We're a week into practice and I thought there were some generalities that we could make just from the practice reports alone. I'm not going to put any links or real research into this, these are just my thoughts, please feel free to add your own in the comments:
- Why haven't we heard from Kellen Tillman, Paul Williams and Chad Hill? I'm not trying to sound derogatory here, but I haven't come across one bit of positive press about either of them. The only news I've read is about Hill is that he was returning from injury this past week. Shouldn't we be hearing about how these guys are making plays all over the field?
Instead we are hearing about Brian Duncan, Marlon Williams, and Julius Howard. The three starters mentioned in the preceding paragraph need to step up their play and it should have started last week. Setencich has a propensity to play players with more experience, but at some point a premium should be placed on guys who can play or make plays on the field and not so much on experience.
It would be nice to see these guys at the very least get a mention in the paper.
- I think this secondary may be the most talented I can remember. Most recently Daniel Charbonnet, Darcel McBath, Chris Parker, Marcus Bunton, Joe Garcia, Pete Richardson, and Jamar Wall all got mentions in the paper last week and I'm sure I'm forgetting a few. This group has the potential to be something special. I know that the defensive backs are only part of the equation, but this is a talented crew.
- The offensive line will be fine. I know, I shouldn't be so sure of myself, but this group has talent. Offensive line coach Matt Moore moving Vasquez to tackle has cemented for me that this is a guy who wants to get the most talent on the field, regardless of preconceived notions of position. Moving Vasquez is somewhat daring for a guy who was coaching high school players last year. the one thing that Moore could have counted on was strong play from Vasquez at a position where he was comfortable, but now Vasquez is asked to learn another position and be the lineman that provides protection for Harrell's blindside. It would have been easy for Moore not to make this move, to leave things status quo, but he's obviously thinking outside the box. I have no doubt that there will be some struggles early, but this group, much like the defensive backs are as talented a group as there's been at Texas Tech.
I never know how to judge how successful a program is, but one of the elements that I always try to consider is if there is much of a drop-off in talent between the group of players that was there and the group replaced the players who left? There are teams that rarely have a drop-off in talent when players graduate, and this is certainly something that Texas Tech has consistently lacked before. For the most part I think that Texas Tech has solved this problem at quarterback, running back, and wide receiver, for the most part. The offensive line is one group where this is still a question. Now, this group of linemen has an opportunity to show that they are as good as their predecessors.
- The wide receiving group is making plays. I love it when I see Michael Crabtree's name in print more than once a week, but it's not just Crabtree that I think is important be noticed. Don Williams noted earlier in the week that wide receivers coach Dana Holgorsen wants to get players in positions to succeed and mentioned moving Ed Britton as well as Danny Amendola to get the most out of these players. Receivers Lyle Leong, Grant Walker, and Eric Morris have also gotten mentions, but I would love to see other guys mentioned, like L.A. Reed, Adrian Reese, Adam James and Grant Walker.
I've thought for a while that this is a talented group and I haven't even considered the talented group of incoming freshmen.
- Henley and Stoffels are making plays and they have to continue this trend. It seems like both Rajon and Clint are continually making plays in the backfield for the defense and that may be the best news for this team. I really don't know what to expect from this group of defensive linemen. Without putting too much pressure on these kids, I think that much of the success of this team will fall to the defensive line. Can this group muster a pass rush and can they stop the run. If this group can affirmatively answer both of these questions then there's a greater than zero chance that Texas Tech is going to have a successful year.