Friday, April 10, 2009

Offseason Roundtable #2

In an effort to not only increase our chatter about the Cards, but to also increase some reader participation, Edge, RV, and Alan will be doing these roundtables every other week or so? Love the answers? Want to post your own thoughts? Of course you do. And you can do so in the Comments section. Because remember, dear readers, a smarmy sarcastic blog about Ball State athletics is only as good as its small yet powerful reader base. Have at it, boys and girls...

1.) With the NFL Draft looming large in the distance, who would you like to see Nate end up with? Why? What round do you see him coming off the board?
Alan: I will stick with my earlier hopings that Nate comes off the board somewhere around the late 3rd, early 4th. I could see him going to Indianapolis with the 92nd or Carolina with the 93rd pick. If he stays on the board until the 4th, he'll probably wind up 111th with the 49ers or 115th with the Jets. The only one of those situations that's really ideal is the Indianapolis opening. He would come with a familiarity of the area, a fanbase already in place, and most importantly, a starter who is a legend to not only learn from, but who is going to retire within the next 5 years or so probably.

RV: I hope that Nate ends up in St. Louis and has a few years behind Bulger. This is a team, in the past, that has been successful and are in an obvious rebuilding mode. The less pressure on Nate coming in and making an impact, the better. I think a lot of his draft placement depends on where a few of the QBs go. I could see a Packers situation, where they drafted two QBs in one draft class. 4th round to go on record.

Edge: Honestly, who he ends up with is of no concern. I don't see Nate getting many reps for a couple years, so if he's with the Colts, great. If he's with the Seahawks, great. If he's with the Patriots, fuck him. I see Nate being a fourth or fifth rounder based on his Titanic (not a compliment) performance at the end of the year and his combine performance. Not to mention that pro day... I hate to sound so pessimistic about Nate, but as great as he was last year, he's a long way from NFL-ready.

2.) The Spring Game is Saturday. What sorts of things are you hoping to see out of the Cardinals as they go live for the first time?
Alan: In my opinion, there are three things that I think I would keep on an eye on if I was attending this shindig. First and foremost is the play of the offensive line. Their ability to open holes and form a protected pocket will ultimately be the driving force behind any successes this season. Second is the play of Kelly Page/Tanner Justice. For obvious reasons, the ability of either of them to pick up Stan Parrish's offense and quickly will translate to W's next fall. Last but not least is the play of the corners. Replacing both starters, BSU needs inexperienced players to really come into their own this spring.

RV: Let's see consistency and smart decision making out of our offense. Spring brings expectations and kool-aid. So someone will light the world apart and we'll anoint him as THE darkhorse Heisman candidate. But, as long as there aren't a shitload of mental mistakes and unforced turnovers, I'm happy.

Edge: What do I look for in the Spring Game... no injuries. That's it. I don't expect anything other than a 3/4 speed practice. It's for the media, it's for the community, it's not a huge walkthrough. What I will be hoping to see above all else is a quarterback to step up and give the feeling that he's firmly in charge.

3.) As we reflect back on the 08 season, what are you top 3 memorable moments for BSU?
Alan: The Western Michigan game is tops on my list. People had waited decades to have that kind of support and crowd for a mid-week game. It was for the MAC West, I was there, etc. Second is Dante's return against Northern Illinois. Again, the electricity and atmosphere ratcheted up about nine levels when Eight-Six walked to midfield for the coin toss. Third was the Indiana game. After all was talked about and said in the week leading up to the contest, it felt good to get the 0fer monkey against BCS teams off our backs.

RV: #1) Dante coming back to the field. I hope this guy turns into a coach because he's such an uplifting presence and belongs on the field. #2) Gerberry's snap to a distracted Nate Davis against Buffalo. The idea that a negative play is memorable will be unpopular, but this is defining Nate's career right now. Sad, but true. #3) Everything from the Western Michigan game. That game showed what this team was capable of doing in the right mindset. Unfortunately, that mindset didn't carry over into the next two games.

Edge: It's tough to pick the best 3 moments of 08. Of course, #1 personally was the IU game. Huge across the board. Second was watching us shut down Navy's option. Third would have to be Dante coming back onto the field. Very cool to experience.

4.) As we look forward to the 09 season, what are 3 bold predictions you're prepared to make for BSU?
Alan: 1.) Myles Trempe will make the biggest impact on offense. Stan's system relies on tight ends that are long, quick, and have great hands. Trempe has that. By the time this year is over, Trempe will have fans saying, "Darius, who?" 2.) Ball State will go undefeated through it's nonconference schedule, getting its second win over a BCS conference team on the road at Auburn. 3.) Ball State will be playing for a second consecutive MAC Championship in Detroit next December.

RV: #1.) Briggs Orsbon will double his stats from last year (68 - 813 - 5) 2.) MiQuale Lewis will lose 100 carries to Corey Sykes 3.) Tanner Justice will replace Kelly Page by midseason. Why? Well, he's a friggin 83% passer!

Edge: My bold predictions of this year... first and foremost is that we'll beat Auburn. Second, no more players get DUIs. Third, we will finally have a MAC Championship trophy. That bold enough for ya?

5.) Assume Tom Collins asks you to be the Director of Football Operations and gives you total control for the Football Cardinals. What changes do you implement? What things do you look to get accomplished? (Money is a factor... you do not have a pot o gold to spend from)
Alan: I think an upgrade to the facilities would be nice, but not until it is financially feasible to do so. I think I would look at ways to increase the revenue for the football operations budget. Collins is already doing that with the creation of the Touchdown Club, but I would look at charging students a nominal fee billed to their student accounts for football tickets, say $15 for the year. Make the student experience something worth while and they will pay for it. Coaches offices are an absolute must, and that would be tops on my priority list in terms of spending the cash. Aside from brick and mortar improvements, I would do all I could to really make BSU football a brand. Something to sell. Something in demand. It requires a hustler sort of mentality, getting your product out, generating buzz, etc.

RV: This could go on forever, but first and foremost is making a commitment to improve the facilities. Indiana has produced some great players over the years and we have just as much to offer student-athletes as Purdue and Indiana. Properly addressing the myriad of issues that the football program would be easier if the success continued, but it's just as obtainable if there's improvement across the board.

Edge: Wow... first get those coaches some offices. Second, continue with some more stadium upgrades. The north end is nice and all, but we're not at Deer Creek. Get some seats in there, wrap that shit up, and let's call ourselves a real stadium. Facilities have made a marked improvement in the past 5 years, so let's not get stagnant.

What say you, dear reader?


Anonymous said...

"The north end is nice and all, but we're not at Deer Creek. Get some seats in there, wrap that shit up"


Anonymous said...

Where the hell is Whitlock now? I figured since he was so adament in getting nate to leave it's the least he could do to help him land a job. poser.