Wednesday, April 1, 2009

More Camp Thoughts

I've been trying to wade through some of the information coming out early in the week. Here some news from the past couple of days:
  • Lucas Nix finally has been put with the first team but as a right tackle. Joe Thomas is back in practice after being injured but the coaching staff has him as the second team right tackle. This move is probably just to give Nix more time without misplacing Gibbs at left tackle for now.
  • Another big story on the offensive line is the disappointing play of Robb Houser. This is a huge deal if Houser can't win this job. We have no depth at center other than a walk-on in Alex Karabin and Wayne Jones. Neither of those two guys can be full time centers at the college level yet. If we need to shuffle this line and move maybe Malecki to center we could be in rough shape.
  • Shayne Hale is having a great spring and will definitely be involved in the rotation at defensive end. I was not a fan of moving him to defensive line considering the lack of a playmaker we have at middle linebacker but if he can get on the field I'm a fan.
  • Stull lost a bunch of first team reps in practice yesterday but I read absolutely nothing into that. Spring game he will be the starter and I can't see the depth changing.
That is it for today and hopefully we get some more news leading up to the next scrimmage Stull completes 2 passes at.


rkohberger said...

I'm not worried about Houser too much. He really should be sitting out of spring practice due to his injury anyway, so it's understandable if it's physically holding him back a bit. We know he can play well already, and we have a lot of time before he actually has to. I think it's funny - Gorman's quote of:

"Houser’s demotion is the eye-opener. He suffered a fractured right ankle and surprised coaches by returning in time for spring drills, but it’s obvious that he isn’t fully recovered. Not only that, but he’s having difficulty handling Mick Williams and Myles Caragein on a daily basis."

Funny for a couple reasons - one that Gorman states up front in his article 'Don't read into the lineup changes too much' then turns around and does just that.

Secondly because ANY center in the country would have a hard time handling Mick Williams and Caragein on a daily basis - they might be two of the best DL in the business when all is said and done this season.

I also understand your frustration regarding Stull as the "starter" - but I would be way more concerned if the other two QBs weren't getting an equal number of reps. Cignetti has done a good job of rotating all three kids through the 1st, 2nd & 3rd team snaps - it's not like Stull is getting the lion's share and Bostick and Sunseri are being thrown leftovers.

Which makes me have a growing hope that just perhaps Cignetti and DW are taking this seriously.

rkohberger said...

Hope I'm not stepping on toes if your doing a piece about the Scrimmage saturday...

Things may not be 'firming up' after the second scrimmage held last Saturday, but IMO there was some heartening developments.

Your man Nix is being readied for a starting position, along with Jacobson. Houser is going to be the starting center if physically able - the concern is not his being 'outplayed' but his not coming back fully from the broken leg. Personally I think we'll see him in the opening game at center.

I don't share your rock solid belief that Stull's name is etched in stone for the starting job. I'm beginning to believe that Cignetti does have the authority to conduct a competition for 'his' starting QB. Bostick is, at this early point, outplaying the other two QBs in every way - even with his feet. My buddy who attends practices pretty regularly has said that Pat Bostick really does look and play like a different kid out there this spring. Apparently Kevin Gorman of the Tribune Review says the same thing. He also told me that Stull is practicing well too, so there is no clear front runner at this point, but Cignetti has looked at Bostick for first string snaps more and more lately. This will progress until mid-August I'm sure... but I get the feeling that Sunseri will be the odd man out come September.

I'm also wondering if Mike Cruz isn't making a case for being in the TE rotation - except we've heard nothing about how he blocks really. If he does that well, I could see DD playing more of a WR role and getting Byham and Cruz on the field at the same time. I don't feel great about our WRs at this point - some real talent there, but also all are somewhat inexperienced.

johnny said...


Interesting assessment and I agree with your thoughts for the most part. There is no way that Houser is at 100%, so I don't put much stock in his performance, especially considering the quality of DT's he's going up against. I think that Chas was right yesterday when he reiterated that a glaring flaw of the staff is the inability to have found another serviceable center in any of the previous classes.

I assume this means that Joe Thomas is the odd man out on the O-line at the moment. I had forgotten about Cruz until I read the blurb about him and Virbitsky showcasing some skills last week. Should be interesting to see if they Cig can roll out some 3 Tight End packages considering that both DD and Nate create the same matchup problems that they did last season.

In conclusion, In Bostick I Trust.