Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Final Look at Camp

Early this morning I couldn't resist it...the Purdue v. aOSU game being replayed on the BTN...I had to watch it.

Sure, I've seen the game a dozen times, but every time I watch it, I either get chills or get choked up. Like many of you, I was in Ross-Ade that night over a decade ago as 15 gave away, then stole a victory from John Cooper, Joe Cooper and Co. It's by far my favorite Purdue game I attended. Here's to that changing in the next few seasons.

But, the BTN also had their camp report from West Lafayette on tonight. And since Coach Hope guards info (during camp) like one of Stalin's right-hand men, we haven't gotten a chance to see much of our Boilers with our own two eyes. So this tiny look-in was appreciated by me.

Here's what I observed:

Offense
-Marve throws darts, looks poised, has sure feet in his drops and displays a ton of confidence. During his quick interview with the BTN, he asked for Peters Drey to sit in with him. This isn't the first time he's invited an o-lineman to come along for an interview- he did it back in the spring. Marve seems to really say the right things and have the correct outlook on the coming season.

-Justin Siller looks like a receiver. Unlike when he was moved to RB a few seasons ago, this position switch seems to make sense right away.

-Ken Plue's footwork is impressive.

-I really liked Dan Dierking's pace and effort in the brief time he was in frame. Pegram's combo of size and footwork was impressive to me. Conversely, ATM looked like his quickness wasn't quite there yet (due to injury) and he looks pretty slight, especially in his lower body, for a guy who might be called upon to run the ball 20 times in a game.

-Gabe Holmes looks big and clearly has a frame that will allow him to become a monster over the next few seasons. That's good- he'll need to do a lot as Adams and the other vet TEs head out of town.

-Glad to see McKey coaching and staying involved in practices.

Defense
-Ryan Kerrigan looks like an NFL D-End right now. He was physically imposing/impressive coming into '09...he's moreso in '10.

-Gooden looks odd in #2 to me.

-Short seems to have leaned down significantly from the end of last season and looks stronger.

-Ricardo Allen seems to glide, almost-effortlessly, while running and changing direction.

There were two #7s on the field- one on offense (WR), one on defense (CB)...and there's no 7 on the roster...don't know who either was (lil' help?!?).

Final Thoughts from Camp
-Bolden's loss compounded by Carlos' temporary loss, compounded even further by ATM's injuries during camp put our Boilers' running game in a tough spot. But, I think we'll see some reverses from the slot, Marve improvising and passes in the flat (read as bubble screens) to compensate for the lack of RB depth...I'm not worried about Dierking taking a significant amount of snaps as he'll do what he's asked to do, but if ATM's not healthy, I don't think Purdue has a home run hitter in the O backfield.

-Upon further review, I don't know if I'm too worried about the defensive backfield. Williams, Quinn, Evans and Johnson have all seen the field and a few of them have seen it versus good teams at key times. Atop that, there's some scary speed back there that might be able to make up for technique mistakes and the lack of experience. Sure, they'll get beaten from time-to-time...but so did the veteran-laden unit from 2009.

-I love this receiving unit...that, coupled with Marve's arm has me quietly-giddy.

-There are lots of variables for the upcoming season as new moving parts take their place in the starting lineup, but our Boilers have depth and talent and seem to be on the same page as a team...that's a pretty good place to start.

12 comments:

John said...

I was completely impressed with Keith Smith's confidence during his interview. I love that the alpha dog feels his whole pack can run with him. And for such a stud receiver to be so pumped about "taking heads off" run blocking? Awesome.

I also thought that all our boys spoke very intelligently in their interviews. Impressed by that as well.

Choo choo, won't be long now.

Daggio said...

Both #7s are listed on the Purdue Official Site roster.

On offense it is Cortez Smith and on defense it is E.J. Johnson

T-Mill said...

I really like E.J. Johnson fromt he film I have seen on him. He's a ballhawk like Stu.

Purdue Matt said...

That Purdue-O$U game from last year is still on my DVR.

Purdue Matt said...

Oops. You were talking about the 2000 game. That game still gives me chills too. I was at that game as a 18 year old freshman. I wasn't really into college football when I came to Purdue, but that season got me hooked.

BoilerUpAT said...

I'm sorry, Dierking is a good kid, strong and tries hard, but he's just not the guy we need in the backfield. We need someone that can cut in between tackles, make a move in the open field and then have that burst to make big gains. Ralph was it, and I don't think ATM even is the guy. If you ask me, Pegram looked like our best option. Dierking is a good fullback, pass blocker and can recieve quite well, but he's not the every down back we need to be competitive. The bubble screens and short pass game just won't cut it in conference play. We have to have a between the tackles runner to complement our mix of offense (which I LOVE by the way) of one down being 5 WR's and the next down I-formation. For that to work, we need a dynamic runner with toughness AND breakaway speed.

PWS said...

The two things about Dierking are his vision and effort. Even in high school, he had incredible vision and football sense that allowed him to see holes before they opened. He's never been overly big or fast, so that vision allowed him to be a high yardage runner.

As we all know, he will give us 100% on each down. The guy is as strong and fast as his body will allow, but we know that isn't enough. He will probably not break alot of tackles, but he will not shy away from hits. He's tough like his dad and Hope loves guys who play hard. He'll be a workhorse.

I know he's not the ideal choice, but I do believe he is the card we have to play right now.

Angry Mike said...

I watched the 2000 OSU @ Purdue game last night as well. Brought me back to my sophomore year. What a great season that was...even if it ended with a disappointing loss to Washington.

BoilerUpAT said...

I was at that game. One of the best day's ever............

MrAnonymous said...

Dierking gives 100%, hits hard, and does not shy away. He may not be ideal, but he is what we have. No use posting coulda, shoulda, woulda's.

Austin said...

Being only 12 years old the last time we had such an epic win over OSU, I'm just going to pretend we're all talking about last year's game.

Tears of joy never stop coming to my eyes. I remember at the two minute mark all the field steps were covered by multiple police officers and we thought we wouldn't get to rush the field, only to realize they just wanted the clock to hit zero first.

Probably the only time I'll ever see a police officer dance with a college kid. Just wonderful.

boilerdowd said...

Mr. Anon, is that comment directed at me? If so, go back and re-read my post. I think we're on the same page.

Thanks for the heads up on the numbers, everybody...I was checking GBI's list.