Stafford and Knowshon are both riding into the sunset
Matthew Stafford and Knowshon Moreno both announced that they would be heading to the NFL next season, foregoing the rest of their college eligibility. Honestly, it doesn’t come as a surprise at all. I mean, I can’t say I’d leave the $30+ mil Stafford’s looking at on the table for another year in college. That’s a helluva chunk of change to give up. Stafford’s got all the tools to have a killer showing in the NFL Combine as well, separating himself from the other QBs available. Keep in mind that Stafford’s already got a leg up on Sam Bradford because Stafford calls his own audibles and checks at the line of scrimmage, while And Knowshon should go no matter what, as the lifespan of NFL running backs is relatively short and he has no real area to improve in the college game.
I truly wish both of them all of the best. They should both make spectacular pickups for whatever pro team selects them in the Draft. I just hope to God Stafford doesn’t end up with the Lions. Sam Bradford, if you’re listening, PLEASE have a great game in the national title. Be the #1 pick. Or you, Andre Smith. Keep talking to the agents, and go to the Lions for us. Because I don’t wanna cheer on a dismal team even if Stafford’s on it. And besides, blue/silver would look terrible after wearing red/black/white for 3 years.
But looking ahead to next year, here’s what I’d like to see for the Dawgs:
- Two-QB System: I’ve never really been a fan of the 2-QB system (mostly because I remember the Gators using it to beat us a few years back), but I think it could be really effective for us next year. I know Stafford wasn’t exactly Knowshoning anyone out there, but he had some wheels when he wanted. I just haven’t seen that from Joe Cox yet. And we obviously know Logan’s got some moves and speed, so it would be logical. I don’t see Logan standing in the pocket and taking any SEC hits with the physique he’s got currently, but we could run a form of the vaunted “Wild Cat” that’s taken the NFL by storm. With a healthy, experienced O-line (see below), we can probably do anything we want to with our QBs.
- A Healthy O-Line: Quite frankly, the injury to Trinton Sturdivant at the beginning of this past season killed us. I didn’t think it would, but it was the domino that started our carousel of O-linemen throughout the season. They did a spectacular job considering everything that happened (and Stacy Searels deserves every penny we give him — and more). If we can generate almost 2,000 yds on the ground at a 4.5 per attempt clip and more than 3.600 yds in the air for a combined QB rating of 154.6 with the patchwork line we had this year, we’ll be perfect next season.
- Mike Bobo Growing a Pair: I loved Bobo when he became adventurous 2 years ago in the Chick fil A Bowl’s second half for our comeback. And he’s had many flashes of brilliance since then (see Auburn and Florida ’07 and the first few games of ’08), but he hasn’t sustained anything throughout a full season as yet. And he can barely sustain a drive in any first half. Remember the first drive we had against MSU in the Cap One Bowl this past year? We were unstoppable…until we got to the red zone. And then we were horrible for the rest of the first half. I want to see more creativity. And DON’T ABANDON THE RUN. If the toss sweep left gets us 6-7 yds per attempt, let’s run it 30 times until they stop it. I’m just saying…
- CMR Lighting a Fire Under Willie: I know he’s not one to throw assistants under the bus, but Richt really needs to run CWM through the wash during the offseason. Show him highlights of Hawaii from last year. And even MSU this year. Show what actually worked, and do that. Willie’s getting paid a lot of money to give us the Junkyard Dawgs we all (say that we) remember. If our D-Line can stay healthy too, we need to blitz more. I know the Tampa 2 is our forte, but let’s run some stunts, some run blitzes and anything else unexpected next year. Just like on offense, let’s get a little creative. If Asher comes back, he’s our 2nd-best tackler behind Rennie; do a couple more corner blitzes to keep Asher’s head and intensity in the game.
- Discipline: This starts now. Let’s keep the arrests in the single digits for the offseason and the penalties in the single digits for the next season per game. They were the #2 killer of our season behind the O-Line injuries. Horrendous. And I know we probably got robbed by the refs several times, but there’s no excuse for the late-hits-out-of-bounds by Reshad, the false starts, the roughing-the-passers and the personal fouls. Clean it up, Dawgs.
- Richard Samuel getting a look at linebacker: The kid is a physical specimen. A man-child. He’s got all the size and speed to complement Rennie perfectly. And he’s got the hands of a linebacker apparently (see: fumble problems this year). His highlights from high school as a linebacker hitting people all over the field are more impressive even than his running back highlights. At least give him another shot to put the hurt on some people. And a good point from Westerdawg regarding Samuel versus some of the speed we’ll see against teams like OkState and Florida.
- An SEC Championship: If DJ Shockley can do it, you can too, Joe Cox. I believe in you!
What would you add to this list?