We have good safeties, the corners however haven't played well or are too inexperienced.
RU might have the smallest DL of any BCS conference team. Yet, they're also some of the fastest and I believe most instinctive and well-coached. You will never see as many stunts or exotic blitzes in a college game. Inside, we have Ramel Meekins, who's like another Dan Klecko. Size will probably limit his future in the pros, but he can just play. And Eric Foster, this kid might be better than Rice and Leonard. He is another Rocky Bernard or Rod Coleman. He spends the majority of games living in opposing backfields.
People talk about the team having a "no-name" defense or whatever, but that's not really true. There is more talent on offense and the success on defense owes a lot to coaching, but the talent level is surprisingly good given their lack of size. Schiano, with the program's limitations the past few years, went after players who fit his system. He went for athleticism when production on the field wasn't necessarily there, believing that he can develop them later. He likes to just take guys with pure speed and "up" them a position, like CB to S, S to LB, LB to DE and so on. Sometimes twice.
I think almost every 40 time is inflated by at least .1. Not to pick on VT, but the worst offender here was a few years ago, DeAngelo Hall. Didn't he claim to run a 4.2 or something similarly ridiculous? The truth is that very few players run 4.4 or better, and there are only a handful of guys better than 4.35. And most of those guys have limited football skills and end up being only good at say, returning (Devin Hester anyone?). (Or they're always injured like a Tim Carter.)
However, there's a difference between pure 40 times and football speed. Often, the 10-yard dash will be a lot more important. 40s are most important for cover CBs, WRs (deep threats anyway), and returners. Often I'd rather take a guy who can accelerate faster than someone who takes too long to reach 4.4.
For linemen, there are the cone drills. Have you heard of the Bears' Mark Anderson? He has a lot of sacks, and was a late round pick. He had some crazy cone drill time at the Combine, and I immediately put him on my sleepers list. Now he'll eventually have to develop a go-to move when lineman learn to anticipate his agility, but the results right now can't be argued with.
The Empire State Building is being lit red tomorrow.Besides Mark Consuelos and Scott Patterson, other people coming including David Stern (fine with me, alum), Todd Pettingill (huh), Jenn Sterger, and Governor Corzine. I just feel like banging my head into a wall. I can't get tickets because I didn't anticipate having to spend $500+ on a ticket and hence don't have enough room in my budget, and all these B-list celebrities are coming out of the woodwork. I shudder thinking that real fans are screwed while some jerks are there auditioning for the Surreal Life.
Today has just been hellacious knowing that in all likelihood I won't be going. I really want the game to be over, win or lose, just so the media just shut up for once. The idiotic school administration has bungled everything horribly (hope the bandwagoners have fun when they have to wait on line 30 min for concessions or bathrooms, and people are stamped to death in the ultra-thin concourse - I'm not exaggerating here). Scalpers are profiteering off student tickets, and bandwagoners are buying up tickets at the expense of the hardcore fans.
There was a ridiculous article in the school newspaper today quoting kids who have never attended a game ever but are going Thursday solely for the spectacle. Now that's fine in normal circumstances, but demand is so high that a lot of true believers legitimately can't go. And that's because the athletic department really bungled the ticket distribution.
What I've been saying for weeks is the program has been built the right way the past few years, a good foundation has been laid for the future. You need continual, steady growth to build a quality fanbase. I was insisting this team wasn't George Mason or Northwestern redux. But now I am seriously doubting my words. Instead of natural growth stemming from steady improvement, there's this out of control hype machine that will just evaporate tomorrow if they fall flat on their faces. Most of all, that's unfair to the team. Like I said, even if they lose big, they deserve all the credit in the world for this year and for the past few years. They won't get it if that happens.