Thursday, July 10, 2008

Brown Outlook

Bear fans hope QB Michael Dougherty is more accurate than the Brown statistician (CREDIT: Brown Athletics)

Brown has released its 2008 football season preview on its website. It includes in the usual "puffing," but I think the overall excitement about the Bears offense is warranted... with the possible exception of the hoopla about the return of tailback Dereck Knight. Knight is talented, but he is not really battle-tested and if Brown is successful this season it will be because of its short, medium and long passing game.

There is an admirable amount of honest caution in the way the article assesses the Bear defense. Brown gave up a ton of points in a lot of games last season, and a lot of the most talented members of that already challenged defense have graduated. Clearly, Head Coach Phil Estes is excited about his linebacker corps but that may not be enough. Next to 1,000-yard tailbacks, the rarest commodity in the Ivies today are strong defensive linemen. Brown has experience on the DL, and an impressive leader in James Develin, but perhaps not enough total talent to really stuff the opposition.

Finally, the article touches on the tough task of replacing punter/kicker Steve Morgan who has graduated. Morgan was a big part of the Brown offense and no matter how well the running and passing game do, total points scored may fall this season because of his absence.

One more thing... there's a freaky error on the football page that lists the final score of last year's Brown-Columbia game as 36-22 Brown, instead of the correct 30-22. The Brown site credits quarterback Michael Dougherty with a 34-yard touchdown run supposedly scored as the final gun sounded for the difference. This has to be the weirdest "error" I've ever seen in a box score, as I was of course at the game and saw no such TD, and no other record of the game includes this score, includin the official league website. I've heard of running up the score on the field... but in the BOX SCORE?!?! Weird.


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