A-StateNation: What are your biggest concerns going into the season?
Blake Anderson: My biggest concerns are offensively, as many new bodies as we are going to have, not physical concerns, I love the ability, I love the athletic ability and the play-making ability, but can we translate that over to the field and do it collectively as a group?
A lot of pieces to the puzzle” a new quarterback, new skill players, can we go out on the field and execute that early in the season because our first five weeks are extremely tough.
We don't take a step back. We had such a great year, tremendous confidence coming out of the season that we can pick up where we left off and take some pressure off the offense? If it takes the offense a little while to get going we are hoping that the defense can hold us up and get us started. Probably the biggest concern as always is depth. We are not real deep. We are very talented at our top 11 at any spot, where it be offense or defense or special teams, is really good. There is just not a lot of depth. We have got to stay healthy and that is going to be critical to a long season.
ASN: If you were to have to start over offensively, which you are doing with your skill people, would rather the offensive line back or the skill players back?
Anderson: O-line. I would much rather be getting the skill guys up to date rather than to have to get the offensive line, which we are going to have to do a year from now. Those five guys have played a lot of snaps together. If they play well, which they have done, and play well early they can take a lot of pressure off the quarterback, allow us to run the ball, protect the quarterback and make things a lot easier. If we are having to replace all of those guys, or make significant changes there to me it would make it a lot more difficult with what we are trying to get it done.
A-StateNation: Is there any type of philosophical difference between what Buster Faulkner brings as to what Walt Bell did?
Anderson: I think you’d say, both tempo guys, both spread guys . I’d say Buster probably lends himself to throwing the ball to create running opportunities where Walt is probably more of a run to create pass. I think they are virtually the same in terms of of balance. We have always built in 50-50 which is what we plan to be in the future within reason. I just think it comes from a background of what they are used to and what positions they played in the systems. They are still playing within kind of the same system . We haven't changed a whole lot but the personal has changed too. The weapons available have changed. I think that dictates more of it than your own personality. What quarterback do I have, what weapons do I have to get it to and how can we get it to them? That tends to shake the personality of your offense a lot more than your own personality.
A-StateNation: Is there any type of timetable on the quarterback decision?
As soon as possible with reason. As soon as it is evident that we got the right guy. I think the worst thing you can do is rush it and put the wrong guy in that position. We have just got to be patience and understand that we do have a little bit of time. I would love to know who the guy is, at least 10 days out from the opener, but we may not know that week 1. We might be playing more than one. We will just have to see,
A-StateNation: Could you see yourself playing two guys?
Anderson: It's possible. We have done it before. I spent a whole season at Carolina playing two and spent some time at Southern Miss playing two at times. It is not ideal. The guys are mature. There have been people have done it for seasons upon end. We will just have to take this situation at it comes. What is going to be the best way for us to win games.
A-StateNation: What all roles do you see Cameron Echols-Luper and Kendall Sanders playing?
Anderson: I think you will see Kendal; he is a true wideout. That is his function. He is an NFL-caliber wideout. And he will factor into special teams from coverage aspects, cover down the field, kicks and punts and that sort of thing. I think Cam’s is a little more of a utility,-type player: punt return, kick return, maybe snapping the ball to him offensively, punt the ball, obviously slot receiver. Their roles look a little bit different. If we can get quality play out of both then they can create some serious issues for defenses and in special teams in space. That is what we expect and that is what they are working towards. They've both missed a year of football; kendall has missed two. They are chomping to get back on Saturday and play some ball.