Spring Football Camp Review - Offense

This article is the second of a two-part review of the Rutgers football team as it finished spring camp. This review is intended as a companion piece to my spring preview series. I will review developments in camp, revisit issues raised in my previews, and present my vision of the two-deep roster. I reviewed the defense first. Now, I will review the offense.

SPRING FOOTBALL CAMP REVIEW – OFFENSE


This article is the second of a two-part review of the Rutgers football team as it finished spring camp.  This review is intended as a companion piece to my spring preview series.  I will review developments in camp, revisit issues raised in my previews, and present my vision of the two-deep roster.  I reviewed the defense first.  Now, I will review the offense.  The view of spring ball from my vantage point 2,500 miles away was not a good one so I've had to base my "observations" and conclusions upon newspaper articles, message board reports, and email correspondence.  The original text from the preview is presented in bold italics. 

Last season, the offensive was statistically the worst in Division IA football.  Rutgers was ranked #116 (out of 117 Division IA teams) in rushing offense (52 yards per game), #117 in total offense (214 yards per game), and #117 in scoring offense (14 points per game).  The passing game was the least unproductive element of the offense, ranking #97 nationally (162 yards per game).  The offense was a comedy of errors.  Other than a glimmering half here and there, the offense was a mess.  The total failure in every aspect of the offense resulted in the departure of Offensive Coordinator Bill Cubit, the hiring of former Utah OC Craig Ver Steeg as the new OC, the demotion of OLine Coach Joe Susan, and the promotion of former TE Coach Mario Cristobal to OLine Coach. 

Rutgers has been a pass-oriented team during the previous seven seasons.  The replacement of Cubit with Ver Steeg likely will alter that philosophy. Ver Steeg has stated that he wants to build the offense around a power running game and a timing passing game.  New staff and new players face the challenge of reanimating a lifeless offense. 

The offense struggled throughout spring camp as it assimilated the new schemes and plays while it tried to compensate for an ongoing shortage of healthy OL.  In three scrimmages, each approximately a full game for the entire offensive unit (and only a half for the 1st team), the offense scored only three TDs.  Both the running game and passing games showed glimpses of promise, but each also had some dismal displays.  The OLine is still suspect and still holds the fate of the offense. 

In the first scrimmage, the running game was generally stymied except for a 40-yard TD run.  However, the QBs combined to complete 23 of 35 passes (66%).  Neither passing yardage nor sack totals were reported.  Given the low completion percentage a year ago (45%), the passing game started spring surprisingly effective. 

In the second scrimmage, the polarity was reversed.  The rushing game reportedly averaged 2.5 yards per carry.  Not very impressive at first glance.   But look a little deeper.  Ver Steeg called 34 designed running plays and 36 designed passing plays.  Yet only 24 passes were attempted.  The other 12 designed passing plays resulted in 9 sacks (for minus 51 yards) and apparently 3 scrambles.  Therefore, if yard per carry average included sacks and scrambles, the offense gained 115 yards on 46 carries.  Excluding sacks, the running backs gained 166 yards on 37 carries (4.5 yards per carry), which includes 3 QB scrambles for an unreported amount.  If the assumptions that underlie these estimates are correct, then the ground game had a strong day.  Contrarily, the passing game was a disaster.  The QBs completed only 11 of 24 attempts (42%) and were sacked 9 times.  The only bright spots were completions of 28 and 40 yards.  Otherwise, the QBs were rendered ineffective by the tremendous pass rush they received.  The OLine had a very rough day at the office. 

The team was divided into two squads for the Spring Game.  And the performances of the two offenses couldn't have been any more different than scarlet and white.  The Scarlet offense, which was stocked with predominantly 1st team players, scored TDs on its two opening drives before sputtering with the backups, including walk-ons, on the field.  The White offense never got untracked.  The playcalling favored passes (56% designed passes vs 44% designed runs).  The RBs combined to gain only 49 yards on 28 carries.  The QBs combined to complete only 10 of 27 passes (37%) for 161 yards.  The pass protection was generally poor, especially off the edges, as the QBs were sacked three times and forced to scramble five times. 


