Top 5 Concerns for 2011 Season

Turning the calendars to June and concluding the spring evaluation period, introduced a new series Wednesday. The "30 lists in 30 days" series is designed to lead us into the camp circuit. Have your own thoughts on one of our lists? Feel free to debate on the message boards. Our second list is the top five concerns heading toward the 2011 season.

5. The cornerbacks – There is talent, but there is very little experience and no one stood out in the spring. And with spread offenses and the need to cover down and across the field, cornerback is a place that can be exposed in a hurry.
Life was easier when coverages could be rolled because Devin McCourty was on one side, but that is no longer the case.
The best thing for the Scarlet Knights is the numbers available, which means if one person isn't getting the job done, the next will be given a chance. And there are plenty of guys in waiting.

4. The kicking game – Freshman punter Anthony DiPaula did not have a great spring, although he finished better than he started, and it left receiver Mohamed Sanu as the backup, and a backup who could realistically be used.
As for the placekicking, San San Te has been very good from closer than 40 yards, and struggled mightily from 40 and above throughout his career. There is also the need to find a new person for kickoffs with Teddy Dellaganna gone.
For a team with an offense that needs to develop and uncertainties on how much it can score, field position will be huge.

3. Defensive ends – It is a great story when a walk-on like Shane Meisner elevates from scout team to two-deep in the spring, but it also brings to light the concern at defensive end.
Last season the Scarlet Knights could not get pressure on the quarterback unless it blitzed heavily, and it lost its two starting defensive ends in Alex Silvestro and Jonathan Freeny.
Now, the group includes Justin Francis, Manny Abreu, Jamil Merrell and Meisner, with Francis the lone player with experience as a defensive end while Abreu makes the move from linebacker. Incoming freshman Max Issaka could get playing time, but again, the lack of experience is something to look at.

2. Quarterback depthChas Dodd has a half-year of starting experience, an offseason to learn a new offense and full stable of talented receivers to get to ball to.
However, the offensive line gave up a record 61 sacks last season, and behind Dodd will be an array of true freshman, walk-ons and the inexperienced Steve Shimko.
Gary Nova and Mike Bimonte could be good down the line, but the practice of playing freshmen quarterbacks and walk-ons is not a good one to be in, so it puts pressure on Dodd to perform well, and also to

1. The Offensive line – The sacks, the hits in the backfield, the missed blocks, the lack of strength …it all contributed to a woeful performance by the unit in 2010. It was re-shaped in the spring with Andre Civil at left tackle, Desmond Wynn at left guard, Dallas Hendrikson (before being injured) and David Osei at center, Caleb Ruch at right guard and Desmond Stapleton at right tackle.
The addition of Kaleb Johnson should help and simply based on experience and the performance last season, it should be better.
But will be better be good enough?

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