Sunday, January 01, 2006

Football 2005 In Review: Offensive MVPs

This is not a star-laden team. Plenty of guys are all conference worthy. Many will play in the NFL. But if you take the season as a whole, no one name stood out each week. There is no Reggie Bush. No Brady Quinn. In writing up my MVPs I could have gone a number of ways. Here are the three guys that I thought really made the biggest difference on offense.

1. Josh Beekman. Our linemen get plenty of accolades…almost all deserved. They all played well this season and carried the team. They provided plenty of time for young QB, helped control the game in some hostile territories and kept the defense off the field. The collective unit could be named as the MVP, but that would be a disservice to the job Josh Beekman did this season. Beekman came to play every week. His consistency produced near perfect games. I never caught him having an off day. I never saw him get consistently beat. He was great in one-on-one situations. Great pulling. Great in helping out his linemates. I never saw Josh ole anyone. If you watch away from the ball, you’ll see him sustaining his blocks regardless of what is going on around him. But that is not to say he is oblivious -- look at how he picked up Ryan’s fumble against Boise St. The smallest guy on the line stood out, not with his size but with his play.

2. Matt Ryan. Ryan’s numbers are not the stuff of legends. His comeback against Wake and his bounce back at Clemson are. I wasn’t totally surprised to see Ryan start this year. I was totally surprised by how well he played and what a difference he made. His understanding of the offense and willingness to push the gameplan awakened our receivers. His arm tops every QB of the TOB era. Before the season I wondered if I would it would take years to see a QB at BC capture Paul Peterson’s energy and excitement. It only took two months. Ryan played tough and smart and was the biggest reason this season didn’t go down the toilet.

3. Will Blackmon. Unfortunately Blackmon’s career will be defined by what he didn’t do or become. He wasn’t a great receiver this year, but he was our best playmaker. So so hands. Okay routes. No problem. Just get him the ball and he’ll make something out of nothing half the time. His game against Boise St. combined his raw play making with some clutch catches. At least we got to see skills come together once -- and in an important game. This season Blackmon proved that he was a team guy and dynamic with the ball. The team would not have been successful without him.

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