BIG PICTURE ISSUES

  • New OC Craig Ver Steeg has promised a timing passing game to complement a power running game.  What will the new offense look like and how will it differ from the horizontal passing game and finesse running game that was so ineffective under former OC Bill Cubit?   Cubit's offense consisted primarily of slow-developing plays that often were handicapped by a bad OLine and a lack of athleticism at the skill positions.  Opponents frequently blew up running plays in the backfield and applied unbearable pressure on the QB.  Short passes typically gained little yardage after the catch because the receivers weren't running upfield when they the caught the ball.  Ver Steeg has simplified the blocking schemes for the OLine to camouflage their deficiencies.  Zone blocking and quick hitting isolation runs are giving the RBs the opportunities to gain a little yardage.  The passing game relies heavily upon the TEs and RBs.  Ver Steeg attacked the middle of the field with short and medium crossing routes, forcing the LBs to respect multiple responsibilities.  This aspect of the offense was noticeably lacking under Cubit and was the source of some of the harshest criticism of the former OC. 

 

  • Nagging injuries and ineffective play prompted Head Coach Greg Schiano to use seven different starting lineups on the OLine last season.  None worked.  How healthy is the OLine?  The health of SR OG Rich McManis and RS Fr OG Randy Boxill particularly will be something to watch.  Can the OLine provide better protection for the QBs and open holes for the RBs?  The OLine is still a mess.  Not one starter in spring camp was an incumbent.  The three returning starters missed camp with injuries – RS Sr RG Brian Duffy (knee), RS Sr C Marty P'zmuka (wrist), and RS So LG Sameeh McDonald (back).  McManis participated throughout camp although his durability will be an ongoing issue.  Boxill, on the other hand, has not yet fully recovered from his knee injury although he participated in camp.  Fortunately, no new injuries occurred and Schiano muddled through camp with nine scholarship OL and a walk-on (Jr OT Dan Biernacki).  Pass protection by the OLine was still problematic.  Especially at OT – too much pressure off the edges.  The running game also struggled.  Spring camp did nothing to bolster a unit that has lacked continuity, much less effectiveness. 

 

  • Two years ago, Schiano inherited a team without an experienced QB.  After losing to transfers three QBs in two years, he enters his third spring camp back where he started.  Does the QB situation look improved?  Can the QBs complete at least 50% of their passes?  Can the QBs throw fewer INTs than TDs?  Can the QBs complete passes to receivers downfield?  Two years later, Schiano at last has a QB.  One that isn't the son of a coach.  So Ryan Hart is clearly superior to any QB in the program and confidently led the offense in the Spring Game.  However, after Hart, the QB situation is still dire.  Overall, the QBs completely 51% of their passes but threw more INTs (at least 3) than TDs (zero).  Hart showed the ability to complete deep passes, which should deter secondaries from sitting on the short routes.  

 

  • The receiving corps again was notable last season for its inability to make plays.  The WRs lacked the athleticism needed to execute former OC Bill Cubit's horizontal passing game.  There isn't a single senior on the receiving corps.  No returning player has started more than six games.  The receivers are now all Schiano's recruits - the first such position to bear that distinction.  They will be competing for fewer positions, fewer snaps, and fewer throws.  How will they adapt to the new offensive philosophy?  Can the WRs and TEs start making plays?  The WRs had an unremarkable spring.  Other than So Shawn Tucker, no WR was notable.  The TE will be featured heavily in this offense, much as they were for Jimmy Johnson's Dallas Cowboys.  RS Fr Clark Harris emerged as the biggest playmaker at TE. 

