Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Lead Up To The Kickoff: Day 4

The marathon of content continues here at The Cat Basket because thats how we roll. To stay on pace with Joe Paterno I'm going to teach DPJ how to play Quarterback on a Playstation, the PSOne. Two questions; how does Paterno know about Playstation and what game did he use to train Morelli on, NFL Gameday 97? Luckily Coach Wannstedt has followed suit and is training Kevan Smith on Guitar Hero II to play Psychobilly Freakout.

Today we are going to take a look at the secondary. Overall this group will need to rebound from the loss of first round pick Darrell Revis. Last year, Revis was a force that shut the opposition's passing game down. You could count on your hands the number of balls thrown at Revis that were caught. Outside of Revis the secondary has deal with another hit in the loss of promising safety Elijah Fields. Without Fields the secondary loses a bit of the edge and physicality.

At cornerback the guy that has been tipped to replace Revis, sophomore Aaron Berry has looked great in camp. He is a quick corner that can make plays on the ball, whether or not he can come close to replacing Revis remains to be seen. Opposite Berry is Kenard Cox who needs to get a quick start to the season. Cox hasn't been impressive in his time here, he certainly isn't Torrie. If Cox has problems he is backed up by speedster Lowell Robinson, again another guy who has to prove himself at the cornerback position. Redshirt freshman Ricky Gary should see some time in the dime package. Overall the cornerback position is one of uncertainty but look out for Berry this year, the guy has all the tools to be another great Pitt corner.

Safety is a position that has a little more certainty in the level of performance. Free Safety Eric Thatcher is the star of this group. Thatcher is the biggest hitter on the team and is a flat out ballhawk. Any receiver who touches the ball across the middle is going to pay a big price to Thatcher. He looks like a guy who could be All Big East if he stays outta injury trouble. At Strong Safety Mike Phillips is a solid, if unspectacular player. Phillips will always be in position to make plays and brings a senior presence to the secondary. On the bench is impact freshman Dom Decicco who looks like a star in the making. Hopefully, he gets on the special teams from game one and is worked into the secondary throughout the year. Jovani Chappel is an athletic kid who will continue to contribute on special teams.

I think the play of the secondary really hinges on one guy, Aaron Berry, he has to be able to lockdown every teams best reciever. Thatcher will be out there trying to prove something after the injury and that should scare everyone in the Big East. Overall I'm not as excited about this group as I am about other positions but if Berry lives up to his promise and Thatcher kills someone we could have something here.

Tommorrow I'll do two articles, linebackers and running backs, then special teams on Friday. Everybody go out to the bonfire tommorrow and show these guys your support, don't wait until week 4 to jump on the bandwagon. Mobb Deep said there ain't such things as halfway crooks and at The Cat Basket there ain't such thing as halfway fans.

No comments: