My Take

sutomcat

Former Iggy Winner. I used to be somebody special
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As some have noticed, I haven’t posted any takes on the season so far.

Sorry about that. Just moved. Lots of stuff going on.

Here is a quick review of my thoughts on things 3 games in.

Offense:

I think you have to start here discussing the OL, which apparently had a series of injuries befall it last spring. If everyone was healthy, I believe we would have exactly 1 of our current starters starting where they are playing now. I won’t go into detail, but suffice it to say things have not gone according to plan.

All told, I think the OL has played pretty well, and it looks like it is getting better. To be fair, they haven’t had the luxury of 3 or 4 easy OOC games to learn to play together, and getting Pitt in game two was a really tough assignment.

Add to that the task of braking in 2 RBs playing a lot for the first time and it is easy to understand why we would have problemS on offense.

Has Tommy been part of the problem? IMHO, yes. I think he has a tendency to hold the ball unless he sees his primary target wide open. I think good things rarely happen if he doesn’t deliver the ball on time to his primary target. He has a tendency to leave the pocket going to the sideline, and this almost always leads to a sack or incompletion.

He is just not good improvising. On the positive side, this year, he has been far better running for first downs when the pocket breaks down and he can’t find anyone open. We are actually getting some first downs on broken plays, which is great to see.

We see many pass attempts end with Tommy holding the ball for a long time, a really long time. Is this happening because receivers are not getting open, because Tommy freezes up sometimes and can/t/won’t try to make throws, or because Tommy just can’t see open receivers in the heat of the battle? Or is the OL/RB mostly at fault for not giving Tommy enough time? If I had the opportunity to watch games in person (I planned to attend all 3 games played to date), I would feel much more qualified to answer this.

It is hard trying to watching on TV. But I think it is a mix of all of these things.

Clearly some of our OL have been beaten almost immediately on some passing plays. No way they have given Tommy a chance to succeed. Pretty much all of them look to have missed their man on a few plays. Pierre has been really bad at picking up blitzes as well.

But Tommy has definitely missed some open receivers. And Tommy has made some bad passes to open receivers. And receivers have made some bad drops on catches that should be routine.

I think the play calling has been suspect at times as well. And one wonders if the offense has been structured to best take advantage of the resources available to work with.

So I think it has been a group effort. Even with the major improvements on Saturday, there are clear problems with this unit. They just do not seem capable of running sustained drives. Too many mistakes too often. I don’t think we can win games consistently by having a few big plays. That said, with the lack of spring ball, the injuries, the opt outs, the chaos of pre-season and the lack of OOC games is going to have an impact. One hopes they can get it together.

GT is bad defending the run. It was great to see Tucker do some damage against them in the first half. No doubt establishing the run opened up the passing game and helped make the long passes work, I think the key to this offense and the key to our season lies here. If we can find a way to have a respectable rushing attack, the offense will work, we will score a lot of points and win our share of games. It was great to see Tucker step up and make some plays Saturday. We all know Jordan is capable of making plays as well, and I think he will show he is a player as well later this season.

It was great to see Nykeim step up as a viable #2 receiver to Taj Saturday. It is a great concern that we haven’t seen other WRs step up and be factors yet. Queeley has shown some signs, as has Courtney Jackson. We need players other than Taj we can rely on and that Tommy will have confidence to throw to. On that topic, I agree with many on the board suggesting we throw the ball to the TEs more. I don’t get the reluctance to do it. Hope that changes.

Defense:

I love the basic concepts behind the San Diego State 3-3-5. I tempered my expectations based on Rocky Long’s comments about how long it takes to install this defense properly. So far, it has exceeds my hopes and been a huge pleasant surprise. I love how he has used so many players so far, helping to keep the defense fresh for four quarters. Love how he has been willing to play talented young players and give them a chance to show what they can do. I much prefer an aggressive defense that puts pressure on the offense and puts extreme pressure on them. I think it is our best chance to beat teams that are generally going to be more talented than we are.

He is doing a great job taking advantage of the players he has to work with. Love what I see from the youngsters: Carter, G Williams, Thompson, Cantin-Arcu, Linton, Wax, Hanna, Nunn...so many young players playing a lot and playing well. The vets are doing well too. Iffy rarely gets balls thrown his way. M Williams, Jonathan, Black and even the JUCO guy Roscoe are making plays, and Cisco and Trill have been great too.

Special teams:

Cooney has been solid punting and kicking off. Big and pleasant surprise. Nyk has been good returning punts and KOs. Andre has been good kicking FGs. The return teams have been somewhat suspect but look like they are getting better. Things are looking good here; we should have an advantage over most of the teams we play.

Hope Andre and Tyrell are okay and will be ready in two weeks. We are going to need them. Again, the key to me is us finding a way to run the ball successfully. It looks like this patchwork OL might be able to open some holes. It looks like Tucker has good vision, and has the speed and strength to get the yards we need. Maybe, just maybe we have a chance to be a good team.
 

Cuse69

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Couldn't have said it better myself, I think when you take emotion out of it most people see it this way which in reality is where the team is at right now. Great write up and really spot on.
 

Roger N

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As some have noticed, I haven’t posted any takes on the season so far.

Sorry about that. Just moved. Lots of stuff going on.

Here is a quick review of my thoughts on things 3 games in.

Offense:

I think you have to start here discussing the OL, which apparently had a series of injuries befall it last spring. If everyone was healthy, I believe we would have exactly 1 of our current starters starting where they are playing now. I won’t go into detail, but suffice it to say things have not gone according to plan.

All told, I think the OL has played pretty well, and it looks like it is getting better. To be fair, they haven’t had the luxury of 3 or 4 easy OOC games to learn to play together, and getting Pitt in game two was a really tough assignment.

Add to that the task of braking in 2 RBs playing a lot for the first time and it is easy to understand why we would have problemS on offense.

Has Tommy been part of the problem? IMHO, yes. I think he has a tendency to hold the ball unless he sees his primary target wide open. I think good things rarely happen if he doesn’t deliver the ball on time to his primary target. He has a tendency to leave the pocket going to the sideline, and this almost always leads to a sack or incompletion.

He is just not good improvising. On the positive side, this year, he has been far better running for first downs when the pocket breaks down and he can’t find anyone open. We are actually getting some first downs on broken plays, which is great to see.

We see many pass attempts end with Tommy holding the ball for a long time, a really long time. Is this happening because receivers are not getting open, because Tommy freezes up sometimes and can/t/won’t try to make throws, or because Tommy just can’t see open receivers in the heat of the battle? Or is the OL/RB mostly at fault for not giving Tommy enough time? If I had the opportunity to watch games in person (I planned to attend all 3 games played to date), I would feel much more qualified to answer this.

It is hard trying to watching on TV. But I think it is a mix of all of these things.

Clearly some of our OL have been beaten almost immediately on some passing plays. No way they have given Tommy a chance to succeed. Pretty much all of them look to have missed their man on a few plays. Pierre has been really bad at picking up blitzes as well.

But Tommy has definitely missed some open receivers. And Tommy has made some bad passes to open receivers. And receivers have made some bad drops on catches that should be routine.

I think the play calling has been suspect at times as well. And one wonders if the offense has been structured to best take advantage of the resources available to work with.

So I think it has been a group effort. Even with the major improvements on Saturday, there are clear problems with this unit. They just do not seem capable of running sustained drives. Too many mistakes too often. I don’t think we can win games consistently by having a few big plays. That said, with the lack of spring ball, the injuries, the opt outs, the chaos of pre-season and the lack of OOC games is going to have an impact. One hopes they can get it together.

GT is bad defending the run. It was great to see Tucker do some damage against them in the first half. No doubt establishing the run opened up the passing game and helped make the long passes work, I think the key to this offense and the key to our season lies here. If we can find a way to have a respectable rushing attack, the offense will work, we will score a lot of points and win our share of games. It was great to see Tucker step up and make some plays Saturday. We all know Jordan is capable of making plays as well, and I think he will show he is a player as well later this season.

It was great to see Nykeim step up as a viable #2 receiver to Taj Saturday. It is a great concern that we haven’t seen other WRs step up and be factors yet. Queeley has shown some signs, as has Courtney Jackson. We need players other than Taj we can rely on and that Tommy will have confidence to throw to. On that topic, I agree with many on the board suggesting we throw the ball to the TEs more. I don’t get the reluctance to do it. Hope that changes.

Defense:

I love the basic concepts behind the San Diego State 3-3-5. I tempered my expectations based on Rocky Long’s comments about how long it takes to install this defense properly. So far, it has exceeds my hopes and been a huge pleasant surprise. I love how he has used so many players so far, helping to keep the defense fresh for four quarters. Love how he has been willing to play talented young players and give them a chance to show what they can do. I much prefer an aggressive defense that puts pressure on the offense and puts extreme pressure on them. I think it is our best chance to beat teams that are generally going to be more talented than we are.

