Wednesday, July 26, 2006

National Publications Seldom Get It

One of the things I have been reading over, and over about in national publications previewing the Huskies is the serious losses of DT/DE Mapuolesega, DT Hopoi, LB Benjamin, and LB, Lobendahn from last years defensive unit. I keep reading how hard it is to overcome those losses, and hit the floor laughing. This is no knock on those guys, but the talent behind them was better last year, and it is going to be even better this year. Benjamin is really the only guy you miss, and by early season someone will have assumed a grip on his position and his memory will fade.

Wilson Afoa earned a starting job at tackle outright last season. Teaming him with the rotation of Mateaki, JWF, Lobos, and Reffert is pretty good group. I just don't see any drop off inside.

On the outside Gunheim is another year older, stronger, and wiser. He will compete for Pac Ten honors in his true junior year. The question is who is going to flank him? Ala, Teo Nesheim, Winter, Rayford, Jones (probable redshirt), can Anthony Atkins make the adjustments neccesary or will he redshirt? I think that is the only question, and there is enough depth and experience there for someone to emerge. My bet is Teo Nesheim.

Bomar, or Tuiasosopo will be an upgrade over Lobendahn period because they can simply run. Lobo won't be missed on the field. Benjamin was good, and may stick in the NFL this year, but OLB is a position you can easily fill on this roster.

I think this defense is going to surprise a lot of people, especially the bulk of the publications who picked the Huskies last.


hairofthedawg said...

If losing Flowers to academics is true do you think we'll lose a DL to the OL? I hope it's not true but I haven't done all my reading yet so I don't know if anyone has stated it officially.

Health Insurance Expert said...

Not sure if any of it is true yet. I heard something today that may be good news on one of the guys.

If Flowers can't go it is a major problem for the offensive line. The guy could potentially backup or start at four positions.

Position switch?

We could see something, but it is a little late to move a DL to OL. JWF of course is a candidate, but unless he has been studying the OL playbook (Doubtful), I don't see how he can be ready to open the season.

hairofthedawg said...

As much as I'd like to see Hasty back, I hope your potential good news is on Flowers for the reason you state.

These academic issues surprise me with Willingham at the helm. I realize he can't do the work for them, but it's hard to believe he hasn't gotten the "importance of academics" message across well enough. Maybe some kids really just don't get it. That said, I hope none of it's true.

prrbrr said...

I like our defense on paper and what I saw in spring game. The move of Goldson to corner was brilliant, not a great safety but an athletic stud who as a corner will match up well with the big WRs. Besides, most of the publication experts are nerds like us who have to cover all the teams, so in effect we probably know more since we dedicate most of our time to just one team and conference, at least thats me.

hairofthedawg said...

True prrbrr, but I used to buy them year after year, mainly to try to keep up with other teams. The internet's replaced them and, truthfully, I don't see all that much difference between subscribing to a site than buying the magazine. Recruiting info is the major difference, at least as far as accuracy goes. That, and the Dawgman guys have pretty thick skins and good senses of humor.

In hindsight, the Goldson move is a classic Homer Simpson moment but it may have taken some convincing to get him to move. I love having a guy at CB that likes to hit. Was the need not there last year? Why didn't that happen sooner?

Health Insurance Expert said...

Grad rates, and GPA have soared under Willingham, but no matter who the coach is casualties like this happen almost every year. Unfortunately they are hitting a couple of positions where we can ill afford attrition.

Flowers has always been an academic risk, it was a miracle he got into school in the first place. His father took a year off work to help him prepare, and qualify. I imagine that he will be back and will work hard to get back.

On Goldson the need was definitely there last year, but depth at safety would not allow the move.