You didn't think I'd forget about QBs, did you?! So, let's get a couple of key points out right up front. First, we are very lucky to have Aaron Murray return this year. After watching the draft, it looks like he could have gone pretty high. I hope his desire to stay and win rings translates to the team for years to come. Second, I realize we have a QB situation brewing with Hutson Mason, Brice Ramsey, and Jacob Park in 2014, but that is not a problem for now. We'll worry about 2014 this time next year. So, let's get to the meat and tators.
Aaron Murray is, duh, clearly the starter and The984 has done a great job of bringing us the data that the media seems to forget about. He should bring his strengths with good reads for the play action pass, back shoulder fades, and end zone corner fade, along with the deep ball to Malcolm Mitchell. Murray will have plenty of receivers and tight ends to go to, as well as two great tailbacks behind him. Let's hope Coaches Friend and Bobo have a plan to stop Clowney, and Murray can do well against that monkey on the back as well. We know his talent level already, so the hope is he becomes the true admiral of this team. I hope to see him firing up the O line and getting in some grills on the bench as necessary. It really is his year, and I hope he has a great one. And of course, we can all hope that he beats the tar out of Florida this year, and shuts up the media and walks away with a big grin on his face.
The real question I see with Murray is that although everyone is predicting record breaking performances, and I do feel he will have good stats, the running game looks to be so strong that I am not certain he will get as many chances to break records. I can see his completion % creeping up a little, while his attempts slide down a little. In Murray's first two years, we had a hard time scoring in the red zone, and had a weaker running game, or one filled with drama. So he scored from right at or around the red zone frequently. With Todd Gurley running over people and Keith Marshall blowing by them, we are likely to move the chains very well without as many passes. Which is great, because that will set up the play action beautifully, and Murray can then light up scoreboards. I just wouldn't expect an even bigger year this year than last, because we have such a variety of weapons and potential schemes. These are good problems. It can go either way, and either way is good.
Moving on to the backup position, we have Hutson Mason. The truth is, we don't know a lot about him and how he will preform under pressure at full game speed. Mason talked of leaving a year ago, something I didn't fault him for, with Brice Ramsey being right at his heels. But he did say and reports say he has worked hard. I believe he will be a strong back up for Murray should something unfortunate occur. With the running game and his knowledge of the system, he should do well enough to keep us going. We just don't know if he has the same eye as Murray on a tight pass or how he will handle the pressure. This writer hopes he gets a lot of quality 4th Quarter time. If this happens, it will also keep Murray's numbers down a little, but we do need him to get some time, and not last snap of the game time. I'd like us to run the full offense full tilt with him at the helm in games that are solidly over by the end of the 3rd.
Now for the quirk in the system, and someone I looked forward to watching, 6'3" 216lb Faton Bauta. A bigger, leggier, more running type player, and listed as "dual threat" when recruited. I thought he may bring a fresh wrinkle to our famous pro style play action formula. This is the guy you want to see mix up a read option with a wild dawg. Bauta is currently battling a sore shoulder, limiting his throwing. If I could ask Coach Bobo any question, even if in secret, it would be what he plans to do with Bauta. Because he's another one in the juggernaut of 2014. Bauta may get a few attaboy snaps this season at the end of game. We'll just have to wait and see.
That leaves us now at QB Brice Ramsey. He looks to get the non red shirt red shirt. I do not expect him to see a single second of playing time baring some total disaster I don't even want to think about. Brice is getting a lot of quality learning, being under Murray's and Mason's wing. He gets a year of learning from one of the best, keeping 4 years of eligibility starting 2014. The competition between Ramsey and Park will be interesting - but again, that will be interesting next year. The key to Brice will be to work hard, work hard, study hard, and learn, learn, learn.
On to Christian LeMay. I mean no malice towards LeMay, but I don't think he sees the field, like ever. Certainly nothing more than an attaboy snap to finish a game. He hasn't panned out that well, has mishandled the ball in real game time, looks smallish and never gaining much weight, and unfortunately has all these other guys ahead of him. Maybe Bobo will find him in a trickeration play or put him in the slot (I doubt it, but who knows?) I just don't know why LeMay would get time that Mason or Faton could be getting.
That leaves us with Parker Welch. Welch got some playing time over LeMay due to the issues we just discussed with LeMay, as well as get walk on Welch some attaboy time. Although Welch may get a end game snap or so, I doubt he gets that much playing time. Last year he was helping Mason's eligibility, which isn't a factor anymore. We do have to give much thanks to Welch for the hard work and big heart. That also brings up Sr QB Greg Bingham. Uh, thanks Greg!
We hope you've enjoyed our position reports this August which you can find here. With an O-Line with depth and competition, a tandem of RBs that may be the best in the nation, an assortment of WRs and TEs, Aaron Murray and Coach Mike Bobo should have a great year. I really hope so - I'm ready to start hanging half a hundred on everybody. Every week.
Bring on Clemson and