He is doing a great job taking advantage of the players he has to work with. Love what I see from the youngsters: Carter, G Williams, Thompson, Cantin-Arcu, Linton, Wax, Hanna, Nunn...so many young players playing a lot and playing well. The vets are doing well too. Iffy rarely gets balls thrown his way. M Williams, Jonathan, Black and even the JUCO guy Roscoe are making plays, and Cisco and Trill have been great too.

Special teams:

Cooney has been solid punting and kicking off. Big and pleasant surprise. Nyk has been good returning punts and KOs. Andre has been good kicking FGs. The return teams have been somewhat suspect but look like they are getting better. Things are looking good here; we should have an advantage over most of the teams we play.

Hope Andre and Tyrell are okay and will be ready in two weeks. We are going to need them. Again, the key to me is us finding a way to run the ball successfully. It looks like this patchwork OL might be able to open some holes. It looks like Tucker has good vision, and has the speed and strength to get the yards we need. Maybe, just maybe we have a chance to be a good team.
Nice report. Wouldn’t want to see a report on the first two games
 

OttoinGrotto

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It's interesting to me that we haven't seen the defense gives up the really huge, back breaking plays anymore. I've gotten used to that. Very interesting to see us play so many guys on defense and not be giving up huge plays.
 

Dcuse

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Obviously, your comment on the OL is surprising to say the least with the 3 starters on the “ improved” line of last year coming back to their same positions. Are you able to expound on that subject Tom or are you sworn to secrecy?
 

OrangeinBoston

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It's interesting to me that we haven't seen the defense gives up the really huge, back breaking plays anymore. I've gotten used to that. Very interesting to see us play so many guys on defense and not be giving up huge plays.

Well, we let GT complete a First & 35 yards.
 

syrBossHogg

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It's interesting to me that we haven't seen the defense gives up the really huge, back breaking plays anymore. I've gotten used to that. Very interesting to see us play so many guys on defense and not be giving up huge plays.

Sign of a well coached defense. Yeah these players may miss tackles or don't set the edge on run plays but those are far less killer than giving up a 40+ yard passing plays like we've seen in the past.
 

721Comstock

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It's interesting to me that we haven't seen the defense gives up the really huge, back breaking plays anymore. I've gotten used to that. Very interesting to see us play so many guys on defense and not be giving up huge plays.

Yeah - we seemed to be good for 1-2 of those jailbreak TD’s where the opponent scored in under 3 plays almost every game, in prior seasons.

Guess that’s a benefit of the 3-3-5:
they’ll get thru the 3, and sometimes the other 3, but not all of the 5.
 

ElwoodJBlues

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I think you have to start here discussing the OL, which apparently had a series of injuries befall it last spring. If everyone was healthy, I believe we would have exactly 1 of our current starters starting where they are playing now. I won’t go into detail, but suffice it to say things have not gone according to plan.

I find it really interesting how things have shaken out. It feels like Vettorello was destined to be 2C after the reported development of Anthony Red may have pushed Dino to move Servais back to center. Not sure what the G position was looking like, but I recall a good amount of optimism that P. Davis would finally take the next step. It’s disappointing Wil Froumy has been injured because I know the staff has been pleased with the strides he’s made.

LT - Red
LG - D. Davis
C - Servais
RG - P. Davis
RT - Bergeron
 

syrBossHogg

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I find it really interesting how things have shaken out. It feels like Vettorello was destined to be 2C after the reported development of Anthony Red may have pushed Dino to move Servais back to center. Not sure what the G position was looking like, but I recall a good amount of optimism that P. Davis would finally take the next step. It’s disappointing Wil Froumy has been injured because I know the staff has been pleased with the strides he’s made.

LT - Red
LG - D. Davis
C - Servais
RG - P. Davis
RT - Bergeron

That would be interesting and would maybe shed a light on why Servais has struggled a bit this year at Tackle

Also gotta think maybe the staff felt Bleich would be ruled eligible for this year and start instead of Dakota or Patrick
 

storange

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As some have noticed, I haven’t posted any takes on the season so far.

Sorry about that. Just moved. Lots of stuff going on.

Here is a quick review of my thoughts on things 3 games in.

