Monday, December 29, 2008

follow-up thoughts

Couple things I left out of yesterday's post:
-- On the draft page, Andre Smith is currently ranked as the top prospect -- not at LT, but overall. Assuming he doesn't suffer some sort of horrific injury on Saturday, this should hold until the spring. Which means it's hard to believe Andre would come back to Alabama for another season when there's so much money on the table to be made (much as I love Alabama football, if he came to me and asked, I'd have to tell him to take care of himself and his family -- that's just the way it is). That means the biggest story of 2009 in Tuscaloosa will be how Alabama replaces its quarterback and the bulk of its offensive line -- Smith, Antoine Caldwell (the two most important players on the offense, by the way) and right guard Marlon Davis -- not to mention tight ends Travis McCall and Nick Walker -- will all be gone by spring practice.
This, to me, is the biggest storyline for 2009.

-- When that kid from USM broke his leg -- a video I will link to but not show, for reasons of taste -- I got sympathy pains you wouldn't believe.
(By the way, I agree with the guys on Deadspin -- you can watch that vid once, and only once. If you watch it more than once, you're pretty much a horrible person.)

-- A friend of mine who's an LSU fan and I were discussing the Tigers' quarterback prospects for '09, and how the QB position ultimately undermined them in 2008. I argued that a) the defense didn't exactly lock teams down this fall and b) Gary Crowton should be beaten vigorously about the head and shoulders for his complete unwillingness to stick to the run game even though it averaged a robust 4.4 yards per carry this season, and that's even factoring in the minus yards by the quarterback position.
Of course, poor Jarrett Lee gets the blame for most of this. Bear with me on this for a moment, because it's going to look stupid in print, but ... OK: TAKING OUT THE INTERCEPTIONS, Lee actually wasn't bad this season. Yes, that is akin to saying, "Other than the man with the gun, did you enjoy the play, Mrs. Lincoln?" But it's true: Lee completed more passes than he didn't, had a passer rating over 100 most of the season and led a huge comeback at Auburn (a bigger deal at the time than it probably looks now). The interception number is eye-popping, obviously, but he's only a freshman, and let's remember that some 'Bama fans thought John Parker was beyond salvage until sometime midway through this season.
Anyway, look for LSU to have a wide-open QB race this spring, featuring Lee, Andrew Hatch and that Jefferson guy. Should be interesting.

-- We'll get back to the Sugar Bowl starting either later today, or maybe tomorrow.

No comments: