Yesterday we talked about the offense, so today we'll talk about the other side of the ball.
What will you be looking for on defense and special teams?
FTG: I'll be looking at special teams because it's probably the one area we'll get a definitive look at on Saturday. You can either kick and punt or you can't. You can either cover and return punts or you can't. If we stink like Joe and most people think, it'd be nice to see how far we have to go over the summer and leading up to Alabama.
RUTS: Remember, no blitzing permitted in this game. I'm interested to see what's up with Chris Colasanti. Seems like he's being given every opportunity to be the middle linebacker so far this spring. It should be fun to see Chaz Powell at cornerback. Very excited to see what Gerald Hodges and Khairi Fortt can do. Oh, and we can't forget our beloved dancing bear, Brandon Ware.
He should probably switch to Diet Pepsi.
Kevin: There’s a pretty amazing calm about the linebacker position, although just about everyone knows we lost three pretty solid/excellent players at the position. Will the new crop measure up? Success in 2010 kind of depends on it because of the quarterback and o-line questions. On a more micro level, I’m excited to see if Nate Stupar has harnessed his power and what Chaz Powell will look like at cornerback.
Junny: Similarly, on defense I'm looking for secondary play. Astorino is injured, so we certainly won't see the likely starting lineup at the B/W game. But I'd like to see what these guys can do. Strange as it might sound, the secondary is going to be pretty good for a couple of years with Morris, Lynn, etc. back there. Whether or not they can work together will be directly correlated with their sustained success.
Mike: I don't think special teams will reveal much to us. All punts are fair catches. I don't think they do kickoffs. They just give the offense the ball at the 20. I guess it would be nice to see Wagner hit a field goal over 40 yards. Similarly, it's tough for the defense to look good when they run one coverage and don't blitz. So I'll be looking at individual players to see who is winning their battles. I'm particularly interested in the linebackers. Who has a nose for the ball? Who is shedding off their blocks? I'm also curious to get a look at Derrick Thomas at cornerback. I hear good things about him.