Offense:

I think you have to start here discussing the OL, which apparently had a series of injuries befall it last spring. If everyone was healthy, I believe we would have exactly 1 of our current starters starting where they are playing now. I won’t go into detail, but suffice it to say things have not gone according to plan.

All told, I think the OL has played pretty well, and it looks like it is getting better. To be fair, they haven’t had the luxury of 3 or 4 easy OOC games to learn to play together, and getting Pitt in game two was a really tough assignment.

Add to that the task of braking in 2 RBs playing a lot for the first time and it is easy to understand why we would have problemS on offense.

Has Tommy been part of the problem? IMHO, yes. I think he has a tendency to hold the ball unless he sees his primary target wide open. I think good things rarely happen if he doesn’t deliver the ball on time to his primary target. He has a tendency to leave the pocket going to the sideline, and this almost always leads to a sack or incompletion.

He is just not good improvising. On the positive side, this year, he has been far better running for first downs when the pocket breaks down and he can’t find anyone open. We are actually getting some first downs on broken plays, which is great to see.

We see many pass attempts end with Tommy holding the ball for a long time, a really long time. Is this happening because receivers are not getting open, because Tommy freezes up sometimes and can/t/won’t try to make throws, or because Tommy just can’t see open receivers in the heat of the battle? Or is the OL/RB mostly at fault for not giving Tommy enough time? If I had the opportunity to watch games in person (I planned to attend all 3 games played to date), I would feel much more qualified to answer this.

It is hard trying to watching on TV. But I think it is a mix of all of these things.

Clearly some of our OL have been beaten almost immediately on some passing plays. No way they have given Tommy a chance to succeed. Pretty much all of them look to have missed their man on a few plays. Pierre has been really bad at picking up blitzes as well.

But Tommy has definitely missed some open receivers. And Tommy has made some bad passes to open receivers. And receivers have made some bad drops on catches that should be routine.

I think the play calling has been suspect at times as well. And one wonders if the offense has been structured to best take advantage of the resources available to work with.

So I think it has been a group effort. Even with the major improvements on Saturday, there are clear problems with this unit. They just do not seem capable of running sustained drives. Too many mistakes too often. I don’t think we can win games consistently by having a few big plays. That said, with the lack of spring ball, the injuries, the opt outs, the chaos of pre-season and the lack of OOC games is going to have an impact. One hopes they can get it together.

GT is bad defending the run. It was great to see Tucker do some damage against them in the first half. No doubt establishing the run opened up the passing game and helped make the long passes work, I think the key to this offense and the key to our season lies here. If we can find a way to have a respectable rushing attack, the offense will work, we will score a lot of points and win our share of games. It was great to see Tucker step up and make some plays Saturday. We all know Jordan is capable of making plays as well, and I think he will show he is a player as well later this season.

It was great to see Nykeim step up as a viable #2 receiver to Taj Saturday. It is a great concern that we haven’t seen other WRs step up and be factors yet. Queeley has shown some signs, as has Courtney Jackson. We need players other than Taj we can rely on and that Tommy will have confidence to throw to. On that topic, I agree with many on the board suggesting we throw the ball to the TEs more. I don’t get the reluctance to do it. Hope that changes.

Defense:

I love the basic concepts behind the San Diego State 3-3-5. I tempered my expectations based on Rocky Long’s comments about how long it takes to install this defense properly. So far, it has exceeds my hopes and been a huge pleasant surprise. I love how he has used so many players so far, helping to keep the defense fresh for four quarters. Love how he has been willing to play talented young players and give them a chance to show what they can do. I much prefer an aggressive defense that puts pressure on the offense and puts extreme pressure on them. I think it is our best chance to beat teams that are generally going to be more talented than we are.

He is doing a great job taking advantage of the players he has to work with. Love what I see from the youngsters: Carter, G Williams, Thompson, Cantin-Arcu, Linton, Wax, Hanna, Nunn...so many young players playing a lot and playing well. The vets are doing well too. Iffy rarely gets balls thrown his way. M Williams, Jonathan, Black and even the JUCO guy Roscoe are making plays, and Cisco and Trill have been great too.

Special teams:

Cooney has been solid punting and kicking off. Big and pleasant surprise. Nyk has been good returning punts and KOs. Andre has been good kicking FGs. The return teams have been somewhat suspect but look like they are getting better. Things are looking good here; we should have an advantage over most of the teams we play.

