Friday, September 09, 2005

Air Shoop?


All the shuffling at the tailback and fullback positions, plus the huge amount of passing in the scrimmage with Harvard, lead me to believe we may be going to the air A LOT this coming season. That would make sense if Coach Shoop's very positive public assessment of our two quarterbacks is the real deal.

Look, you have to play to your strengths. And I don't think Columbia's going to be lucky enough to field a top-flight offensive line with all the rookies who will be starting. MAYBE they'll be able to run-block or pass-block, but I can't believe they'll be ready to do both effectively. So that leads me to believe the coaches are focusing on protecting the QB and going from there.

Columbia doesn't have a lot of wide receivers with impressive stats behind them. Senior Brandon Bowser came out of nowhere last season and established himself as a deep threat, but he's alone in the "highly-experienced" category. It looks like the coaches are going to spread the ball around, shuttling a number of receivers in and out of games. On the other hand, I don't think all the receivers besides Bowser will be completely interchangeable. I think Nick DeGasperis and Jim Besselman will be featured a little more than people like Pete Chromiak and Jeff Coles. But I've just named 5 WR's right there who should see a lot of action, and hopefully, they'll make opposing defenses crazy.

If you're going to throw the ball a lot, you have to be able to react quickly to guys getting covered and notice the mismatches when they occur. Perhaps that's why it's taking so long for Shoop to decide on the starting QB; he may be installing a new program that takes the seniority advantage away from the senior Joe Winters as he battles it out with Sophomore Craig Hormann.

Throwing the ball a ton is something that could make sense this year. It's certainly worked for Brown for the last 12 years, and before then, they were only slightly ahead of Columbia in the battle to stay out of the perennial Ivy cellar. If we institute a true "West Coast Offense," it should open things up for our inexperienced running backs and make things exciting week after week. But like everything else, we'll have to wait and see.


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