades he does great in the pass and really poor in run blocking. I think overall our line is better if the 3 guards playing the most are Downing, Simmons, Hufford.
 

Cyforce

Well-Known Member
Nov 24, 2009
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This is going to be an especially tough year for any of these guys to step up because they are going to have to pass a returning starter, in almost every case.
Not really the case at those positions. A 2nd WR hasn't claimed a primary role in our offense. Personally I think Bitter could be that guy.

Then safety has an opening and hopefully we have a dogfight to fill that spot.
 
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A_storm_is_comin

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Jan 9, 2021
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Not really the case at those positions. A 2nd WR hasn't claimed a primary role in our offense. Personally I think Bitter could be that guy.

Then safety has an opening and hopefully we have a dogfight to fill that spot.
Good call. I think Bitter is a good option as well. Isn't this so amazing? We only need to worry about 2 positions instead of the entire team like years in the past.
 
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CYdTracked

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Mar 23, 2006
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Going to eliminate anyone already contributing at a high level as a starter as when I think about someone stepping up either needs to be someone that hasn't played a big role already or is going to step into a role that needs to be filled:

Jirehl Brock - to me this is the most obvious as he will be the goto #2 RB next season with Kene and Lang gone. If he can spell Hall every now and then without us missing much of a beat in the running game that will be huge
Shaw & Scates (or any WR really) - need to add a consistent deep ball threat and these 2 have shown us flashes, just need to see it more consistently now. Xavier got better as the season went on but need some guys to become more deep ball weapons so we can open up the passing game more
KR position - who replaces Kene? Jirehl and Milton probably get the 1st shots at this
Special teams - Does Assalley step up more or does one of the 2 new kickers push him for some kind of share of the kicking duties? Who will be the punter as both Rivera and Dunn were seniors, also just overall improvement on kick coverage teams as we has some lapses there especially early in the season but got better as the season progressed.
FS: Who steps up to fill White's big shoes?

With 20 of 22 starters coming back there aren't many key positions that need to "step up" substantially after a 9 win season, more of "let's not regress" is probably the biggest key. It is awesome to have this much depth and staggering of classes for a change. We've had season where we lose a key senior class and there is a huge drop off in talent the next year and it seems like we are at the point even when these guys leave we have some promising young guys behind them to hopefully take over and not see the big drop off like we have in the past.
 
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Cyforce

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Good call. I think Bitter is a good option as well. Isn't this so amazing? We only need to worry about 2 positions instead of the entire team like years in the past.
I know we saw very little of him but Bitter's big catch displayed everything your looking for in a receiver. He appears to be another Hutchinson with more eligibility remaining.

Still we can only imagine how many potential transfers are out there thinking i want to be a part of that.
 
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nrg4isu

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Dec 29, 2009
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Every year there's a surprise or two as far as development goes. This year it was Simmons in my book.

There's a 1st tier of guys who I would EXPECT to make some good steps forward: J. Brock and Scates would be at the top of that list for me. I'm hopeful that Lee is one of those guys too.

Then there's a top list of guys who we haven't really seen much of but hope they might make a big step forward: Treiber, Tampa, Jackson, Porter, etc.

Guys like Easton Dean, Rus, Blake Peterson, and Zack Petersen stand out to me as guys who could be what Simmons was this year for us. A breakout season that wasn't really expected. A kicker in this spot would be huge.
 

Frak

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Scates needs to be the guy with the biggest jump. If he does then Purdy has a legit shot at 4,000 yards and we have an offense that can put up 500 yards a game fairly easily.
Agree. Scates needs to take a step forward. If he does, that offense will be tough. Getting Milton and Jackson healthy will help too.

The other guys that I look to make a big jump are Tampa, Singleton, Suttle and Chambers. Also, if the 3 backup LBs (Smith, Vaughn, Davis) are good enough to rotate in 2-3 series a game, that will only help the team down the line.
 

Frak

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McDonald needs to add at least 15 pounds of muscle to be an every down end instead of a pass rushing specialist. Enyi was getting more interior snaps toward the end of the season. He could have an NFL future if he can put up some big numbers next fall.
Yeah, IMO there's very little chance he's ever a starter if he can't get up to 250. I mean, he's an elite pass rusher, but unless they switch to a 4-3, he's going to get worn down trying to hold up against the run. My guess is if he can't bulk up, they end up starting Peterson along with Lee and Uwazarike and then bring in McDonald on passing downs or playing him more when teams have given up on the run.
 

Cyforce

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Nov 24, 2009
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Agree. Scates needs to take a step forward. If he does, that offense will be tough. Getting Milton and Jackson healthy will help too.

The other guys that I look to make a big jump are Tampa, Singleton, Suttle and Chambers. Also, if the 3 backup LBs (Smith, Vaughn, Davis) are good enough to rotate in 2-3 series a game, that will only help the team down the line.
Scates is a guy that scares me, too many times he lined up wide covering a TE in a passing down. When I was coaching HS, one year we had a group of young receivers that had issues with formation. Finally we stopped practice and said guys it's not that hard. If you look in and see a tackle at the end of the LOS you need to cover him up. If it's a TE you need to back off. I understand our offense is more complicated but this issue really is that simple. That said i hope it's behind him and he becomes a star this fall.
 
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IsUaClone2

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May 12, 2006
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I love our defense and couldn't be prouder of it but the guy I'm looking forward to seeing is the recruit Brown, the 300+ lb quarterback that's going to play defensive tackle. If he is serviceable and the front three d-line positions can be kept fresh by rotation, we should be able to raise the pressure on the QB even more than we do now thereby reducing the threat of the medium to long pass; probably increases turnovers too.
 
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heitclone

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Jun 21, 2009
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Way up there
I feel like we'll have an elite, CFP contending type of defense, WR is the biggest position we need in order to be an elite offense. XH is a legit number 1 but we need a healthy Milton and one of the big targets to step up. We saw some flashes with Shaw, IMO he's established himself ahead of Scates, hopefully he's ready to make the next step. If he's even average, Milton returns to his soph form and XH replicates what he did this year, I really like that group, especially with Kolar and Allen in the mix.

I feel like WR, DL and the secondary are the only spots a new face would really have a legit shot at competing for PT.
 
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dualthreat

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I love our defense and couldn't be prouder of it but the guy I'm looking forward to seeing is the recruit Brown, the 300+ lb quarterback that's going to play defensive tackle. If he is serviceable and the front three d-line positions can be kept fresh by rotation, we should be able to raise the pressure on the QB even more than we do now thereby reducing the threat of the medium to long pass; probably increases turnovers too.
I think he's coming in the Spring (Now). So that's great. I have a feeling he'll be pretty raw and I'm not expecting him to contribute this fall.