Hope Andre and Tyrell are okay and will be ready in two weeks. We are going to need them. Again, the key to me is us finding a way to run the ball successfully. It looks like this patchwork OL might be able to open some holes. It looks like Tucker has good vision, and has the speed and strength to get the yards we need. Maybe, just maybe we have a chance to be a good team.
Have to wait awhile for details on hotdogs, nachos, ginger ale and tubas but great job just the same.
 

TheCusian

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The defense changed, but the philosophy is the same. Force teams to take long methodical drives, if they get greedy pick off the pass. It fits really nice with Dino’s philosophy on O: aggressive deep shots and a bruising running game, tempo - score quick and grab a lead
 

OttoinGrotto

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Yeah - we seemed to be good for 1-2 of those jailbreak TD’s where the opponent scored in under 3 plays almost every game, in prior seasons.

Guess that’s a benefit of the 3-3-5:
they’ll get thru the 3, and sometimes the other 3, but not all of the 5.
That's probably about how it works, yeah.
 

RICuse44

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I find it really interesting how things have shaken out. It feels like Vettorello was destined to be 2C after the reported development of Anthony Red may have pushed Dino to move Servais back to center. Not sure what the G position was looking like, but I recall a good amount of optimism that P. Davis would finally take the next step. It’s disappointing Wil Froumy has been injured because I know the staff has been pleased with the strides he’s made.

LT - Red
LG - D. Davis
C - Servais
RG - P. Davis
RT - Bergeron

that’s a really interesting line. was this how things looked going into the season?

any timetable for red and Dakota to be back? It sounds like Dakota will be there for duke
 

ElwoodJBlues

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that’s a really interesting line. was this how things looked going into the season?

any timetable for red and Dakota to be back? It sounds like Dakota will be there for duke
I really don’t know how things were lined up for this season, since no spring ball. From last year, you could probably infer that things would have been:

LT - Servais
LG - D. Davis
C - Vettorello
RG - Tisdale
RT - Bergeron

However, I recall reading a little hype for Red and we know how much Dino/Cavanaugh like Servais in the middle.
 

tipphill

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excellent write up!!!!! spot on re tommy--. i just feel for me anyway, he remains suspect, and misses a lot of throws
 

Cusefan69

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I find it really interesting how things have shaken out. It feels like Vettorello was destined to be 2C after the reported development of Anthony Red may have pushed Dino to move Servais back to center. Not sure what the G position was looking like, but I recall a good amount of optimism that P. Davis would finally take the next step. It’s disappointing Wil Froumy has been injured because I know the staff has been pleased with the strides he’s made.

LT - Red
LG - D. Davis
C - Servais
RG - P. Davis
RT - Bergeron
It looked like Josh IIaoa (frosh) was in a fair amount. Was he playing guard or center? Is he finding his way into the starting mix?
 

RandomGuy

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It looked like Josh IIaoa (frosh) was in a fair amount. Was he playing guard or center? Is he finding his way into the starting mix?
I saw him come in once, when Tis was banged up. 1 snap later, Tis was back in. My guess is that Tis was playing through something, which may have affected his performance. Backups all went in for mop up. He was at G. Our other C, Kosciol was also at G, with Kisstlestein at C. Have to think injuries at G have those 2 sliding to G, just in case. In the words of Evan Adams, Kosciol was a young guy to watch.
 

SUbear

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It's interesting to me that we haven't seen the defense gives up the really huge, back breaking plays anymore. I've gotten used to that. Very interesting to see us play so many guys on defense and not be giving up huge plays.
Defense has played well. I have only one complaint, and that would be there has been some really poor tackling. Expect this may be due to the relative youth, especially in the LB corps, but tackling needs to improve.
 

IthacaMatt

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I really don’t know how things were lined up for this season, since no spring ball. From last year, you could probably infer that things would have been:

LT - Servais
LG - D. Davis
C - Vettorello
RG - Tisdale
RT - Bergeron

However, I recall reading a little hype for Red and we know how much Dino/Cavanaugh like Servais in the middle.


I don't know what the fascination with Servais is. When he played center last year, I recall many times where guys went right past him - in the middle of the line! How does that happen?

Now he's back out at left tackle, and defensive ends fly past him and he almost doesn't leave his stance. He's been awful. He was more effective when Dungey was still here - I guess because Dungey used to take off and run around the opposite end on broken plays.
 

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