I don't know why I feel so hap, hap, happy this morning. Is it because my 401(k) has actually earned $25 over the last 2 weeks? Is it because the Propecia I've been taking is actually showing results? Is it because every single day Lane Kiffin gives us all a reason to live? All of these things are truly reasons to celebrate, but this morning after my third cup o' Joe and 7 pushups, I think I know why:
Our Offensive and Defensive lines. Where games are won or lost.
On the D-Line, there is tremendous talent. Most importantly, it is tremendous senior talent. Jeff Owens, Geno Atkins and Kade Weston who are not only going to dominate their position, but teach by example. DeAngelo Tyson will continue to develop under the tutelage of some future NFL'ers. Our rush ends, certainly a question mark, will undoubtedly benefit from our ability to take away the middle of the line. Having Jeff Owens back will make the rush ends more effective, I promise you.
Perhaps no position on the team has me more excited than our offensive line. You read correctly: The O-line. As exciting as an underwater earthquake, the power to destroy. If you are into plate tectonics, then indeed you're jacked right about now. It's a force, my friends. To quote Phil Steele (God bless his 3 point type and color layout that could only be designed by Mr. Magoo):
"This year not only do all 5 starters return, but they get back (Vince) Vance and Sturdivant. Eight players have starting experience and their 99 career starts are 10th (tied) most in the FBS."
Do we have questions in our running game? Of course. Personally, I believe we are going to rotate the hell out of fresh backs until the right mix is found; perhaps a running game by committee...or perhaps one guy steps up and becomes the feature guy, or until the other team cries "uncle." We are in the best shape on O-line since, well, forever. Ben Jones, Chris Davis, Cordy Glenn, Trinton Sturdivant, Vince Vance, Clint Boling with a ton of capable youth waiting in the wings. These guys are going to be around for a while. If that doesn't get you excited, you don't have a pulse.
The 2009 Dawgs are primed to surprise alot of folks. I think they might just amaze.
I'm getting hairy just thinkin' about it.