Friday, August 21, 2009

Depth Chart Speculation

I skipped the last few days of practice coverage due to a bit of a hectic schedule outside the blog. Before the scrimmage tomorrow which will pretty much decide every position battle I thought I would give how my thoughts on how I see the depth chart shaking out. Remember some of this is speculation on my behalf but I would like to see how I do:


QB: Stull/Sunseri/Bostick (With Bostick in a position to take a redshirt barring injury or poor play)
RB: Lewis/Burns/Graham
FB: Hynoski/Collier
WR: Baldwin/McGee/Turner/Wright/Saddler
TE: Byham/Dickerson
LT: Pinkston
LG: Thomas/Jacobson (This is going to come down to the wire but I just have a feeling seniority will win this battle at least for the opening day spot)
C: Houser
RG: Malecki
RT: Nix


DE: Sheard/Romeus/Hale/Lindsey
DT: Williams/Karagein/Mustakas/Hargrove
OLB: Williams
MLB: Gunn/Mason
OLB: Gruder/Murray
CB: Berry/Chappel/Gary/Holley
S: DeCicco/Brown
S: Taglianetti/Fields

I didn't do the full 2 deep just the people who are going to start and see playing time. If I was picking the the starting lineup the only two positions I would change are QB, LG, and MLB. On paper this is a very competitive team, it really all depends on the QB and OL play on offense. The defense should be extremely good.

I'll have some thoughts on the scrimmage over the weekend.


rkohberger said...

I'm curious as to why you'd start Jacobson at LG, even as all the reports from camp have Thomas consistently outplaying him.

Stull v Sunseri is interesting and today's scrimmage will be the key I think - although it looks like Stull has gotten more consistent and started to outplay Sunseri over the last few days... at least according to the beat writers.

The QB position is one where fans are clamoring for "whoever plays the best to start"... but then on the other hand I've read many posters wanting Jacobson to start over Thomas based apparently on recruiting hype alone.

This has been a good camp so far and the offense is really starting to put it together - and beat that good defense in straight up play. I think we'll be a pretty strong team on both sides of the line this season, which means good things.

rkohberger said...

Forgot the MLB choices you make - I could see Mason starting at MLB if there was no other choice, but there is, and it's one who has experience in the system. MLB calls the plays in Bennett's defenses so I think you need that SR in there over the true FR. Three weeks of camp is very little time when you are asking that player to make split second calls based on offensive shifts prior to the snap.

Obviously Mason has huge skills and will probably see a lot of playing time this season should we get comfortable leads in some games - or if an injury occurs. But DW is all about eliminating risk to minimize mistakes on the field - so I understand why he & Bennett will go with Gunn. Lastly, I think Gunn will be a pleasant surprise at MLB... he's smart as a whip, dedicated as hell and has some real skill of his own. I think our LBs across the board will do well in 2009.

Danny said...

I'd start Jacobsen over Thomas because even though it is just camp, we know what Thomas can't do. For the future of the program it is better to play Lumpy now so that he isn't inexperienced down the road. Plus he has a higher ceiling than Thomas who has never been the same player he was his freshman year.

The MLB doesn't have to call the plays. Revis was in charge of the plays during his last season here. We could even use this as a way to break in Greg Williams as a future leader and let him be in charge for the next few years. I just don't see why it has to be so position specific.

Lastly, it doesn't matter in terms of camp performance, Stull will be the starter. Wanny has said so, end of story. Stull is performing better right now and he needs to keep it up if we want to win the big east under him.

Elmo said...

Thomas is much more filled out this year, he busted it with Buddy, a change from years past.

I think Lumpy will get the start because of potential, this is somewhat of a rebuilding year and a 2010 line of Pinky, Lumpy, Center (Gaskins, Turnley..etc.), Malecki, and Nix would be pretty killer. Especially if Lumpy has a year of playing experience under his belt.

