2014 Preview Questions: Who will be our deep threat
For all of last season's innovative mix of spread and jumbo packages, the fundamentals of BC's offense were decades old. We ran the ball over and over and then used play action to connect on deep passes. I have enough confidence in the offensive line and the mix of running backs, that I think they can duplicate Andre Williams' production as a group. I have not seen Murphy play much, but his arm seems adequate enough to connect on deep passes. The big question is who will catch the deep balls?
Speed is really the key on long passes. If you cannot get separation downfield, a fast DB can catch up to the Reciever while the ball is still in the air. Amidon's deceptive speed was a perfect compliment to our passing game last year, as he blew by opponents with regularity.
The returning pass catchers lack many essential skills but especially speed. A lot is expected of converted QB Josh Bordner, but he's not going to run by ACC DBs. Harrison Jackson's health is in question. No one knows if Bobby Swigert will be 100%. Crimmins is a possession guy. Barksdale is untested. Dudeck brings a few dimensions to the O but he's not a scorcher. It is no wonder that the coaching staff is still scouring college rosters for a 5th year guy. Shakim Phillips is expected to return, but we can't count on that until he completes his UConn degree.
Of the incoming freshmen, there is potential. Nat Dixon, Gabriel McClary, Troy Flutie, and Thaddius Smith all have the chance to come in and contribute as true freshman. All they have to do is show they can run fast and still catch the ball.
After last year, I do trust Addazio and Day to do the best with what talent they have. If we don't have anyone who can catch it deep, we probably won't throw it deep very often. But before they abandon something that worked so well last year, I hope they try it once or twice with a new guy.