Sunday, June 12, 2011

2011 Position Previews: Running backs

New season. New format. Instead of a digestible combo of factoids and opinions, I am going to write in a more narrative, free style post. As always, feedback is appreciated.


Do you think Montel Harris knows who Rodney Dangerfield is? Because I sort of feel like his entire BC career has been about "No respect."

Harris is poised to own every school rushing record but no one seems that interested. "Too small" -- he carries tacklers like no other little man in the ACC. Third offense in four years -- no big deal. Return kicks -- he's done it. Return punts -- check. Harris is even a good pass catcher.

I don't think we appreciate how great Montel Harris is. Think about the Florida State game from last year. Despite some huge gains, many BC fans bemoaned Harris's lack of speed. The general opinion seems to be that he's very good but not great. I disagree with that sentiment. Harris is great. Yet my fear for this year is not the new offense. What has me slightly concerned is his knee. I fear that a nagging injury he might not have the crescendo to his career that he deserves.


As I run on and on about Harris being under appreciated, I am indirectly overlooking the rest of our backfield. Andre Williams has the power. He has the speed. He runs people over and gets fans excited. Despite the glimpses he's still unknown and that unknown quality will generate plenty of talk among the fans this year. Let's establish the Williams questions now: Will he get the carries to make an impact? Will he adjust to the new offense? Can he be patient waiting for holes to open and reading his blocks? Can he become a pass catcher? Will he get a few snaps as fullback?


Remember Deuce Finch? Sidelined by mono and then a redshirt, we haven't seen him on the field in a season and a half. Long layoffs do weird things. Some guys come back renewed and motivated. Others never regain their form. Who knows what we can expect from Finch.


Tahj Kimble is another youtube and message board favorite. He's from the same area as Montel with a similar style. You know what that means? Nothing. It's a crowded backfield. However, Kimble or Finch or even Williams will have their chances to make a mark. Special teams or as a change of pace. And in a way that is perfect. We've lacked a sense of urgency on offense for a long time. We need hungry guys. Guys looking to make a difference. One of these guys will make a big play.


We have some other guys, but I doubt any will get real playing time. Another unknown is if and how Rogers will use a traditional fullback.


As you put together these previews the questions surrounding BC pile up. But running back is one area without worry. We are experienced. We are deep and we have a variety of styles. Plus we have one of the most underrated players in the country.

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17 Comments:

At 1:24 AM, Blogger mod34b said...

"like"

 
At 9:13 AM, Blogger Erik said...

Agreed about the knee. In your previous post you mentioned the late scratch in the bowl game as your concern. Well at the Spring Game, as I'm sure you've heard, he took the first snap and got gang tackled and was gimpy the rest of the day on the sideline. With both of those it sounds like every time he gets better it is easily tweaked.

At RB you're always getting hit in the knees. A WR like Wes Welker can avoid contact to the knee by diving and squaring up his shoulders after a bad knee injury. Running backs never know where contact is coming from.

The one thing I feel good about - I'm glad we have the depth to limit Montel's touches instead of giving him 35 carries a game. He deserves to finish the season healthy and have an NFL shot.

 
At 10:06 AM, Blogger Thomas said...

Interesting you use Wes Welker as an example since he missed a whole postseason with a torn knee ligament.

 
At 11:13 AM, Blogger mod10aeagle said...

The biggest question about our backfield is whether they'll have any daylight to run to.

 
At 11:54 AM, Blogger Erik said...

Yeah, Welker was injured in January and was back on the field for August pre-season games. Fast recovery, and managed to make it through the whole year without a bad relapse mostly because of his ability to avoid hard contact in the open field.

 
At 2:20 PM, Blogger JBQ said...

Harris was used until he dropped. His real problem is PTSD. He was put into "combat" too many times. I salute him but it looks like he is threw. We'll just have to wait and see if Rogers can straighten out a "big mess".

 
At 2:49 PM, Blogger jrtmurphy said...

Welker had an acl. A meniscal tear will be fine. Yes, he may be apprehensive, but by fall he will be fine. Does a RB like Harris need a big spring? RB's don't have a big adjustment to new systems.

I have had three knee scopes for meniscal tears. Most get 100% by 3 months.

 
At 4:17 PM, Blogger Ry said...

Scott Bradley up to no good

 
At 6:10 PM, Blogger Marshall University Thundering Blog said...

I see you all are playing @UCF this year. Hope to catch it on television!

Good luck, Eagles. I hope you schedule Marshall in the future. I'd love to make a road trip to Boston and to see you all in Huntington.

 
At 7:32 PM, Blogger Dan said...

JBQ - Nice try but Ninjas don't get PTSD.

I think the thing Montel will benefit most from this year is variety in the gameplan. Swigert, Amidon and Momah are not great but definitely serviceable and Larmond adds a deep threat element to that group. Pair that with Rogers figuring out in 1 month that we have great TEs and should probably use them(something Poppa Tranqs didn't realize in two years) and all of sudden opposing defenses will be unable to stack the box anymore. And even if they do, Deuce Finch and Andre Williams are battering rams and should help soften up defenses for him.

Assuming his knee is ok, Montel should benefit greatly from not having to be the main option any longer.

 
At 7:38 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Dan - Montel is still the main option. The key is that he is no longer the only option in the backfield. I'm looking forward to a big year from Harris and Williams. Maybe even a nice little surprise out of Kimble or Finch.

 
At 7:48 PM, Blogger Scott said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 7:50 PM, Blogger Scott said...

It doesn't matter whether Montel is the main option or if we have 2 other quality RB options. The key is for Rogers to find ways to spread defenses out so they can't stack the box and crashing the line in run-first mode.

Better passing game with quicker drops will help. But I'm hoping Rogers adds in some misdirection, split backs that cross, screens, and bootlegs so our lead back no longer telegraphs the play.

 
At 3:47 PM, Blogger gameday said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 4:00 PM, Blogger gameday said...

Only the BC faithful have fully recognized the production Harris has generated. Look for him to make a big splash on the national stage, especially as he breaks the rushing record. That is if (and that's a big if) he can stay healthy. The coaching staff needs to work on the O-Line to prevent any future injuries to the star running back and to ensure a successful season of Eagle football.

 
At 12:44 PM, Blogger NEDofSavinHill said...

the Boston Globe's Blaudshaum is a shill for the Big East. Six years ago he wrote that BC should not to go to the ACC.

 
At 12:56 PM, Blogger NEDofSavinHill said...

GDF takes credit for accomplishments he had nothing to with. His predecessor Gladchuck hired B.C.'s winningest coaches: Coughlin, O'Brien, Skinner, Engelese, and York. At Navy Gladchuck hired Johnson and Neamatolo. Seven quality coaches. GDF, in his 20 year career as an AD, has yet to hire a quality coach. Jags, Spaz, Cawley and Donahue have proven nothing, yet. GDF has a lot of shills in the media who won't tell the truth about BC sports. For example O'Brien won 7 straight bowl games and dominated Notre Dame. Spaz has no wins in bowl games and no wins against Notre Dame. Jerry York had national titles at Bowling Green and BC, GDF had zero to do with York's success. Engleses, Skinner and O'Brien were the winningest coaches in BC history and GDF drove them out.

 

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