July 16, 2009

2009 Tiger Mailbag: 26th 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 [email protected] On to this week's inquiries:

JB#s asks: It may be a little early for this, but it's a slow time, right? To piggyback the North rankings you're doing, give us your All-Big 12 North offense (if you have time, list the defense or save that for next week).

I'm going with Colt McCoy at quarterback. Yes, it's insane that the defending Heisman winner wouldn't be first-team in his own conference, but I think McCoy and the Longhorns are going to come out with a point to prove this year. At tailback, I like Kendall Hunter and DeMarco Murray (though Derrick Washington and Roy Helu could make a run). At wideout, Jordan Shipley and Dez Briscoe are the choices with Jermaine Gresham at tight end. Trent Williams, Russell Okung and Adam Ulatowski all made the team last year, so it's a near lock they'll be on it again. For the other two spots, how about Kurtis Gregory and Chris Hall, though I'll admit the linemen are little more than a guess on my part.

Defensively, Ndamakong Suh and Gerald McCoy can put their names on the list now at defensive tackle. I'm making Sergio Kindle a defensive end and matching him up with K-State's Brandon Harold. At linebacker, Sean Weatherspoon is an easy pick and he'll be joined by Andre Sexton and Travis Lewis (though Joe Pawelek from Baylor will get a lot of votes). In the secondary, I like Darrell Stuckey, Dominique Franks, Blake Gideon and Cha'pelle Brown of Colorado. I'll take Alex Henery of Nebraska as my kicker and I've got no clue on the punter.

pdtiger asks: Would you spend some time explaining the "different" kinds of offers? It seems to me that there must be "limits" on some offers. Are there "conditions" placed on some offers?

There are offers and then there are OFFERS. That's something that has become more and more clear over the years. It happens everywhere. There are a handful of prospects, two or three at each position, who have an offer from a school and if they want to commit, they have a spot no matter if it's April, August or on signing day. Then there are kids that have offers with time limits. In other words, "You have an offer, we'll take you. But if you don't decide in the next two weeks, we can't promise we're still going to have a spot." Also, and this is something I'm starting to see more now than I have in the past, there are kids that have offers where a commitment that would not immediately be accepted. In other words, we like you, but don't try to commit today because we're looking at a lot of guys at your position. You can decide whether or not you think it's right, but it does seem to happen at all kinds of places. And it's tough to blame coaches for it for a couple of reasons. Kids can change their minds all the way to February, so why can't coaches? In addition, recruiting has been sped up so much lately, you have to offer some kids perhaps before you're completely ready. Take a kid who you think is a player and you think you'll want to offer him in October. But by October, he may have four or five more offers. It's important to some kids to be the first to offer them, so maybe you offer a kid in July that normally you'd hold off on a little bit. Again, you can make the judgment whether it's fair or not, but it happens and there are good reasons it does.

aarondyoung asks: Do you think the impact of having both new offensive and defensive coordinators will be a net positive or negative this season and how so?

My first thought is that it's going to be a positive. David Yost already has called a lot of plays the last few years. The players like him. I also think he'll be more flexible than Dave Christensen. Christensen worked wonders with the Missouri offense the last few years, but I thought he had a tendency to become too reliant on one phase of the game or one player. I think you'll see it mixed up more. Defensively, I don't know that Dave Steckel will change a lot, but the fact is, the defense can't be a whole lot worse than it was. But, ultimately, I think the impact of a coordinator is a little overrated. People think Brent Venables and Will Muschamp are great defensive coordinators because they yell and scream and jump around. Sorry, but they're great coordinators because they have great players. Any coach will tell you it's a lot easier to coach with good players than bad ones. Are there guys who make players better? Sure. But overall, the best players are going to win games a lot more often than not.

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