Michael, great points all. You need to post this stuff on the front page! No more comments man, it’s too good for back-page material. Here they are and my responses:
At 9:43 AM, Dr. Ferdie (Lawson) said…
So much to comment on here….
1) Speed is NOT as important as the ability to accelarate to full speed in a short amount of time. Looking at our man Greene, think about how FAST he was going when he hit the hole. The RB clincher against UCLA was a classic example: by the time he hit the line of scrimmage he was already at 4.6….so when he busted up the sideline, no one could catch him. Does Stewart have that type of acceleration????
Sean: Great point on Green, and you are right. The run against USC was phenominal as well, and he had that extra gear, however there is also one big difference between Stewart and Green – Green was a legit 4.4 – 4.5. Stewart is at best 4.6. That 1 or 2-tick difference is big at the next level. Look at Greg Lewis from UW. He had great moves and was very shifty, but you could probably make a highlight reel out of the number of times he was caught from behind!
One more quickie on Stewart – there are some pretty strong rumblings now that he may not even make it in to school next year at Oregon. Turns out his SAT scores the first two times he took them were low, the first one even in the low 500-range. He carries a 3.2 GPA but he’s also going to take the SAT one more time and we’ll see. Don’t know if you read Jim Moore’s piece about him a few weeks ago, but there was one thing that jumped out in that article – and I quote: “He hates to read, saying: “The Bible’s the only thing I can read and not like doze off.”
Ok, ok, he’s 18 years old, just a baby and many kids can’t read very well and retain at that age. But, if he admits to that, how the hell does he have a 3.2 GPA??
Way off topic – but who knows, maybe it’s an internet-generation age issue, the idea of not being able to read one page from a book and retaining anything from it. 20/20 I think did a great story a few weeks back about the first true ‘net age kids now venturing out into the real world and the problems they are encountering. Real disturbing thing, like not retaining basic information, not able to project long-term, and wanting it ALL, now, not being willing to pay the price of years of hard work, maybe that’s just a reflection of where our society has gone the last 15 years? Short attention span generation is how they put it, and the temptations are everywhere. Think about it, did you have the internet growing up? Instant messaging? Cell phones? Super in-depth video game simulations? On-demand digital cable shows and DVD’s?? Neither did I. Flip on MTV for a few minutes and watch any popular video. The thing they talked about? The images now change every 3-4 seconds, max! It’s all about short attention span. It’s an I WANT IT ALL YESTERDAY society, and they aren’t all cut out to be deep-thinking college kids. Geez, Mikey, think about what our boys are going to grow up with?? Things we couldn’t even fathom when we were kids.
2) Its all too easy to look at those recruiting ratings and to get frustrated and to have a bunch of question marks. But, the real issue for me as we talked about is recruiting speed AND recruiting needs AND recruiting system fits….when I look at who’s coming in, we have added a bunch of speed and added to the secondary, to LB, and gotten a 4 star defensive tackle. Remember, Rien Long won the Outland Trophy by playing 2/3 of the snaps, so we’re looking to add Depth to go with the Style of D that we have–high risk that demands depth because our offense doesn’t control the football for much time…..
Sean: True, again, and you have to take off your hat to Pflugrad. When you read quotes about how unbelievably organized he is, how thorough he is regarding recruiting and how he pushes his coaches to get out there, that’s great! The system, both on and off the field, is tremendous and we are very lucky.
3) For me, the year to rack up the GREAT recruits was last year…but lets not fret here….we get to 9 wins this year (or Ten plus a bowl), then the package continues to get better. In addition, think about the number of guys we’ve sent to the NFL. On defense, we’ve done well, but on offense? NOT as well…so part of what we need to get the 5 stars is more of an NFL profile. Yarno, Skips, and Rosey are going to help with that….
Sean: Disagree, this was the year with a wounded dawg hiring Mr. Personality who can’t make a decision and Oregon with the losing season. On our offensive NFL talent? I think that is going to change with either Armstrong or Lightbody as o-lineman, but also when Jason Hill and Bumpus come up for the league, they both will at least make a roster. I mean really, not just Bumpus and his electricity, but think really hard about what Jason Hill did this year. A sophomore who had never been part of the WR rotation goes out and pulls down 1,000 yards and breaks the school record for receiving TD’s? With those two QB’s and half the season without a running game to speak of, and both TE’s injured in week 4?? It’s remarkable how good he was, and amazing to think how good he’ll be. Size, speed/quickness, body control, hands, he’s the whole package.
4) If we had gotten Stewart, he would have backed up Harrison this year…our biggest need is either to run the two back, or to run the thunder and lightning…quick you, then pound you……but the biggest question for us is the Quarterback position. HOpefully Swoggs will return to form and quickly.
Sean: Pretty apparent now, but yep, Stewart would have backed up Harrison….if Harrison is still in school next fall. Fingers and toes crossed on that one. I also believe Swoggs will be in control and competing for all-conference (not first team, that’s Mr. Leinart’s) but he’ll battle Kellen Clemens for #2.
5) The cupcakes will bode well for us early…both for Swoggs as well as for that defensive secondary….hopefully those three games will enable us to mature and the ground running by Oregon State…
Sean: GREAT points here, too, not only are cupcakes good for padding the stats (Look at Orton at Purdue) and getting early season props for ESPN Gameday, but also good for the overall mental and physical condition of the team. Yes, anyone can get hurt at any time, but it’s a heck of a lot better playing Grambling in Seattle vs. playing at Oklahoma or at Auburn and getting beaten to a pulp! We’ve been down that road before in the early 90’s, going to Ohio State and Michigan and having the season in jeopardy just one game in. I love cupcakes, bring ’em (the low-carb variety, of course….:)
6) Remember, at the beginning of the year, Doba said the following, “I would be surprised if we didn’t have a winning record this year. I think we have a good team, but its next year that we’re going to be really good.” We would have been a bowl team this year with a healthy Swoggs and without those BRUTAL injuries to the DTs and TEs against Arizona…that cost us Oregon and Stanford….based on my math, that’s the difference between 5-6 and 7-4….
Sean: Not only was Swoggs huge and the DT’s and TE’s really tough, but think of the place kicking and how much that will improve next year. Two missed FG’s really hurt vs. Colorado, as it did vs. Oregon. Colorado was lost on two mistakes, one the blocked punt for a TD, the other the Brink pick floated into the flat, but we also missed two makeable kicks in that game. Let’s see, final score was 20-12. Had they hit the field goals, suddenly it’s 20-18 and instead of having the game end with Brink fumbling on the 2-yard line, we’re kicking a chip shot and winning that game 21-20. Otherwise Colorado on offense only crossed midfield twice, both resulting in field goals! Ah, hell with it, never mind.
7) All those kids got time as a result of those injuries…it will be fun to watch how it all unfolds next year.
Sean: No question an injury-plagued year can help build future depth. I just wish we would have gone to some of the younger DB’s on the roster to see what they can do in games last year, even if it meant burning a redshirt or two. Abdullah and Bohannon were brutal against the deep ball, and after the Oregon game teams figured it out and we were toast. The good news is the younger Abdullah, Husain, really played well late in the year and many people think he’s a potential star at one safety spot. Now we just need to get Michael Willis in to school and watch the stars fly!
8) WE DON’T HAVE MIKE PRICE ANYMORE. We have the BEST staff in the history of WSU football…WE OKAY, WE OKAY, WE OKAY.