July 3, 2008

2008 Tiger Mailbag: 23rd Edition

Each Thursday, PowerMizzou.com publisher Gabe DeArmond will answer questions from subscribers in our Tiger Mailbag. This feature will allow for longer, more in-depth answers than you may get on the message board on a daily basis. To have your question in next week's mailbag, send an email to Gabe at gabedea@powermizzou.com. On to this week's inquiries:

bson24 asks: With the possibility of losing 15-17 of our players after this season how do you think we will be in 09? Do you think our 2nd stringers and other backup players will be able to step in and make the drop off not so bad?

The answer to this question will determine the future of the Missouri program. Are they ready to become a nationally elite program, or simply a pretty good program? Either alternative is better than what the Tigers have been for the last 25 years. Anyway, I think without really breaking down the schedule in depth, the line is going to be set at 7-5. If you can do that with 15 new starters, including a new quarterback, that's not bad. If you can win one you shouldn't, 8-4 is a heck of a year under those circumstances.

sandiegotigerfan asks: What is going to happen with the kicking game? It seems that our punting is subpar, and we are losing one of our better kickers in the history of the program. Are we looking at the swim team again? Or are there some other prospects out there that you could see the staff offering? What walk-on could take Wolferts spot if no other kicker comes in (assuming it will be a walk-on from this year)?

There are a few walk-ons, perhaps most noticeably Tanner Mills, formerly of Rock Bridge. Trey Barrow is supposed to be walking on from Moberly as well. In my personal opinion, you don't need to waste your time offering kickers. The best ones since I've followed Mizzou have always been walk-ons. The punting spot is, for now, a question mark. The kicking game is solid this year, but we'll have to wait till next spring to see about a successor to Wolfert.

VBEXPRESS asks: Keith Ramsey remains the unknown man, having arrived a bit late and not playing in the DJ All-star game. We've heard all sorts of hints about him and his skills, but no one has actually seen him play and given us a decent review. You've said you think he will start at the 3. Is it likely that someone will see him soon in a pickup game and give us some feedback on his skills, and why, other than the fact that he comes in as a JUCO, do you believe he will start for the Tigers? Is he a step above the other candidates for SF, such as ML, English, and Bowers?

Well, I'm not sure if I'll have a chance to see Keith play any time soon or not. I believe he'll start because he has more experience on something approaching this level than the rest of those guys. In addition, he gives you a lot better rebounding ability than Lawrence, or probably English. I like what Bowers can bring in that aspect, but he may not be caught up to Ramsey in a few other areas.



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