August 10, 2009

Like Father, Unlike Son: Week One Review

You've seen as much camp as I have. Give me a player you've been impressed with on each side of the ball

Gabe: On offense, I like what Blaine Gabbert has done, but that's boring (and we all know I'm not boring) so I'll go with Kendial Lawrence. Kid is really quick. He's the #3 back already in my mind. Defensively, I haven't seen anything spectacular out of Aldon Smith because they don't have pads on, but he just LOOKS the part of a big time player.

Mike: Well, isn't that just like you? Steal all my thunder. Lawrence is going to play. He's quick to the edge, quick to the hole and quickly gaining notice. Aldon Smith, I'm with you. I haven't seen him hit anybody, but I agreed with Mark Alnutt when he said: "Aldon Smith looks like the prototype" for a defensive end.

You can't draw any conclusions just yet, but I think we both believe this offense is going to be better than people think. Why?

Mike: Blaine Gabbert's good health is the key to everything. Frankly, MU doesn't have another quarterback who can utilize all the receiving talent I've seen so far. I think the receiving corps is deep, and good, and I really like the way Jared Perry and Wes Kemp are catching the ball. The line knows it has to protect Gabbert and it will. One thing, I see no reason to ever let Gabbert run. It is too high a risk given the QB backups.

Gabe: First, Gabbert is going to play well in my opinion. And along with that, he's got a go-to guy in Danario Alexander (as long as DA can stay on the field). But more importantly, I think the line is going to be better than any Pinkel has had. And I can't agree with you on Gabbert. The fact is, he was rated so highly coming out of high school not only because he has a rocket right arm, but because he CAN run. And for a guy that's every bit of 6-foot-5 and 230 pounds he can REALLY run. I think it's a weapon to be utilized. Gabbert's not Brad Smith or Chase Daniel yet. Yes, he's very, very important to this team, but you can't put him out there trying to protect him. Let the kid play.

Anything you've seen that has you thinking it has to improve?

Mike: Never punt. Ever. And basically Missouri is counting on Dave Steckel to mold a defensive secondary out of players that either weren't good enough last year or weren't here.

Gabe: Seriously, speaking of man-crushes (and you still have one on Washington far as I can tell), what's the opposite of a man-crush? Because you seem to have developed that for Jake Harry. Last year at this time, I was right with you. I thought Missouri should go for every fourth down outside its own 30. But Harry went in and, while he wasn't an all-American, he was fine all year long. We never saw (that I can remember) a straight sideways punt or a backward punt (if you've been a Missouri fan for at least a decade, you know that CAN happen). We were all terrified of the punting game and it went just fine. But, I'll go ahead and answer the question now. The thing I wonder about is catching the football. Jared Perry and Andrew Jones haven't dropped a thing that I've seen. Every other receiver has been guilty of letting a few bounce off his hands. With a young quarterback, the receivers need to help him out.

Like Father, Unlike Son will appear on the site every Monday through the end of basketball season.

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