The straight scoop
from Colonel Mustard
Sept. 3, 2004
Well, the longest and most difficult offseason in my memory is thankfully almost over. It is finally time to tee it up. Western Illinois is a perfect game to start the season, particularly in light of the suspensions. I am disappointed that we won't see LeFlore and Isaiah in the new offense. The schedule sets up very well and we could easily have a 9-win season and not have a great team. That kind of record would get Bill off to a fast start and build momentum for what is already shaping up as a fine recruiting class.
As for this year's team, I believe that our receivers will be the strongest part of the offense. We have an all-American in Herian who will have at least 10 TDs this year. A possession receiver in always-open Ross P. Fluellen and Nunn offer the deep threats. This group is equipped to handle the new offense. Our running backs will be solid with Ross and Kriewald. Look for Jackson to have a big impact by the middle of the season. Dailey will develop into a fine QB, but the biggest threat to a good season is an injury to Dailey; because of Adams' problems we have only frosh as backups. We need to play Goodman and Davis as much as possible early in the season just in case. Left tackle is the seconnd most important position in a passing offense and we need to develop the entire line particularly since it is now possible that Richie won't be available. Going into the season, the line is the weakest part of the team. Wagner is a very well respected coach and hopefully he can coach these guys up, and since a injury to Dailey would be a huge problem this situation is a worry.
On defense we have the best DBs in the country according to several sources. The Bullocks and Washington are tremendous, but I think McPherson will get picked on a great deal. Look for Grixby to take over and McPherson to go back to nickel back, which is more suited to his skills. Carriker will become a star this year. Hopefully this is the year that Thomas realizes his potential. He and Moore will probably alternate all year. In any case we need better play out of that position and the two tackle positions. Our interior people are just a little too small for this style of defense so they must be disruptive like the Peter brothers were. This could be a breakout year for Smith. Injuries here would be a problem because depth is lacking. I believe that Sievers outplayed Ruud two years ago, so I am excited that he is starting. Bradley is a great athlete and Ruud a three-year starter. Again depth is thin, so injuries will hurt quickly.
We have great athletes to return kicks, so I anticipate more big plays from that part of our team. Koch is a wildcard, but he has a big leg. He is replacing the MVP of last year's team, Larson. Even though DeAngelis is the starting kicker, something seems to go wrong with him when the lights come on. I think Dyches will have his job back soon.
The bottom line is that our defense is the strength of the team and the schedule is manageable. So if the O-line holds-up and we avoid injuries, we have a chance to win the North, which would be a huge thing in a transition year. The longest offseason in history will be over tomorrow, it can't happen soon enough for me.
Keep the Faith, GBR,