Saturday, August 29, 2009

Taking the Offensive Out of Offensive Line

The Chronicle's ACC Football Preview came out yesterday - loaded with goodies, including this article on Airborne's offensive line. If Duke hopes to go bowling, this group must perform better than last year's unit - indeed, its performance may be pivotal. Though the Chron seems to feel good about their improvement, the Chron isn't exactly known for being objective when it comes to Duke sports.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Airborne Notes at T-2 Weeks

Well, I waited a while for Morgan to post his report from Meet the Blue Devils day - but alas, it appears to be not forthcoming, forcing me to read up on Airborne from the Herald Sun (registration required), in an article not written by Al Featherston.

Some highlights
- Freshman RB Desmond Scott is looking good in camp - though I would suspect that he would not be a major challenger to Requan Boyette and Jay Hollingsworth for playing time.
- Receiver Johnny Williams suffered an undisclosed injury - this is somewhat worrisome for Thad, who lost his top receiver Eron Riley to the NFL (presumably).
- It looks like Duke will be negotiating some issues early on with the kicking game given an injury to Nick Maggio. After Joe Surgan's difficulties 2 years ago, any hiccup in the kicking game is cause for worry.

Just two weeks! Go Duke!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Duke: Producing Good QBs for Itself and Other Schools!

I apologize for being late to the party on Thad Lewis news, but I was attending a destination wedding in the Bahamas. I recommend Sandals for anyone who's never been there.

On to the business at hand... Bruce Feldman of ESPN used his blog entry today to offer one explanation on why the ACC hasn't become a dominant football conference after adding Miami and Virginia Tech: too many highly touted quarterback prospects haven't panned out.

To sum up, between 2002 and 2006, the ACC had 13 QB recruits who ranked in the top 10 in the country as either drop-back or dual-threat prospects. Their track record has not been good.

The one man to buck the trend? That's right, Thad Lewis, who was the 10th-ranked drop-back QB in the Class of 2006.

A hearty "boo" goes out to Feldman later in the post, though, for saying that Thad "wasn't exactly an All-World recruit." Perhaps not, but he's done pretty well for himself considering he's upholding the honor of ACC signal-callers all by himself!

Also, though this is now old news, I couldn't believe no one on DudeSpin sounded off on the somewhat amazing fact that Greg Paulus was named the starter at Syracuse. I mean, I probably could have had a shot for some PT there too, but still.

Like all things, this story too, comes back to Thad. Reading through the 200 comments on the Paulus story, it didn't take long to come across knuckleheads spouting sentiments like "Duke football sucks, so if Paulus is so good, how come he didn't just stay there and start?"

Fortunately, some other posters set them straight, explaining that QB is the last position for which the Blue Devils need help.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Computers Like Airborne!

WhatIfSports - a favorite site of the Franchise and me - has projected the 1st two weeks of the college football season - and they like what they see from Airborne!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Pig Sooey!

If a pandemic can't slow Airborne down, I'm not sure if the teams on this year's schedule have much of  chance.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

As usual, ESPN misses the boat

You may have noticed yesterday that's cover story was on the relationship between the purported top three Heisman favorites. In my mind, I saw the headline and expected to see pictures of Thad, Tebow, and perhaps Bradford or McCoy. But no, apparently ESPN ignored the will of the people (or at least DudeSpin poll voters), and features the other three. We can only assume that Thad was a close fourth, but regardless, ESPN has again demonstrated that Herbstreit, Holtz, and all those other yokels don't know what they're talking about.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

It starts...

With the Red Sox season slipping faster than Josh Hamilton's sobriety, this young man's fancy turns to Duke football.

Duke began practice Thursday, with Coach Cut talking bowl game. "I get specific about what our expectations are," he said. "We should be a bowl team. We're good enough to play in the postseason."

Of course we've heard this talk before, and we've never once felt the rush of booking last-minute flights to Idaho, but it's nice that the bar is set high. This article focuses mainly on the offense.

In a nutshell, most skill players are back, with the exception of unsung Obama campaign hero Eron Riley. Big shoes to fill, but I still believe Johnny Williams can be this generation's Corey Thomas. Behind center you have Heisman-favorite Thad Lewis, along with runningbacks Re'quan Boyette and Jay Hollingsworth. In a GoDuke article, Cutcliffe singled out those two as catching his eye early.

The biggest question mark offensively, as always, is the line. Cut's concerned about the lack of depth, and only have two returning starters (one of whom is changing positions). I don't know enough to really comment on this, but it should be noted that Duke has signed two impressive lineman for the class of 2010. Granted, that's no help to Thad right now, but a good sign looking forward. One of the recruits, Laken Tomlinson (is it too early to call him LT3?) is from the midwest and turned down offers from Ohio State, Michigan State, Nebraska, and Tennessee. I like that!

In conclusion, a few words about Thad from Coach Cut: "Thad has come a million miles. I think he's got some confidence. I never saw tonight him not knowing what to do with the football. He has so much courage and so much presence. Never, never doubt Thad Lewis' courage. He is a tough individual."