 

  • How will the power running style of So TB Jason Nugent fair in contrast with more finesse styles of RS So TB Clarence Pittman and So TB Markis Facyson?  Injuries to Facyson (knee) and Nugent (ankle) hindered this evaluation.  However, the slashing styles of Jr Marcus Jones and Nugent seemed to be more successful than the elusive styles of Pittman and Facyson. 

 

  • The FB did not pose a threat that defenses were forced to honor.  How will Ver Steeg use the FB?  Defenses will have to account for the FB.  The FBs had almost half as many touches in the Spring Game (7) as they did all of last season (19).  The FB will occasionally run trap plays inside and will be targeted as receivers on drag routes into the flat.  RS Fr Brian Leonard also offers the flexibility to serve in a one-back offense, much as Tennessee FB Troy Fleming did against Rutgers last season.  

 

  • Blitz protection by the TBs was still a problem last season and will be an interesting topic for observation during spring camp.  The defense played very basic schemes in spring camp, with little blitzing.  Therefore, the effectiveness of blitz protection could not be evaluated.  However, the performance of the OLine indicated that it will need all the help that it can get.  

 

  • Lack of quality depth on the OLine was another tremendous problem last season.  Again.  Questionable talent in the 2000 and 2001 recruiting classes has compounded an inherited lack of depth.  Schiano relied primarily upon an 8-man rotation last season.  It will be interesting to observe the OL rotations in spring ball.  How will the entire second team perform relative to the first team?  Depth is still a major concern on the OLine.  Quality depth is sheer fantasy at this time.  Schiano barely fielded a two-deep and needed a walk-on to do so.  Much of the offensive struggles can still be traced to the OLine.  Too many sacks and too few yards per carry.  The second unit, consisting of LT Dan Biernacki, LG Randy Boxill, RS So C Mark Segaloff, RS So RG Mike Clancy, and RS Jr RT Rob Dinsmore represented a huge dropoff from the 1st team.  The OLine lineups for the Spring Game are not available.  However, the White OLine was beat up and had its lunch money stolen.  Their lack of resistance made RS So DE Piana Lukabu look like an All-Big East performer.  Three returning starters missed spring camp.  Their presence was dearly missed.  JUCO OT Ron Green will also be needed as an immediate contributor next season.  RS So RT John Glass and Jr RG Clint Dato provided the best performance while anchoring the right side of the OLine. 


DEPTH CHART

  • The OT jobs are both open.  Will newcomers seize both of these crucial jobs?  John Glass spent most of spring camp as the starting RT.  Ironically, Glass played OG at New Haven.  Surprisingly, with more depth at OG than at OT despite injuries, former JUCO RT Clint Dato spent most of spring camp at OG.  Sr Mike Williamson inherited the starting LT job by default.  The starting OTs were still undecided at the close of camp because Glass and Dato switched positions for the Spring Game while Williamson was manhandled at LT. 

 

  • With Brian Duffy unavailable, the OG jobs are also wide open.  Who among Sameeh McDonald, Clint Dato, Randy Boxill, or Mike Williamson will emerge as the starting OGs?  McDonald missed spring camp with an injured back – the fourth OL to sustain a back injury in two years under Schiano.  Boxill has not fully recovered from reconstructive knee surgery and Schiano doesn't expect him to make an impact next season.  Williamson spent spring camp at LT.  Dato spent most of spring camp at OG although he played RT in JUCO.  John Glass also saw some action at OG, where he played at New Haven.  Rich McManis, written off as a backup, spent spring camp as the starting LG.  With McDonald and Duffy sidelined indefinitely, Dato and McManis temporarily are the starting OGs. 

 

  • With four young TBs competing for the starting job, who will emerge as the first and second team TBs?  Markis Facyson sprained his knee early in camp and missed the remaining practices.  Jason Nugent started camp strongly but a sprained ankle subsequently limited his effectiveness.  Marcus Jones surprisingly was the most consistent runner and best performer in the new offense.  Clarence Pittman emerged by default as the backup TB. 

