As we near the halfway point of spring ball, we discuss what is most crucial over the next of couple weeks for the Utes. With two new offensive coaches, a new offense, and an almost entirely new offensive line & secondary, there are a lot of things Coach Whittingham and staff could see happen that would benefit the team. Me personally, I see something on the offensive side of the ball that would be a huge benefit, but we’ll get to my opinion later. So, UteZone what will it be?
Dan: In my mind, aside from the obvious "no season ending injuries" answer, the most important thing that can happen this spring is the development of four individual players: Johnny Capra, Bradlee Anae, Tyrone Smith and Corrion Ballard. All four are athletes with tremendous potential. All four have an excellent opportunity to start this fall at their respective positions. Getting those guys quality reps, helping them refine technique, and helping establish a command of their roles in the offensive and defensive schemes will go a long way toward helping Utah reload rather than rebuild. If Troy Taylor can get the kind of offensive improvements that he's looking for this fall, those four players having breakout seasons will be the difference between a good season and a great one.
Brett: Although I want to say that Utah needs to establish a starting offensive line, I am going to say that it is evident that a starting QB is named. The summer will be an important time for Utah as the entire offense needs to adapt to a new philosophy. Utah needs to name a starting QB so that there is an obvious leader going into the summer. One person needs to know that it is his duty to lead this team and the others need to know who to follow. A QB needs to separate himself so that this doesn’t continue into fall.
Andrew: Troy Williams needs to solidify himself as this team's QB and leader. We already know this team views Troy as a leader, since he was a captain last season, but he needs to silence all doubters that he's the best QB on the team. Having a QB that not only is a vocal leader, but the unquestioned starter and leader of the offense will be incredibly beneficial to a brand new offensive coordinator and offensive scheme.
Joel: Accelerated progress for the offense. The majority of the projected starters on offensive are already on campus and participating in practices. This presents a great opportunity for Troy Taylor to install his offense and begin building chemistry between the players and the playbook.
James: Utah needs to find a quality starting five on the offensive line. Replacing four starters from last season will be difficult. With the new offense, inexperience throughout the skill positions, a new kicker and the red zone struggles from last season, Utah can't afford to be moving players around late in fall camp. With such an inexperienced group, the sooner the starting five can be in place and the more time they can work together, the better.
Steve: I believe Johnny Capra taking the starting job at RT is priority No. 1 in my mind. I’ve gone back and forth between offensive guys learning the new offense, sorting out the QB position, Ballard picking things up at FS, and Capra securing his spot at RT. I settled on Capra and the RT position because I feel that’s what requires the most work to be settled compared to the other situations I described. The good news is Capra looks much improved, and has received some good reviews thus far in spring from players and coaches. Capra has the size & enough athleticism to succeed, but more importantly has been playing with much better technique. I think him earning the starting spot will be a big boost for Coach Harding and the OL.
Now it’s your turn. What do you think is the most important development for the Utes this spring?