I was listening to Sark being interviewed by Softy the other day and he said he had seven questions about his team heading into the season. I am going to attempt to answer those seven questions for Sark.
Who are the starters on the OL and does Schaefer move to LT?
Coz likes his players to be versatile enough to be able to play every position. The two most important positions on the offensive line are center and left tackle. It makes sense that the guy with the most starts on the offensive line os being groomed to play both positions. That being said I think Schaefer stays inside to start the season and Hatchie assumes the position outside. If Hatchie doesn't perform well or is injured Schaefer is available to slide outside.
Who are the starters at linebacker and who are the new guys that are going to emerge at the position?
Timu, Fuimaono, and Fellner look like locks to be the opening day starters based on play from last season and during the spring. That being said there is still a lot of young depth and competition heading into the fall and the best men left standing will win those starting jobs. Tutogi, Stevenson, and Kearse are going to see a lot of time this season as the coaches roll players in and out to stay fresh and adapt to different situations.
There is lots of competition at cornerback. Who is going to win the spot opposite Desmond Trufant?
I think it is going to tough to keep Greg Ducre out of the lineup even though Marcus Peters and Adam Long will be challenging for playing time.
Who is going to win the number three WR spot?
I happen to be one of those guys who think that Kevin Smith will be ready to play this fall and reclaim that nimber three spot. Cody Bruns is going to parlay his experience into some serious playing time this season too. Behind those guys is a boatload of talent ready to explode and show what they can do.
Will it be tailback by committee or will one guy emerge to take over the job?
I think it will be by committee. They have some talent back there and all those kids deserve to play. I think Sankey is the feature back but insiders tell me that Jessie Callier is going to have a big year. Don't forget about Deontae Cooper who will be brought along slowly but will get his shots once his confidence returns.
Will UW use two-three TE's on a regular basis (similar to Stanford last season)?
You have arguably the best TE talent in the country in ASJ but you have a couple of studs and some bigger kids you can use at H-Back to create some serious mismatches down field. I would think that after watching the success Stanford had doing that recently that UW would mix those looks into their arsenal this season.
UW will be breaking in two new kickers...how are they going to do?
This is a huge question mark because we haven't seen either of these kids in meaningful action yet. I think Durkee is going to be a great punter. He has a huge leg. The key for him is adapting to his new snapper and getting the timing down on his kicks. Things are a lot faster at this level and he needs to lean to adapt quickly.
Coons also has a strong leg and he is going to really help improve kick off coverage this season. That being said he didn't get a lot of chances to kick FG's at JC because he shared time with another kicker. Only time will tell how accurate he will be in his debut season at UW.
Kibble and Bits
Penn State RS OL Ryan Nowicki visited Illinois over the weekend and is scheduled to be at Arizona State today. We expect him to make a decision as soon as Tuesday. Word is he loved his visit to Seattle last week but Illinois will be tough to beat because he loves Big Ten football.
Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury says that a deal between the Pac 12 and Direct TV is getting closer. DIRECTV, Dish, Verizon and AT&T, which reach more than 40 million U.S. homes combined, have yet to sign carriage agreements with the Pac-12 Network. Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox and Brighthouse, which reach roughly 40 million U.S. homes, have signed deals with the new sports network.
If you are a Husky and Olympic Crew fan check out this article on the 1936 team in Slate Magazine. I believe that there is a movie currently in development about the team. All the members of the team have passed on but four of them lived well into their mid nineties.
Here is the link to the website for the soon to be best selling book about the 1936 UW Crew written by Daniel James Brown. They are saying that the movie will be a cross between Sea Biscuit and Chariots of Fire...that sounds pretty good to me.
I'm happy to announce that the Viking Press will be publishing my upcoming book, The Boys in the Boat, and the Weinstein Company has optioned the film rights for the book. Kenneth Branagh is slated to direct the film.