 

  • How many 3rd and 4th year players will contribute meaningfully on the depth chart?  Only six 3rd and 4th year players will contribute meaningfully.  Only four – LG Rich McManis, LT Mike Williamson, RS So WR Tres Moses, and TB Marcus Jones – are listed as starters and none might actually start.  RS Sr QB Ted Trump and TB Clarence Pittman will likely contribute as backups.  This small group will be augmented by the healthy return of C Marty P'zmuka, RG Brian Duffy, and LG Sameeh McDonald and by the likely switch of Jr Chris Baker back to WR.

 

  • Lack of quality depth at receiver, relative to the performance of the first team, was a major problem last season and likely won't be resolved until the arrival of some highly touted new recruits in summer camp.  The best performance for the passing offense occurred in the first scrimmage.  However, the performance of the WRs was not reported.  The passing game was non-existent in the second scrimmage except for one completion to a WR for 40 yards (and another to a TB for 28) because the OLine couldn't protect the QBs.  The Scarlet team exhibited an impressive passing display in the Spring Game but the WRs combined for only 3 receptions and 47 yards.  The WRs on the White team were held without a catch.  With the exception of Shawn Tucker, the WRs were unremarkable.  Tucker and Tres Moses were not seriously challenged for their starting jobs.  Especially with Chris Baker practicing at QB. 

 

  • Will RS Fr Anthony Cali pass Ted Trump on the depth chart?  This looked like a no-brainer.  But, in one of the big disappointments of spring camp, Cali couldn't displace an unimpressive Trump as the backup QB.  Cali played only two series in the spring game – one of which ended the first half.  He completed no passes in three attempts, scrambled twice, and was sacked once.  That's zero completions in 6 designed passing plays.  Cali is still learning and likely won't be ready for at least another year. 


TWO DEEP

Here's the two-deep, from my perspective, at the end of spring camp.  Players who missed the entire camp have been dropped from the two-deep under the theory that they will have to work their way back into the rotation.  Players who missed only some portion of spring camp are included in the two-deep.  Their location is based upon their actual place in the rotation during the spring, which may have been limited by the injuries.   

Position

1st Team

2nd Team

WR

So Shawn Tucker

Jr Jerry Andre

LT

Sr Mike Williamson

Jr Dan Biernacki (walk-on)

LG

Sr Rich McManis

RS Fr Randy Boxill

C

RS Fr William Vogt

RS So Mark Segaloff

RG

JUCO Jr Clint Dato

RS So Mike Clancy

RT

RS So John Glass

RS Jr Rob Dinsmore

TE

RS Fr Clark Harris

Jr Chris Loomis

WR

RS So Tres Moses

So Corey Barnes

QB

So Ryan Hart

RS Sr Ted Trump

FB

RS Fr Brian Leonard

Jr Cedric Brown

TB

Jr Marcus Jones

RS So Clarence Pittman

Missing:  RS Sr C Marty P'zmuka (injured), RS Sr RG Brian Duffy (injured), and RS So LG Sameeh McDonald (injured). 

  • The injury situation on the OLine is crucial.  Yet again.  None of the backups listed above are likely to contribute next season.  Therefore, reinforcements are urgently needed.  Marty P'zmuka should be fully healed from wrist surgery by summer camp.  Schiano desperately needs full recoveries from Brian Duffy (knee) and Sameeh McDonald (back).  The long anticipated arrival of JUCO OT Ron Green is also essential.  Green reportedly has qualified.  The addition of these four would give Schiano a 9-man OLine rotation. 

 

  • The depth at QB is tenuous.  At best.  Ryan Hart is clearly the starter and the best QB that Rutgers has had since Mike McMahon departed.  However, neither Anthony Cali nor Chris Baker were able to unseat Ted Trump as the backup QB.  And Trump performed terribly last season, with the sole exception being against Army, who one fan labeled as a glorified flag football team. 

