Consistency. None of the candidates have shown any real consistency throughout spring. Each have had their moments, but nobody stands out day-after-day. Carlton Hill's lack of practice time has contributed to his problems, there have also been a tendency to fumble. However, Hill has also made some of the most spectacular offensive plays this fall.
Matt Grothe has had a better spring than anyone expected but he too has had problems. Grothe has mastered the out route, but struggles on the deep ball. His problem isn't accuracy its arm-strength. One throw will be a beautiful spiral, but the next could be a duck that flutters and is easily defended by the defense. If he can get the mechanics down and throw it perfect every time, the job is his.
Pat Julmiste is still making the same mistakes as last year. PJ makes the hard throws, but overthrows/underthrows the easy ones. It looks like a lack of concentration. There is no reason he should throw a perfect 20 yard fade route and then miss the tight end in the flat. He has the experience, but he needs to prove to the coaches that he has progressed from last season.
Right now the only spots that are solidified are the left guard position and right tackle. It looks like Matt Huners and Marc Dile will win out and be named starters. The other three are up for grabs. Walt Walker has the inside edge at right guard, and Danny Tolley is starting at left tackle, for now. What will happen when Thed Watson comes back? He will almost certainly be starting at left tackle. That leaves Tolley out of the rotation, or will he be moved to right tackle? These questions will have to wait until the fall because Watson is not expected to play in this weekend's spring game.
Then there is the center position. A week ago it looked like a done deal that Jake Griffin was the starter. On Wednesday he broke his finger and will not be returning to practice this spring. Nick Capogna is now starting, but he too is banged up with a bum ankle. Jason Fox is the second string center, but the question is will Griffin be he starting center going into the fall? It depends how Capogna plays. If he comes out and dominates then the position is up for grabs, but if he struggles then Griffin probably gets the job going into the season.
With Jackie Chamber's injury forcing him to miss the remainder of the spring, it has opened up the slot position. A guy making a strong push for the starting lineup is Marcus Edwards, he's been catching everything in sight. Another player making a statement on the field has been Taurus Johnson. He may not be the tallest of the bunch, but he is explosive and could be the best deep threat on the team. Amarri Jackson has made several spectacular catches, but is still dropping some easy balls. Amp Hill has also had an impressive spring. He has shown the ability to go over the middle and take a hit. Hill still needs to prove that his surgically repaired knee will be able to take the pounding that will occur if he's a starter.
Jerome Murphy has had an incredible run the last two weeks including a stretch of three practices in a row with an interception.
Jeremy Burnett has been working on the first team at safety next to Danny Verpaele.
George Selvie, who almost made a switch to offensive line is now dominating at defensive end on the first team.
3 Key Position Battles Going Down to The Wire
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