Still, we have Swann and all those talented youngsters. It helps me feel better that we are facing a first year starter in Stoudt, with several new offensive linemen and receivers. And skill players. Depending on how we look Saturday, I reserve the right to panic about South Carolina, but right now, I have to think Morris is going to look at establishing confidence early before he brings his full arsenal out.
Will the secondary be a hot mess at times, especially early? Yeah, of course. Will it improve? Yes. That is more than hindsight gives us from last year.
That leads me to our front seven. I am excited about our front seven. A bunch.
I'm salivating over watching what Leonard Floyd and Lorenzo Carter do this year. When you add in the quicker interior linemen and giving Jordan Jenkins direction, instead of simply having him run towards the QB, I'm positively giddy. Then we have all that depth at every position. So much depth that the SEC's leading tackler from last season is not starting.
I still have trouble getting my head around is what is going on with Ramik Wilson. It is hard to fathom he's said or done something to piss the coaches off. Hell, we sent him to Birmingham for media days. I hope his injury or whatever is getting worked out, because as much as I like Tim Kimbrough's athleticism, he's still a Sophomore starting over the returning leading tackler in the SEC.
Still, I don't think our coaches want to lose to make a point with a player, so I'm forced to trust two things:
- If Ramik is healthy, he'll play.
- Jeremy Pruitt is doing what he thinks is best for the defense.
Pruitt has some rings that are a pretty strong indication that he knows what he is doing, as well as the statistics from those teams to back it up. He wasn't joking about it being an open competition. If Ramik has been beaten out, it is a good sign for the defense because it means we have a player that has shown in a head to head competition that he is better than Ramik, at least as of this posting. It also means this defense, especially the front seven, is scary good.
For the record, I think Ramik plays tomorrow. And I think 20+ guys will get significant game minutes, not just giving starters a breather but because certain packages leverage their skill more than other players' skill. Seeing us let loose on a young offensive line, a new starting QB, and young RBs has me pretty jazzed.