 

  • The WR position is frantically in need of an infusion of talent.  The return of Chris Baker to WR would help.  As should the arrival of JUCO Donnie Diaz and freshman Marcus Daniels. 

 

  • The backfield still has not sorted itself out.  Some of that confusion reflects the ongoing depth, talent, and injury problems on the OLine.  Brian Leonard won the starting FB job.  Jr Cedric Brown apparently is the backup and definitely is the short yardage blocking FB.  Schiano ought to move RS So FB Brad Cunningham back to LB where his experience and athleticism is sorely needed.  While Marcus Jones had the best spring among the TBs, the pecking order at TB is not yet solidified.  Furthermore, the glut at TB – with two more arrivals expected this fall – demands that Schiano move players to defense to bolster a depleted secondary.  


PLAYER DEVELOPMENT

The development and progress of the following players will be interesting to observe:

  • The departure of Ryan Cubit has largely cemented Ryan Hart as the QB of the future.  Hart can secure that position in spring camp.  Hart cemented it.  Welded it.  Epoxied it.  Fused it.  All hopes at QB rest with Hart, who was the only QB to enjoy a strong spring.  Hart capped his spring performance with an encouraging 7 of 12 for 102-yard effort for the Scarlet team in the Spring Game.  The five INCs included two dropped passes, too.  Rutgers should have a more capable passing attack than it mustered the previous two years.  Even without any improvement on the OLine. 

 

  • With a crowded backfield of young TBs expected to get more crowed in summer camp, don't be surprised to see Marcus Jones switched to safety. Or possibly transfer.   Or just win the starting TB job.  Jones was the biggest surprise of spring camp.  Written off as a 4th string TB, Jones thrived in the new offense.  He was the leading rusher during camp, – gaining 111 yards on 28 carries (4.0 yards per carry).  His slashing style seems suited to the power running game Ver Steeg desires.  Based upon his spring performance, the starting TB job is Jones' to lose. 

 

  • If new OC Ver Steeg uses 2TE formations, Clark Harris should have an opportunity to contribute next season.  Harris will contribute regardless of formation.  Along with QB Ryan Hart, Harris was the co-star of the Spring Game with 3 receptions for 62 yards for the Scarlet team.  Harris showed the ability to gain yardage after the catch.  His Spring Game performance may have earned him the starting TE job.  He will be an integral part of the offense. 

 

  • Jason Nugent will be vying for the starting TB job in spring camp.  Nugent offers a power running dimension that both Clarence Pittman and Markis Facyson lack as TBs.  Nugent sprained his ankle midway through camp.  He was ineffective in the Spring Game, gaining 2 yards on 4 carries for the White team.  However, he had the best run in camp, breaking a 40-yard TD run in the first scrimmage.  With no clear choice emerging at TB, Schiano may move Nugent to safety, where he likely would start alongside Jarvis Johnson. 

 

  • Jr Chris Loomis is expected to earn the open starting job at TE.  He has some big shoes to fill in replacing LJ Smith.  Reports about TE performance were generally lacking during spring camp.  Until the Spring Game, when the TEs starred.  Although Loomis caught one pass for 21 yards, he dropped two passes.  Loomis quite possibly lost his claim to the starting job.  At least temporarily. 

 

  • With the switch of former starter Ray Pilch to TE, Brian Leonard will battle for the starting FB job.  Leonard earned the starting FB job midway through camp and held it.  He had 5 carries for the Scarlet team in the Spring Game but only gained 7 yards.  He did score a TD on the second drive.  He also had a 12-yard reception on the opening TD drive.  Leonard also was used as the RB in a one-back formation. 

 

  • Clarence Pittman enters spring camp expected to battle Markis Facyson and Jason Nugent for the starting TB job.  Pittman was one of only two TBs to remain healthy during camp.  His running was unremarkable.  He gained only 17 yards on 7 carries for the Scarlet team in the Spring Game but did contribute 20 yards and a 1-yard TD on 4 carries during the opening drive.  Pittman was the most effective receiver out of the backfield with a 28-yard screen pass in the second scrimmage and an 8-yard reception for the Scarlet team in the Spring Game on the opening TD drive.  Pittman could be motioned as a WR in a two-back set, leaving Brian Leonard as the sole RB. 

