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I think this is an interesting comparison:
QB: Jordan Jefferson had 2yrs starting experience going into 2011; Mettenberger has 1 year going into 2013. My confidence level is actually higher with Mettenberger.
RB: Ware was the presumed starter in 2011 after his Cotton Bowl breakout, with Ford, Blue, Hilliard and Magee as backups; HIll is the returning starter in 2013, with Blue, Hilliard and Magee (presumably) as backups. Confidence level is higher with Hill and the gang.
OL: In 2011, we had returning starters in Dworaczyk, Lonergan and Hurst, but Williford and Faulk also had some experience ; In 2013, we have Collins, Turner and Alexander as returning starters, but with Hawkins and Porter as presumed starters on the line and Williford returning as a potential starter. Overall, my confidence level is about the same - I think we had more experience going into 2011, but more athleticism going into 2013.
WR: In 2011, we had Ruben Randle and Shepard returning, but not much else in terms of experienced WR's - OBJ and Jarvis Landry were true freshmen; In 2013, we have OBJ and Landry as returning starters, with experienced guys in Kadron Boone and James Wright also returning, and we're adding Travin Dural to that mix. Overall, my confidence level was higher in 2011 because I think Randle going into 2011 was better, more established than any of the guys we have returning in 2013.
TE: In 2011, we had Deangelo Peterson, Chase Clement and Mitch Joseph returning; In 2013, we have Travis Dickson and not a whole lot else, if Nic Jacobs doesn't return. Confidence level was higher in 2011.
DT: In 2011, we had Michael Brockers and Josh Downs returning, but no one really knew where the other DT depth was coming from, other than Anthony Johnson as a true freshman; In 2013, we have Freak and Ego returning, with Quentin Thomas as the presumed #3 in the rotation. Confidence level was higher for me in 2011 only because I knew we had Lavar Edwards and Chancey Aghayere who could slide down to DT if we needed them to, plus we all thought Freak would make an instant impact. This year, I have confidence in Freak, but I'm not sure what to expect from Ego and Quentin Thomas at this point, and Mickey Johnson seems to be an after thought. I'm hopeful that LaCouture shows well in Spring Practice to calm some depth concerns going into 2013.
DE: In 2011, we returned Sam Montgomery from injury and Kendrick Adams was steady at the other DE spot, Mingo was going to be a pass-rushing specialist again and Edwards and Aghayere were steady depth; In 2013, we return no starting experience and only one guy that has extensive game experience at DE. Confidence level was higher going into 2011.
LB: In 2011, we had Ryan Baker returning at WLB, but Stefoin Francois was a returning starter at SLB, but was never really productive, and we knew Minter would take over for Sheppard, but didn't really know what to expect; In 2013, we replace Minter with a player yet to be named, but we return better playmakers in general at LB. Confidence level is a little higher going into 2013 than it was in 2011.
CB: In 2011, we were returning Claiborne who we all expected to be the "next great one", Mathieu who was already a playmaker and Simon; In 2013, we return Mills, Collins, Thomas and have a very good class of true freshman CB's coming in. Confidence level in the CB group was definitely higher going into 2011 because we had proven playmakers there.
Safety: In 2011, we returned Eric Reid and Brandon Taylor, who both had plenty of experience, though many expected Loston to beat out Taylor eventually; In 2013, we return Loston, but the rest of the safeties have limited experience, in Martin, Sandolph and Thompson. Confidence level was higher in 2011.
PK: In 2011, Drew Alleman was taking over for Josh Jasper; In 2013, James Hairston is taking over for Drew Alleman. Confidence level is a push.
P: In 2011, Brad Wing was taking over for Derek Helton; In 2013, Jamie Kheene is taking over for Wing. Confidence level is about the same.
You may have different feelings about some of the comparisons, but I think it's interesting that we're replacing starters at a lot of the same places. The big difference between the two is the amount of returning experience at DE and in the secondary.
This post was edited by TigerNE 15 months ago
Did you mean your confidence was higher in 2011 for Safeties??
Great write up nonetheless!
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Good catch. I'll fix that. Thanks.
What I took out of that was two things:
1) The biggest concern each year was the DT position. In the Spring of 2011, no one foresaw Bennie Logan being the kind of player he turned out to be next to Brockers. In 2013, we have the athletic potential to be the same at that position as we were in 2011, but it requires Freak, Ego and Quentin Thomas to all step up the way Brockers and Logan stepped up in 2011 - and at least one of the true freshmen to give us the snaps that Freak gave us in 2011.
2) I feel better about Mettenberger going into 2013 than I did about Jefferson in January of 2011. What we really need to see out of Mett, however, is the ability to perform away from Tiger Stadium. His numbers away from Tiger Stadium this year were just abysmal.
great write up, I agree across the board.
This could be a solid d if everyone steps up, but that '11 D was special bc of the incredible depth and talent. Guys like Brooks, Simon, Mingo weren't even starters. Then the biggest difference was it had the biggest game-changing defensive player in LSU history.
GET AT ME
The Mathieu factor is still under-valued. He turned around both of the games against Oregon and West Virginia with huge turnovers, then the Arkansas and Georgia games with huge punt returns. That could've easily been a 10-2 regular season without him.
The biggest two factors on the 2011 defense, for me, were Mathieu and Logan. We hadn't seen dominance from Brockers before 2011, but Chavis had talked him up so much, we knew he'd be good at DT. We just didn't know who else would step up. Downs was always hurt, Logan and Ego hadn't really done anything to that point, and Freak was a true freshmena. When Logan stepped up the way he did to grab the starting job next to Brockers, it solidified the middle of the defense. Remember, our concern going into 2011 was whether we could stop a power running game because of the lack of depth at DT and the LB's were either small (Baker and Francois) or inexperienced (Minter).
"In the SEC,you're a glorified run support guy.In the Big 12, you're a cover guy."-Bobby Burton asking why DBs go SEC
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