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Lingering spring questions

If anything of note can come out of spring practice, anyone following the coverage was bound to come away with a few assumptions. Rutgers will be able to run the football this fall, but might struggle passing it. The front seven on defense looks good. We (sort of) know what the team is good at, and what it will struggle with. However, other important concerns weren't really singled out as strengths or weaknesses. Natale and co. invite the obvious storylines, leaving me to procrustean ends with the crumbs elsewhere; twisting, stretching every little insight and point of emphasis.

Honestly, I still don't quite understand the whole dual coordinator setup on both sides of the ball. My uneasiness doesn't stem from fear of change; it's out of complete ignorance. Is gameplanning so extensive on the college level that concepts like a "playcaller" are ultimately irrelevant? Titles ultimately don't matter; the true coordinator is whoever has final say, at some point, if such power even exists.

The one thing that bugged me from the otherwise bangup coverage of spring practice is that there wasn't that much talk about the special teams units, which were, again, the team's achilles heel last season. Assistant coach Chris Rippon left after only one season, but his departure was mostly glossed over, and that unit was even worse in 2007 before he arrived. We know that Te missed time at placekicker; but was Dellaganna doing anything to improve his hangtime, speed up his delivery, or otherwise guard against blocks? The coverage units need to drastically improve, and everyone there needs to cut down on mental mistakes.

I'm not completely sold on the secondary either. Rutgers has two big hitting safeties in Lefeged and Kitchen, but Lefeged will have to show he can cover this fall, and Kitchen unfortunately is an injury risk. It might fall to one of the younger guys to help out in coverage, at least in multiple-DB packages. Devin McCourty is experienced at corner. He's smart, and a good athlete, but does that translate into being a top level cover guy? Is anyone necessarily sold on the other options there? Again, uncertainty by itself isn't cause for alarm, or an indication of future trouble. It's an unknown.