Thursday, August 27, 2009

Preseason breakdown: Defensive Backs

Part V of the previews. With this the attention shifts to the defense.

Consensus heading into the season

This is the only area not raising concerns among the faithful. Three of the four starters return and there is good depth around them.

Roster Reminders
Returning Starters
Donnie Fletcher
Roderick Rollins
Wes Davis
Backups and Hopefuls
DeLeon Gause
Dan Mulrooney
Stephen Atkinson
Marcellus Bowman
Donte Elliott
Hampton Hughes
Isaac Johnson
Okechukwu Okoroha
Ugo Okpara

Everyone around the team is expecting Marcellus Bowman to have a big year. He emerged last year as a big hitter and playmaker with speed. His INT return against FSU was a thing of beauty. Since then, the hype has only grown. Even Spaz has been singing his praises publicly.

The Real Question
What are we going to do with all of these guys? Former DBs Fox and LeGrande have already been moved to other positions and we still don’t have enough snaps for the depth we have. Look for many of these names on special teams since it is a place where they can contribute. This is a depth chart built for the pass happy Pac 10 or Big XII. Unfortunately we play in the ACC.

My Bold Prediction
We will lead the ACC in interceptions again. With the depleted front seven, teams are more likely to run on us and probably won’t give the secondary as many opportunities to pick off passes. Even with that in mind, I think the ball hawking nature of the secondary will be that much more aggressive this year.

What keeps me up at night?
The big play. While these guys are good, I still fear them getting burnt deep (think NC State and UNC last year). While Bowman and some of the younger safeties have speed, we will still be vulnerable on the deep posts...especially if we are not pressuring the QB.

This is the one area we don’t have to worry about. Talent is there. Depth is there. Coaching is there (regardless of how I feel about Siravo as a Recruiting Coordinator, the DBs have been well coached on his watch). These guys have benefitted from great fronts the past few years. Now it is there turn to step up and carry the load.


Andrew said...

Bowman is going to be the real deal this year. I thought this after the spring game before all the hype and I hope I'm right. Seen him in the gym, he is a monster

eagleboston said...

Wouldn't you love to take this year's defensive backs and O'line and mix them with last year's linebackers and defensive tackles and throw in Matt Ryan at QB? Now that would be some team!

Nick P. said...

Along those lines, someone should try to put together an All Time BC football team with the best players from across the years.

The big question in my mind would be would you rather have Flutie or Ryan as your QB? Based on their college performance, I would probably pick Flutie, but based on their NFL performance, I would take Ryan (or even Hasselbeck) over Flutie.

DT would be another position where there could be some interesting debate.

CHI_Eagle said...

Nick - I think you'd HAVE to base it on college performance alone. Flutie won a Heisman... nuff said. Ryan would have to be 2nd on the depth chart, though IMO

Galvin said...

I'm afraid I have to agree with CHI_Eagle. Matt Ryan is my favorite BC Athlete of all time, I cannot remember rooting harder for any other player, any sport (though I did love watching Craig Smith play). However, you win a Heisman, that's pretty special. That puts Matty at #2 for me in terms of all-time BC football. And I also hope Bowman is a beast this year, lord knows we need him to play hard.

Lally said...

While we're at it, guys, I've always wanted a pony...

Brett said...

I'd love to see an All Time BC team. I've often thought that an all-star team of just the guys that played in my 4 years (04-07) could have won a national championship. Last year's defense plus Silva, Dunbar, Kiwi and Tribble, maybe a healthy Brian Toal. Matty at QB with Gos, Beekman, Pat Ross, Costanzo, other great guys on the line. Will Blackmon as the #1, Purvis at TE, no incredible running backs, but Callendar wasn't bad his last year.
And Pauly Pete as a backup QB! What a team!

Brett said...

And Trueblood! How could I forget. Quinton Porter could be the water boy too. An all-star cast.

Nick P. said...

Who would the kickers be?

BCNorCal07 said...

What is this "kicker" you speak of?

Brett said...

Going for it on 4th down inside the 35 would be our kicker.