E-Mail Bag: 8/15

by - Correspondent -

Is the team off to a better start than last year?

Surprisingly, the team is farther along this year than last year. The reason I say surprisingly is they are still working in two new systems. I am not sure we will sure the full array from Rob Spence this year. Leadership is much better this season. Guys like Charlie Whitehurst, Tye Hill, and Jamaal Fudge became leaders last year, and it has really benefited the team. The offense is clearly ahead of the defense at this point in time.

I do not think it is time to panic on the defense yet. The depth on defense is very young, and they will improve as the season goes. Roy Walker did not play well yesterday, but I believe he will be fine. The biggest concern is if something should happen to Charles Bennett or Tye Hill. There is no greater disparity between one and two on the depth chart than those two positions. Phillip Merling and Ray Ray McElrathbey are coming along, but they are still freshmen.

How serious is Kelvin Grant's injury?

He separated his shoulder and will likely miss 7-10 days. Hopefully this will not set Kelvin back as he was having a solid fall camp.

How is the kicking game looking?

Jad Dean has been solid. Two different sources that were at the scrimmage said the 57-yarder he missed landed on the hill, and after Dean nailed the 52-yarder, he said he got under it. Dean will be fine on field goals and kickoffs. The concern is at punter. Cole Chason has been sporadic. Chason has great release, which gives him a big edge. Stephen Furr has been punting the ball 50 yards with regularity, but his release time is too slow for him to push Chason. Chason was inconsistent leading up to the season last year, but he turned in a pretty good season. The staff is counting on him to do the same this year.

Is Aaron Kelly the real deal?

Everyone has told us he is. Apparently, his last test will be his first game. Everyone wanted to see, if he continued his momentum from the spring. He has done that and more. He is a very intelligient player, and he may be the ideal receiver for Spence's offense. He is tall, fast, physical, and elusive, but of course those attributes make the ideal receiver in almost any offense. Kelly took in everything he could from Airese Currie last season, and now he appears to be a major factor in the offense in 2005.

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