Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Spring recap/preview Part V

Defensive Backs

BC cannot seem to develop a tall corner. Lenny Walls was a JUCO transfer who fell in our laps and Will Blackmon -- while talented -- did not work out. So now we are a back where we have been the majority of TOB’s reign -- starting two undersized corners that will have to face a series of tall receivers in a pass-focused conference. Fortunately both projected starters are serviceable and our coverage doesn’t leave them too exposed.

Senior Jazzmen Williams is listed at 5’8 but is reliable. His playing time has increased each season and I expect him to be his consistent self this year. Williams is not much of a ball hawk, only grabbing one interception last season.

DeJaun Tribble, while also short at 5’9, showed a lot of promise as a freshman. His play was so strong that he unseated the oft-mentioned Will Blackmon as a starter midway through the season. After getting a DNP and being a nonfactor in the opener, Tribble worked his way into the backfield and saw some time on special teams too. He also grabbed two picks. Like his predecessor, I expect the opponents to challenge Tribble deap. He needs to stay focused and let his speed make up for his lack of size.

Strong Safety is the strength of the defensive backfield. Much was expected of Ryan Glasper and he played well. The real surprise was Jamie Silva, who proved to be a great runner supporter and one of those hustle/energy guys that the team needs. Both should get playing time next year. The BC-issued preview makes it seem like they will split time. I would rather see Glasper move to Free Safety and keep Silva at the Strong spot. Because it is clear both show more promise than the projected starter at Free Safety -- Larry Anan. Larry looked lost at times last year and got attention with some bonehead plays. Maybe he’ll be more comfortable at FS this season. Taji Morris, Brad Mueller and Kevin Akins should all get some playing time this season too.

I worry about this group, because their adjustment to the ACC will probably be the most demanding. The Big East had some passing teams and unique offenses but not the overall depth that the ACC has. Plus last season the defensive line put so much pressure on the opposing QBs that it relieved a lot of the strain on our DBs.

I like our safeties and just hope they can help our corners. I also hope Tribble can develop into an all-conference player. After QB, this is the second biggest area of concern.

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