 

  • Markis Facyson enters spring camp in a three-way battle for the starting TB job.  Facyson sprained his knee early in camp and missed the remaining practices and scrimmages.  He should be healthy by summer camp and will look to regain the starting TB job he held for five games last season. 

 

  • Randy Boxill is nearly healed from a knee injury and has an extra year of strength and conditioning behind him.  Boxill likely will compete for one of the two open starting jobs at OG.  Boxill entered spring camp not yet fully recovered.  Not having played or practiced in two years, the rust was considerable.  Schiano frankly acknowledged that Boxill likely would not contribute this season.  Boxill must focus on fully rehabilitating his knee and improving his physical conditioning.  Then he can worry about cracking the playing rotation. 

 

  • Schiano switched Brad Cunningham to FB in a desire to upgrade the athleticism at the position.  Given the lack of athleticism and experienced playmakers at LB, this move is questionable.  I am disappointed that Cunningham won't be playing LB, where I know he can make a difference.  Cunningham may yet play LB.  Cunningham didn't win the starting FB job.  He will share backup FB responsibilities with Cedric Brown.  Schiano should move Cunningham back to LB where he can augment a group that lacks experienced talent.  West Virginia, Virginia Tech, and Pittsburgh each featured QBs who posed a substantial running threat that defenses were forced to consider.  Can Chris Baker pose such a double-threat at Rutgers?  Yes.  And no.  While Baker's athleticism offers intriguing double-threat possibilities, Baker's throwing mechanics presently preclude the realization of those possibilities.  Baker's arm has been questionable since he arrived at Rutgers.  Not for lack of strength, though.  Baker has the strongest throwing arm among the Rutgers QBs.  However, he is the least accurate passer.  These mechanics problems limit Baker's opportunities to get on the field and prove that he can handle the other aspects of the QB position – leading the offense, reading defenses, and making good decisions.  Baker saw action for the White team in only two series in the Spring Game.  One of those series started on the White 2 yard line.  Baker threw only one pass – incomplete – and didn't carry the ball at all.  While Baker's throwing mechanics could be improved with additional coaching, the time spent in development could be better served contributing on the field at WR.  Especially if Ryan Hart is clearly a superior option at QB, even without the double-threat possibility. 

 

  • With the switch of Chris Baker back to QB for spring camp, Shawn Tucker is a lock for a starting job at WR.  At least until summer camp starts.  Tucker was the lone bright spot at WR.  Tucker has the ability to be the best playmaker Rutgers fans have seen in years.  Admittedly, that's not saying much.  But Tucker impressed those that saw him.  Mike Fasano raved about Tucker in his Spring Game report.  Tucker showcased his big play ability during camp with receptions for 31 and 40 yards. 

 

  • Tres Moses qualified for a medical redshirt and is healthy entering spring camp.  He is expected to start opposite of Shawn Tucker at WR.  He will face more competition in summer camp from several highly touted recruits.  Moses was unremarkable in spring camp, much as he was a year ago.  He was shutout in the Spring Game as a member of the White team.  With Moses unnoticeable yet not being pushed for his job, I am concerned about the talent level at WR entering summer camp. 

 

  • Rich McManis likely will continue in a backup role.  Wrong, Earthling.  Although McManis' knees are still problematic, as Schiano noted in his pre-camp press conference, Schiano lauded McManis as one of the most improved players in spring camp.  If Duffy cannot return from his knee injury (or his return is delayed or hampered), McManis may start at LG.  Otherwise, he will be a primary backup. 

