Monday, June 6, 2011

Dream Team Arrives

It's a big week for the football team this week, as the "Dream Team" makes its arrival on campus. I am not normally one who gets too hyped up about freshman arrivals, because normally true freshmen not named Matt Stafford or AJ Green do not end up making a huge impact for us in that first year.........and the ones that do usually don't get a lot of playing time until at least the midpoint of the season, if not later (guys like Rennie Curran jump to mind). But this year's freshman class is going to be pivotal to the team's success this year. Outside of Crowell and Jenkins, I don't think a lot of them will end up as starters, but they are going to be relied on for much needed depth at almost all positions.

While the quality of our starting 22 has taken a dip the past couple of years, the real area where we have been deficient is in our depth. Go back and look at some of the YouTube videos from the middle of the last decade. Here's one timely one to get you started, and you can find plenty more from there. When you watch some of those clips, we had playmakers backing up playmakers, especially on defense. It seemed like it didn't matter who the coaches put out there, as a fan you knew they would get the job done. I didn't even appreciate it at the time, but after watching us the past couple of years, then going back and watching some of these clips, it's like two different programs.

I think we have the opportunity to have a very good season. I'm more excited about our defense than I've been in years - on paper, our front seven looks like it has the potential to be scary. And while the secondary is still suspect, it's amazing how much better any secondary will look when the boys up front are wreaking havoc on the quarterback. But the SEC schedule is a grind. Players get banged up every week and wear down if they're not being rested properly. That's where our Dream Teamers come in. If the coaches can put them on the field without being concerned about a big dropoff in performance, then this team goes from good to REALLY good (I don't think we have the potential to be "great", but do think we can be "really good" this year).

Here's hoping that all the kids buy into the remainder of the Strength & Conditioning offseason schedule (give 'em hell, Coach T!). Here's hoping that the veterans welcome the youngsters, take them under their wings, and do everything they can to build them up. Here's hoping the youngsters come in with swagger, but also respect for what the older players are trying to teach them. And here's hoping that all the players will be pushing in the same direction at the same time this year --- it seems like it's been a while since we've seen that.


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