After a depressing day of one kind of football, let’s look forward to the start of the other kind with a look at the starting positions needing to be filled on the defensive end. Though there aren’t as many, losing Micah, Corey, Sam and Trevard are major blows on this side of the ball and their departures leave major question marks for Joker’s defense.
1. Right Tackle- Senior Shane McCord is expected to take over for Corey Peters at tackle, where he had 13 tackles last season including one for a loss.
2. Linebackers- Danny Trevathan is the leading returning tackler, but after him the experience drops off. Looking to replace Micah Johnson and Sam Maxwell will be junior Ronnie Sneed (14 tackles) and senior Jacob Dufrene (9 tackles). If I had to venture a guess, a lot of the younger defensive players will see action this year with the mass exodus leaving little experience left and Joker looking to the future of the program.
3. Cornerback- There is some experience in the defensive backfield, and Randall Burden should end up taking over Trevard Lindley’s place at Cornerback. He was much improved last year with 36 tackles and 2 interceptions and will lead a group with a lot of potential, but a lot to learn.
4. Strong Safety- Not much of a question here as junior Taedo Smith has 20 tackles and will assume Calvin Harrison’s old position. Once again, I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see junior Greg Wilson or junior college transfer Josh Gibbs see some action as Joker searches for some play making options.
Last, but certainly not least, the departure of the much revered Lones Sieber leaves room for Ryan Tydlacka to start pulling double duty as punter and place kicker. They will be huge shoes to follow in and I wish Ryan the best.
So there you go, a look at what’s coming up this season. I know its been a slightly depressing day as the Americans disappointed us, then gave us hope, and then smashed our dreams in the extra period. Now the debate begins about who to root for during the rest of the World Cup. I’m not one to root for teams that beat us, especially Ghana who I’ve come to despise in the 3 hours I spent watching them. I’ll probably go with England, since they speak English and all. Plus I’m still wondering where David Beckham is in all of this.
Lastly, I know Beisner mentioned this earlier in the week, but ESPN’s latest installment of their “30 for 30” series called “The Two Escobars” was absolutely riveting to me. Definitely if you’re a 20th century history buff or a soccer fan or just a fan of drugs and sports, don’t miss this one. It’s like Scarface and Bend it like Beckham mixed together and redone as a documentary. Perfection.