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That's one thing Jancek does well, and one thing our defense is equipped to do well. One thing is certain, they aren't gonna have success running inside. Couch, McCullers, AJ - How you doin? And we have the personell to beef up on the ends in obvious run situations with Walls, C Miller, J Miller, and Carr.
We really need someone to step up as a pass rusher though. I know some people think J Miller can be that guy but I disagree. I'm thinking Williams, Smith, and Lewis are our best options at DE, but I think our best pass rush will come from inside.
CP wasn't a proven guy either... We all thought Hunter was proven, and perhaps he was, but his production was much lower than what he was capable of. We had great top shelf talent last year that translated to good, not great, production. Now our top end talent isn't quite as good but we have much more talent spread throughout our WR corps.
3 yr players - Dallas, Carter
2 yr players - Howard, Blanc, Bowles, Croom
1st yr players - Harris, North, Jenkins, Smith
I also think that Downs will also prove to be our main guy at TE. Any combination of Downs, Dallas, Carter, Bowles, Howard, Croom, Blanc, North, etc would be one of the best WR corps in the league (at least on paper).
Well, CP was a JUCO player, a 5 star JUCO player at that, and rated as the best JUCO player in the country..soo, it wasnt like he was a college freshman just out of HS..He had produced at a high level in JUCO. Even with that said, it's highly unlikely we will see that kind of production from a new player, JUCO or otherwise, in a while. He was special.
It may be 20 years or more before we see another CP. I'm 26, and he's the most electric WR I've seen in orange.
So was Kenny O'Neil. O'Neil and Patterson were very similar coming into their first year. One happened to be great and the other never played. My point is that CP was unproven at this point last year too. It's a fact. Unless you want to admit that Kenny O'Neil was proven as well...
This post was edited by Popcorn Sutton 14 months ago
Unproven sure, but CP played over Croom and Bowles for a reason, he was special. We can't assume that because somebody is unproven, they will match the production of the most exciting player to watch in the past few years.
No of course not. But it's equally unwise to assume that we "know" our WRs aren't going to be very good next year because they didn't play over one of the best offensive players at UT in a decade. CP and JH combind for 1,861 yards. I don't think it's out of the realm of possibilities for 3 or 4 of our guys to account for more yards than that. I think you're much more likely to see 4+ WRs with around 500 yards than one or two getting the majority of the catches. It's just a shift from having two extremely talented playmakers to having four pretty talented playmakers.
Another thing that people aren't considering is technique. Few WRs come into college their first year that are very technically sound. With all of those four stars being in their second year of the program they would have a much better understanding than they did last year.
the fact that there are "busts" coming out of JUCO does not mean that they are not more established and experienced than HS seniors. I dont think this is really an arguable point. CP was older, had played at a higher level in JUCO than any HS senior, ergo he was "more established". My overall point, however, was that we had exceptional talent at the wideout position last year, and it would be overly optimistic to expect the same production from the upcoming group of receivers who will take the field next year with no history of production behind them. Im certainly not counting on it. Add in a new qb throwing the ball to them, and even the most orange tinged glasses would make you see some growing pains next year..
You missed my point. CP also had "no history of production". You don't get to sidestep that by saying he was a highly rated Juco... as I pointed out, Kenny O'Neil was as well. I don't necessarily see us having a 1,000 yd receiver next year. But the fact is that this year we have a much deeper group of WRs than we did last year. I don't think it's unreasonable to think we could have around 4 WR top 2,000 yds between them. We're not going to just have 2 main targets. We're going to have 4 to 5 that get a pretty even distribution of catches IMO. It will be a very different play distribution scenario.
Also, I think people may be confusing CP's production as a WR with the impact he had all over the field (RB, KR, etc.)
What is more valuable, a playmaker like CP or a reliable running game? I think that will be the biggest difference between 2012 and 2013.
I would say championships have been won without a historically great playmaker like CP, but I can't think of one. I think either case (playmaker or run game) can lead to a good offense but I think you need both to have a championship offense.. Assuming your defense isn't absolutely dominant.
If I had to choose, I'd take the run game, and I think that's what we have replacing CP.
Very true. Any passing game we have will come from the success of the running game.
i mean, i think it's semantics, but if you are defining "production" as production at a Div I school, then you are correct. But, i dont think it's fair to lump in guys like North and Jenkins and Croom and Bowles with someone like CP, who, again, was extremely productive at a JUCO, so we had a better indication ( not a guarantee, cf. kenny o'neil) that he would be productive at UT. That aside, he was perhaps once in a generation type of player. And irrespective of what you want to count him as - KR, RB, WR..that production is gone. The point of the OP was how will next year compare to last, and without CP, Hunter, Bray, Rivera, Rogers..i dont see next year comparing favorably.
Sometimes this leads to true open competition and that will be one thing to watch and IMO be great for this team at every position. New staff and major turnover at the skill positions will have every WR,TE,QB& RB excited. The other thing we have is an established OL (the best in CFB) with leaders to truly lead the offensive attack on & off the field.
Folks I think emerge: Crooms- great physical size and speed! Browles- good size with speed and open-field skills. Petermen- not.because CBJ recruited him, he just impresses me and opened alot of eyes in spring last year. Pig- playmaker. I think Lane and Neil improve and if Jabo is healthy may push them late in year (loved his jr video and has speed for SEC).