I think Scoot will end up starting at SS when all is said and done. Tags has worked his ass off and he's a great story, but I think he needs to bulk up a little bit because I don't think he can stop the run at all.

J Jones said...

I think Thomas is an extremely poor pass blocker. Last season he was the weak link of the line. Jacobson is half recruiting hype half I have never seen him play as badly as I have seen Thomas.

The MLB calling the plays is totally BS. Like Danny said Revis called the plays here. Having a freshman at the position isn't what Wanny would do though.

I think Stull won himself the job with one great practice yesterday. That will be the reason he gets the nod.

Danny said...

Elmo, I believe that Malecki is a senior this year (another wasted red shirt)

How come no one brings that up. We know Dorin wanted to play as a frosh....fine. But why waste Nix, DeCicco, and Malecki's redshirts for a few plays that don't matter.

Jones, Revis called the D under Rhoads, but I don't see why the middle linebacker HAS to be the guy to call the plays.

johnny said...

Didn't Torrie Cox also call the plays from Safety at one point?

Also, Elmo, while your 2010 line is killer, Danny is correct as this is Malecki's last year of eligibility.

I don't look at it as a wasted redshirt from the standpoint that we were thin at d-line his Freshmen year, but if they were going to move him to o-line all along, then it may have been a waste not to start him there from the get go.

Elmo said...

Slipped up there on Malecki's eligibility. Thanks for the correction.

Ray Graham was a monster today. I don't think he'll be first on the depth chart but it's certainly encouraging to see from our top recruit of the class.

Danny said...

I would love Graham to take the job, but I'm thinking it will be Lewis.

Any chance we can not use Turner this year?

rkohberger said...

I suppose that a DB or Safety could call the plays - but you are referencing what happened under a different DC with Rhodes - but it's my understanding that with Bennett he has the MLB as the defensive play caller.

But hey - if Mason is so good you can't keep him off the field, then I'm all for shifting responsibilities to get him in there - and from the looks of Saturday's scrimmage he just may be. Some beat writers speculate that Gunn could slide over, apparently to take Gruder's proposed slot and make room for Mason. That would be an extremely athletic, and IMO effective, LB corps... Williams, Mason & Gunn.

I guess nothing happened on offense that would change any staff member's minds about QB yesterday - both Sunseri and Stull didn't fare so well. Stull was the worst of the three, with Sunseri close on his heels - Sunseri's one TD pass was an excellent bit of running on a short pass play by Graham.

What cracks me up about this QB battle (laughing through tears I guess) is that the kid who is the most consistently successful in both practice and scrimmages is being groomed for either the #3 role or a redshirt. Pat Bostick can't seem to catch a break here at PITT.

I do think that the staff has given both Stull and Sunseri equal opportunity to show what they can do, and it's just too bad that Sunseri hasn't been able to grasp his chance - nothing he has done this preseason has separated him from the other two IMO and made me think that he was the clear cut guy to start - even if he does or doesn't have a real shot at it. Both he and Stull are so inconsistent that it's hard to say one is so much better prepared to start than the other. I think fans want him more for the possibilities he could bring at that position - his 'upside' as it were, and I can understand that. But, if you look strictly at this camp's overall production by those guys I don't see any real difference between the two at this point.

How great to have the opposite situation in the RB competition though, huh? There we have two kids who are both kicking ass on the field and making it a hard decision to pick a starter. Either way I think they both see PT and both do well for us - and we may need that desperately.

I'd bet Tags starts at SS... he seems to be pretty good against the run, at least when I've seen him in there, and he's so damn quick (as opposed to fast) Tags just takes perfect angles to get the job done. Fields certainly is intriguing though - there's not a bad choice between two kids there IMO.

Finally I guess Lumpy/Thomas may be much the same situation as the RBs - both kids are doing well this camp so we seem to have a good player no matter who wins that job, and more importantly some depth should one go down.

Danny said...

RKO, you hit the nail right on the head with everything you said buddy.

Especially with Bostick, I feel for the guy.