 

  • RS Jr Ray Pilch likely will be the 2TE in a power running formation, much as Bryan Boehrer was last season.  I don't recall seeing any reports on Pilch's performance during spring camp.  As a member of the White team, Pilch was shutout during the Spring Game, when the TEs were the primary targets.  Don't expect Pilch to get anywhere near the touches he had last season (19).  

 

  • Ted Trump is the most experienced QB but he is destined for a backup role.  If he even returns next summer.  Bringing back a 5th-year player to be the third string QB makes no sense.  Back Trump will come next year because the other backups couldn't displace him despite a lackluster spring.  Trump completed only 1 of 7 pass attempts for the White team in the Spring Game.  He also threw an INT that was returned for a TD on the opening drive of the game.  With Hart learning a new offense and still gaining experience, Trump won't get much opportunity to hone his skills early in the year against weaker competition.  Therefore, he is not likely to improve much over last season. 

 

  • Cedric Brown will be the third team FB and short yardage specialist by the end of spring camp.  Maybe not.  Brown is the best blocker at FB.  That will get him on the field, both in short-yardage situation and possibly obvious passing situations.  Brown may get the backup nod if Schiano is unwilling to have Brad Cunningham play sparingly as a backup FB when he could be contributing more as a backup LB. 

 

  • In the absence of injured two-year starter Marty P'zmuka, RS Fr William Vogt will compete for the temporarily open starting job at center.  Vogt won the starting job easily and held it through camp.  He should return to the backup role when P'zmuka returns but Vogt is expected to play next season. 

 

  • The switches of Chris Baker to QB and RS So Bryan Wilson to DB have given So Corey Barnes a backup WR job by default.  Will he be able to hold that position on the depth chart once summer camp starts?  Barnes made a 10-yard reception on the opening TD drive for the Scarlet team in the Spring Game.  Barnes also threw an INT on a flanker reverse pass when he underthrew a receiver open by 10 yards.  Barnes, like most of the WRs, was otherwise generally unnoticeable in the scrimmages. 

 

  • Jr Jerry Andre has not contributed much in two years despite plenty of opportunities.  While he is guaranteed a spot on the two-deep in spring camp, if he can't maintain that position in summer camp, he likely won't contribute much next season.  Andre was nearly invisible during spring camp.  He was shutout in the Spring Game as a member of the White team. 

 

  • Six different players started at OG last season yet Mike Clancy, the designated backup, was not one of them.  Clancy is only a 3rd-year player but those circumstances raise serious questions about his ability to contribute.  Despite the absences of both Brian Duffy and Sameeh McDonald from spring camp, Clancy was not able to earn a starting job at OG.  Holdover Rich McManis and newcomer Clint Dato beat Clancy for the available starting jobs.  Barring further injuries, Clancy apparently won't play much this season. 

 

  • Sr Eddie Jordan was buried on the depth chart as a result of practice time lost to injuries.  Jordan is not expected to contribute this season.  Jordan had a relatively quiet spring.  However, he did record the only reception in the Spring Game for the White team, which struggled to move the football.  Jordan is clearly behind Clark Harris, Chris Loomis, and Ray Pilch on the depth chart. 

 

  • While Mark Segaloff may yet develop into a serviceable player, he is not expected to break the two-deep this year.  William Vogt beat Segaloff for the starting job at center.  The expected return of Marty P'zmuka should push Segaloff off the depth chart. 

 

  • Rob Dinsmore's inability to crack the starting lineup as a 3rd-year player during an injury-plagued season is damning evidence against him.  Dinsmore likely will be relegated to the third team by summer camp.  As with Clancy at OG, Dinsmore was unable to win either vacant starting OT job.  Fellow holdover Mike Williamson and newcomer John Glass were the starters.  Dinsmore likely won't play much this season. 


Coming Next:  Plan B.  The Big East is about to implode.  It has been obvious for several weeks that Miami, Syracuse, and Boston College are leaving the Big East.  What are the available alternatives for the surviving members? 


Please send any comments to dwelch11@comcast.net.  I welcome and appreciate your feedback.


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