Certainly the loss of star running back Art Brown deals a hefty blow to the Pirates' chances of success, by all indications there is some new talent stepping up. In the last preseason scrimmage this past Thursday Robert Tillman, a freshman rushed for 144 yards on 18 carries and Kevin Fain had 61 yards on 16 attempts.
Even the kicking game, which was a huge question, seems to be working out fairly well. Punter Ryan Dougherty has hit some boomers in practice and even showed off other talents in Thursday's scrimmage when he ran a botched field goal attempt in to the endzone for a score. He also passed for a touchdown on a botched attempt.
On the placekicking side, botched snaps not withstanding, Cameron Broadwell has emerged as potentially a worthy replacement for Kevin Miller. In Thursday's scrimmage Broadwell hit three straight field goals, two from 35 yards out, and one from 40.
Surprisingly enough, what most thought would be the most settled position, that of quarterback, last year's starter Paul Troth and Desmond Robinson are in a tight battle for the top job. Both had good outings in Thursday's scrimmage, Robinson completed 16-of-21 passes for 197 yards, while Troth went 8-of-13 for 103 yards.