We have the talent and the best OL in CFB! IMO
i think there is certainly that potential, for our running game to offset the inevitable loss in our passing offense. But, i dont think another year is going to make Lane or Neal different than who they are.. Maybe im wrong. I hope i am. Not that they are not quality backs. They are serviceable. But they arent all sec backs. They dont have homerun GAME speed, no matter what neals 40 is..they can get you the occasional 10-20 yard run, but they have not shown a history of game breaking runs which we saw all too many times made AGAINST us last year..
What's more, is that defenses now will not have the fear of CP and Hunter beating them deep. They can bring a safety in the box. Defenses will know we have inexperienced receivers and qb, and they will dare us to beat them through the air. Not going to be any secret what the strength of our team is, and defenses will try and take that away.
Finally, without CP, we lose a major force in the KR game.. These are the things that cause me concern going into next year..
It's a valid concern, no doubt about that.
crap Volfan28..! I was hoping you would have the answers to all my concerns so i could be a bit more optimistic..!
I like your enthusiasm 28, but I, to a point, disagree. I think it depends on how we define the term "better." Do we mean "better" as in production; or do we mean "better" as in schematic discipline and consistency?
To the former, I don't think our offense is going to produce near like it did in 2012. As inconsistent as he was, Tyler Bray made some throws that only a few college QBs can make; he also threw for well over 3,000 yards and 34 TDs (his 2012 season is second to only Peyton Manning in the record books). He was more accurate than people gave him credit for and he also had a knack for getting the ball out of his hands quickly. I think his sheer arm talent is irreplaceable. Also, there is no way to replace Justin Hunter and Cordarrelle Patterson talent wise. None. You're talking about possibly the two most athletically gifted receivers to ever play at Tennessee. While Hunter did drop some passes, his speed and quickness were virtually uncoverable, and he had a knack for making spectacular catches in the end zone. Patterson I think is even superior to Hunter as far as athleticism. If he had been a better route runner, he would have had a 1,000 yard season receiving. Not to mention, we also lost Mychal Rivera and Zach Rogers.
As for the latter, I think there is merit to that argument. Bray was a headcase. That much was obvious. Hunter this season reminded me of what 1999 Jamal Lewis looked like; a player who knew he was NFL bound after the season and didn't play as hard as he could in order to save his body for the pros. Watch film of this past season and you'll see that Hunter barely ever took a pass in the middle of the field; most of his catches were on the sideline. Patterson simply wasn't a solid route-runner. The things that our offense has going for it are these:
1) We have four quarterbacks capable of running Butch's offense; while it could be argued that only Bray fit Chaney's air-raid system with the arm he had
2) We have the best O-line in the SEC and maybe in the entire nation
3) We have signed the #1 wide receiver class two years straight
4) Our running game will feature two capable backs (Neal and Lane) who will certainly make for a formidable 1-2 punch
From everything I read in the off-season, it seemed like Peterman and Worley were already ahead of Tyler Bray in the intelligence and maturity department, even with Bray as the starter. Consequently, while none of the QBs on our roster now have the pure arm talent Bray had, they all are extremely intelligent, very mature, overall and seem to be a bit farther along in the process of becoming a true quarterback than Bray was. I also think that Butch Jones' offense is more conducive to success than Chaney's was. Chaney hated running the football; and as a result, we became very one-dimensional, leading to Bray interceptions and stalled drives. Butch seems to favor running the ball (something you MUST be able to do in the SEC) to set up the pass. I prefer Butch's system to Chaney's, in part because it is a much better fit for the players we have on that side of the ball, quarterbacks especially. Also, our receiver depth in 2013 bodes to be better than it was last season, Behind our tandem of Hunter, Patterson, and Zach Rogers, we had barely any effective players. (Pig had his moments, but seldom did they ever come) This group of receivers, albeit not as talented as the 2012 group, will most likely be deeper. The parity will allow us to substitute more often during the game, allowing for fresher bodies to be available which will in turn wear defenses down...quickly. With that said, there are some things going against this offense as well:
1) We are inheriting an offense devoid of it's four most productive receivers and its starting QB.
2) We are instituting a brand new system, with brand new schemes, brand new routes and brand new terminology.
3) Outside of Pig, none of our receivers have played a down of college football; most of them are still quite raw at this point
4) Despite what I've said about Bray and the others, breaking in a new quarterback will not be easy in the least
So, my point is this: I do think that our offense will be more consistent, but I do not think that it will be near as good as 2012 in terms of production. CAN the 2013 offense be good Absolutely. We have a good deal of talent on our hands. But WILL it? I don't know yet. I think we would all be well served to dial down our expectations a bit; there's no way we can demand that a brand-new quarterback throwing to brand new receivers in a brand new scheme match the numbers of what was statistically the greatest Tennessee offense of all-time. Let's have hope, but let's also be reasonable too.
+1 for the post 28, I like your optimism.
This post has been edited 4 times, most recently by Fear_Smokey 14 months ago
"What did he do? All he did was score!" - John Ward
I don't necessarily buy an "inevitable loss in pass offense". Bray had 3,612 yds last year. He attempted 451 passes. What if this year we amass 2,500-3,000 yds but only attempt 250-300 passes? We would get less yards from our passing game but it would be much more effective, by virtue of being more efficient, than last year. That is just a hypothetical to show that we might not have a net loss. It is also much more likely that our passing game will be much more efficient because we should have a solid running game that allows us to pass when we choose to instead of out of necessity.
I think the defense will be much improved next year going back to the 4-3. JMO
It can't get any worse, that's for sure.
Ha! I have no answers, only hope.
Hopefully, we can go back to the days where we won't need 12 or 13 on defense.
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