Mountaineer Mailbox

We get questions. And you want answers. So here is our first, hopefully of many, editions of the Mountaineer Mailbox.

Q: I was wondering if you might have any information at all on this years football season. My fiance and I are planning a wedding around Nov. and we were trying to figure out if there were any pre-determined bi-weeks? Any information would help...Thanks a lot! -Matthew

A: My first thought is, what in the heck are you doing getting married in November? Football and basketball are in swing, and a honeymoon might well throw further crimps in your plans. But, as we recognize, love conquers all.

Seriously, the football schedule is due any day now. It would be a shock to not have it by the end of the month. And make sure your bride-to-be knows that she owes you one.

Q: I am sold on Jarrett Brown in this offense. I think he will be solid for us next year. My concern is at backup. Do you think Coley can come close to his brother or do you think Geno may be the answer at backup? -Wallace

A: Good question, and one that is probably shared by many. I agree with you on Jarrett, so long as the expectations for him aren't unrealistic. He can't be the next Pat White, so as long as he is allowed to be Jarrett Brown, I think he will be fine.

As for the backup, that's much tougher. Coley has reportedly improved his throwing motion and made strides with his mechanics. A year in the program, even on the scout team, certainly gives him an advantage over Geno Smith, who will be coming in cold and will have to learn everything from scratch. I think those two will compete at backup, but I don't know that the coaching staff will go so far as to officially name a number two guy each week. If Brown were to be unavailable, I think the timing would be important. If that happened in week two, I wouldn't be surprised to see Bradley Starks in emergency duty. Longterm, I think Geno is more suited to the offense that Bill Stewart will run, so that gives him an advantage. In 2009, though, it's pretty much a crapshoot. Which player picks up the fundamentals more quickly? We should know much more by mid-August.

Q: Which shoulder did Starks have his surgery on? –John

A: His left (throwing) shoulder.

Q: We saw a very successful move last season by Brandon Hogan from offense to defense. Do you see any big switches like this happening this season, with any players switching sides of the ball and being as successful? If so, what might we expect to see? –Brian

A: There have been some moves discussed, such as Zac Cooper back to linebacker or perhaps another fullback/tight end switch. Keep in mind that spring is the time for such experiments, but oftentimes those moves aren't permanent. In fact, they are more rare than we tend to think, because the successes, such as Hogan, tend to stand out.

Forced to guess, I could see a move of an offensive lineman to defense, just because depth could be an issue on that side of the ball. A move for a free safety down to spur or bandit isn't out of the question, either.

Have a question for us? Feel free to submit it at the Mountaineer Mailbox.

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