Thursday, July 9, 2009

Thinking Football...

There are hundreds of high school athletes in pads and helmets currently running around on Powers Field, trying to impress in the first full day of Princeton Football Camp. Watching it this morning got TigerBlog to thinking about another football camp in the not-so-distant future.

The 2009 football season is fast approaching, and camp will be a crucial stretch for a program with plenty of returning talent, but several questions to answer. As the season gets closer, both and TigerBlog will take closer looks at the upcoming season. But for now, here are some quick thoughts about key questions that will need answers at camp.

* obviously, all eyes will be on the quarterback position … can Brett Kan work himself into the expected competition between Tommy Wornham and Harrison Daniels; since all three are sophomores, this is a critical camp for the trio. The outright winner could start the next 30 games at Princeton, which hasn't happened in the Roger Hughes era.

* with four returning starters on the offensive line, TB feels that position should be a strength … however, who fills that fifth position, likely a guard spot, and how quickly will Andrew Hauser get comfortable at the center position; remember, this spread offense can get out of sorts quickly if that shotgun snap is all over the place.

* the two most intriguing skill players to watch could be Trey Peacock and Kenny Gunter (as you pretty much know what you'll get from Jordan Culbreath); is Peacock, who has All-Ivy physical skills, ready to make the jump, and how quickly can Gunter shake the rust off and become a legitimate offensive option. Both looked good in the spring game, and a Culbreath-Gunter backfield would be scary.

* what shape is John Callahan in after tearing his ACL last year? He had been an impact player since his freshman season; can he get back to that level?

* in a fairly deep group of linebackers, can and where will Jonathan Meyers fit in?

* how competitive is the second cornerback position, and does Cart Kelly have the early look of one of those Jay McCareins/JJ Artis senior years?

* is there a dangerous kickoff returner in the mix; starting around the 40 every now and then would do wonders for the offense and the field position battle.

* after years, including a two-season run of 16-4, with a terrific kicking game, where does the team stand with the kicker and punter position? In a league this close, three points and reliable punting could mean a one or two win difference.

Of course, there are more even more questions than that. But TB is interested in your opinion: outside of the obvious quarterback battle, what is the key position battle you'll keep your eye on this fall?


Anonymous said...

It isn't so much the battle for starting spots as it is the development of our receivers, including TE, that I will be watching most closely after the QB spot. I agree that the OL and Culbreath represent the strength of the returning team. But if we do not develop at least a credible passing attack, defenses will be able to key against the run, denying us part of the strength we have in that department. In my opinion.

Anonymous said...

You are absolutely correct, without the threat of a passing attack, defenses will have a much easier time containing Culbreath by putting eight men in the box.

I don't know though, with a new QB and new WRs without much game experience, we might be hoping for too much... Only time will tell.