Friday, March 20, 2009

Opening of Camp Thoughts

So we opened up camp yesterday and very little is going on as to be expected. I wouldn't expect any real news to start coming out until next week when they get into pads. We got an explanation as to why TJ Porter was suspended a DUI arrest. Hopefully, he can get those problems behind him and be a contributor down the road as I've always enjoyed the role he plays on the team. Let's get to a couple of stories:
  • Greg Cross worked exclusively with the wide receivers today. I'm a big fan of this because it will get the ball in his hands. I'm hoping that adding him to the receiving corp would mean that he will have packages in the offense based around him. 
  • Stull was practicing with the first team which is what I would expect at least until the Blue-Gold game. Since he was the starter last season I believe that Bostick or Sunseri will have to win this job decisively in order to jump him.
  • Brandon Lindsay was at linebacker so the position change to FB rumor was false.
  • Jordan Gibbs was the left tackle with the first team so take that for what it is. I'm not ready to go on one of my Wanny is lying rants about Nix being with the first team yet. Although if Gibbs is still playing with the first team this time next week I will be. 
After a huge scare today we are still alive in the tournament so enjoy the rest of the games tonight and this weekend. I will be back on Sunday to preview the linebacker position and give some more thoughts on the early practices.


rkohberger said...

What would DW be lying about in regards to Nix? I don't remember him ever saying that Nix was going to be a starter - what was said was that both Nix and Jacobson were going to be needed this season and would get every opportunity to play their way into the lineup. The pretty consistent thing about DW is that he obviously doesn't give a damn about recruit ratings or fan hype - if Nix isn't playing at a starter's level than he won't be starting. Isn't that what should happen?

You'd think fans would come to understand this after 4 full years of watch Wannstedt as the HC. We've seen it time and again with these highly rated "can't miss" recruits - most notably of late with Jonathan Baldwin. So much fan outrage early on in the season about Baldwin not playing every down - when it was apparent to anyone with an ounce of football knowledge the kid had some real work to do to be an every down contributor... and then the outcry died down as it became so painfully obvious. All five stars means is that the kid was good in HS and some website 'expert' thought he'd make a good college player - nowhere is it written that the player is guaranteed to be better than kids already in the program for a couple of years.

That said - I expect Nix to get PT this season and hope he wins a starting job - but that's more on Nix's shoulders than it is on DW's.

I wouldn't hold my breath to see any special packages in the offense based around Cross - maybe some plays with existing personnel to get the ball in his hands as a WR - just like any play drawn up to a WR with skill. Best Cross concentrate on catching the ball first. After that perhaps he can prove his worth as a component of the offense. But honestly, I think Cignetti has much bigger fish to fry with our offense than worrying about one specific player who has done little to warrant the extra attention. I'd prefer Cignetti put thinking about a third string WR way down on his "to-do" list, and concentrate on a QB who can get the ball to any WR on a consistent basis, or finding the right RB combination.

As to the QBs - I'd be happy if we get out of Spring Camp with no injuries to any of the top three QBs as I think Cignetti is going to need to take a hard look at all of them in the summer. But, I'd like to see summer camp open with a new QB in the #1 slot, either Bostick or take a chance on Sunseri, and give him the work he needs to be ready for the season. We know what Stull brings to the table - and I worry that because Cignetti is new he'll get fooled by Stull's practice abilities, which does not translate onto the actual playing field.

We are going to have a lot of new faces on offense and I think we need consistency in the early part of the year to get everyone on the same page and confident. The last thing we need is to start a QB and then have to replace him after the first few games.

DPJ said...

After the Sun Bowl, Wannstedt said that Jacobsen and Nix would both be starters this year.

rkohberger said...

I believe you're mistaken. DW said that Nix and Lucas were expected to be big contributors in 2009, not starters...

"Freshman tackle Lucas Nix and redshirt freshman guard Chris Jacobson will play a big role for the team next season." (DW: Jan 6, 2009)

"Wannstedt singled out linemen Chris Jacobson and Lucas Nix and quarterback Tino Sunseri as players who have and will benefit from the extra time (of bowl practice)." (Gorman on DW: Dec 16, 2008)

I spent some time going back to find anything where DW said they both (or either) would start - and I can't, even in the tapes of his press conferences. However, I found a few references to both players expected to be big contributors.

This site has done this before in regards to other players also. As a matter of fact I can't remember Wannstedt ever, over the last four years, saying that any players would start if that players hadn't already been a stater in previous season. He just doesn't do that, and to accuse him of lying is pretty poor IMO.

What you may want as a fan and what the HC needs for the team may not always be the same thing - don't confuse your disappointment with a broken promise.

DPJ said...

I'll have to find it, but I was at one of his pressers where he did say he expected Nix and Jacobsen to start.