Q: Any new info on Starts medical status,
will he be back in the 2 deep this week?
A: At the presser
yesterday, Tubs said that it was a blood pressure issue and a doctor would
release him, not anyone on the training staff. If it came
down to it, probably a case for a medical redshirt.
Q: I read that Neal Brown wants to find a
primary running back and it looks like Kenny Williams is the front
runner, but would Coach Brown really keep Eric Stephens on the sidelines
for most of the snaps?
A: That's exactly
what he did against Iowa State.
If Brown believes
Kenny Williams is clearly the best option, Williams will continue to get the
lion's share of the snaps. Sentimentality and pity don't enter the picture
however: Iowa State has a very physical defense with two tremendous
run-stopping linebackers. It is possible Brown and the rest of the staff
believed the physical Williams was the best option against ISU.
Q: Any of our seniors improving their stock
for a potential NFL draft pick?
A: Love me some
On defense, the
coaches have said Cornelius Douglas has a future if he continues to
improve. The ISU game is a good first step, but remember this time last
year he was still an IR. I also think DJ has a shot. He's played both CB
and S in college, started for 4 years, he's become a
real leader of the defense. Cody Davis will probably also get a chance. He's
smart, and that definitely helps, also a 4 year
starter, but not as versatile as DJ, which will hurt him on draft boards.
Mackey is another one who will have a shot. NFL body for sure. A good season
will only help.
The real draftable talent right now is the junior class. Bullitt,
Will Smith, I would think Hyder is catching some
eyes, and maybe Porter.
Q: I'd like to know more about Art
Kaufman... Odd, that he calls plays from above. Is he a fiery guy in
practice??? Is he older so players respect him more?? Intelligent scheme guy?
A: Kaufman is far
more low key than Chad Glasgow. More
of a quiet teacher than a raving maniac.
I believe there
are two main reasons the defense is better. First and foremost, the scheme is
simpler and the players have learned it. Amazing what can happen when players
actually know their assignments on every play.
Q: I guess, what I really want to ask
is::: What is it about him that makes our defense 100x
better than last?
A: Second, John Lovett has done an astounding job teaching coverage techniques. Douglas'
bait-and-switch for the pick against Jantz could
never have happened last season. Amazing what can happen when you've got a real
secondary coach as opposed to a guy who was hired because he was related to a
blue chip recruit.
Q: Is Alex Torres or Marcus Kennard 100%?
My suspicion is
that the staff will try not to play Kennard for the rest of the season in hopes
of getting him a redshirt. They would certainly like to redshirt him.
I think Torres is
as healthy as he is ever going to be. But he'll never he as healthy as he was
Q: We had a thread earlier this week about
what areas on the team concern us fans the most. Lots of folks, including
me, answered "defensive line depth." Would you comment on our
d-line depth and if you think we have enough to get through the next five games
(heck, the rest of the season) without being ground down.
A: Defensive line
depth, while not ideal, may not be as big an issue as once feared. Hence, when
you rout your first three opponents, and get tons of three-and-outs, your
defensive front (especailly the starters) gets a lot
of rest. And even against Iowa State, the defense didn't play many snaps
because the D shut the Cyclones down so well. Factor in a
stronger-than-expected ground game, which translates to lengthier drives, and
your defense is rested even more.
DE will be in great shape if Pete Robertson continues to come along--and he
should. DT is more of a concern if Starts is forced to redshirt. Tech really
does need to stay healthy at DT.
Q: During the ISU game I had a paradigm
shift in understanding the dynamics of this years team. In the past there was a
heavy weight on the offense to cover the D. With the D's ability to
actually stop the opposition, this weight has been lightened for the offense.
Most fans were panicking in the first quarter because Doege
was not at peak performance.
Do you think the offense and Doege are also going through this new realization? Seth
certainly plays better after he's relaxed.
A: Absolutely. The
offense knows it doesn't have to score 50 to win games and that's a huge weight
off their shoulders. And hopefully, this will reduce the felt need to press and
try to make big plays. There's nothing wrong with throwing the ball away on
3rd-and-long and giving your defense a shot at stopping the other guys. The
longer the defense plays well, the more these sorts of lessons and thoughts
should sink in.