Check out the latest batch of weekly answers…
1) What will surprise us fans most about the pistol offense? – Sharp Shooter
I think the offensive line, really. A lot has been made of the loss of Maiava, Baca and Su’a-Filo, and from a leadership standpoint, yes it hurts. The depth is definitely on the thinnest of ice. But the Pistol offense is all about staying on your assignment and blocking the guy in your gap or lane. Punishing, devastating blocks are not even encouraged, the pancake is pass. Imagine, I guess, the Flying V – five guys moving in unison and advancing to different levels. If Norm Chow can scheme it correctly – and he has a decent track record, no? – then the offensive line will be in the position to succeed.
2) Will you be giving football tickets + cards, as promised, to your March Madness Bracket Winner? Keep up the good work! – DonkeyBruin
Yup, just trying to get the ticket deal figured out. Email me.
3) Last year’s mantra was “run the ball or die trying.” What is this year’s mantra? – Blue Bruin
“Have it your way?” No, that’s not it. “What can brown do for you?” Still off. To be honest, I don’t think they have a mantra quite yet. Last year, they did not have much success on the ground, so I think they’ve gone away from those kinds of proclamations. Rick Neuheisel is a lot more toned down this year, and I think he realizes that the seeds are planted, and he needs to find ways to win. This is where the coach in Neuheisel will come out, and not the pitch-man.
4) What’s the true weak link of the team: QB or OL? – Critic
I’m not sure if any one unit on the team could be considered a weak link, until we see them play. Right now, I think the biggest issue will be the team’s collective lack of experience, particularly on defense. While Rahim Moore and Akeem Ayers are good leaders, and guys like David Carter, who might not have had starting roles, but still gained respect, are going to help, I’m not sure that a couple of mental breakdowns won’t start affecting the younger guys.
5) Is Kai Forbath TOO good? (Be sure to think through all the implications of this question before answering.) – Kick in the Grass
Yes. I think having a kicker as good as Forbath makes a coach call a game differently. While ultimately you want the best kicker possible, of course, I think a coach needs to look at his kicker as a second option, and not a first. Now, I’m also a big-play kind of guy – I just don’t think grind-em-out football really exists anymore – and I would always try to put my team in position to score touchdowns, rather than go for three.