Linfield’s spring practices are about wrapped up with only one more full week and I had the chance to get out on the field and shoot some video this past Wednesday. I’m also going to shoot next Wednesday night and post up a clip the following Monday.
Have to say that I was a bit rusty behind the lens on Wednesday. At the same time, I didn't want to leave you empty handed so I put together a few training clips of the 'Cats spring ball that you can see below.
If that doesn't get you ready for football then I have no idea what will.
Ok, I promised you a breakdown of our offense so here it is from my eyes:
Unlike the 2006 season there is no question on who the starter will be. Senior Trevor Sharer will be back with almost a full year of starting experience under his belt. Trevor played some really outstanding games last season and was named second team all-NWC QB. There is little doubt that Trevor will be the top NWC QB headed into next season.
At the same time I have to say that I’m very excited about Soph Aaron Boehme. The 6’5” Boehme could really be a special QB by the time he wraps up his Linfield career. Boehme is a fantastic athlete with a great mind for the game. Keep an eye on the development of this kid.
There is no doubt that the WR corp will be the cream of the NWC crop. The ‘Cats return 1st team All-NWC wide outs in Tyler Kaluza and Josh Vierra. These two have looked downright great during spring ball and will really put pressure on defensive backfields during their senior seasons. Adding to the mix is the game breaking Travis Masters. Travis really has incredible speed as we witnessed when he took two kickoffs to the house during the 2006 season.
Every great WR corp needs that reliable possession receiver that doesn’t get the headlines but moves chains and just produces and next year that will fall into the hands of Tyson Banker. Banker will be that slot receiver to do the dirty work and his sure hands and smarts should pay dividends next year. There’s a gaggle of young and older WR’s with skill that could get a crack next year but there are just too many to list.
I’m really curious to see where this is going to go. We return all three of our primary running backs from 2006 (Pete Cruickshank, Drew Regan, Jon Montalvo) and all three have different strengths to bring to the table. Linfield fans love to say and talk about the next “David Russell” but what people forget that Linfield has almost always been a team to share the load in terms of carries and not just depend on one back.
David Russell had an incredible 2002 season but he was splitting carries early in the year with Marty Williams. It was a career ending injury to Marty during the 2002 Menlo game that pushed the great majority of carries into David’s arms and that turned into an All-American season. Even the 2004 team was a two running back team (Thomas Ford and Riley Jenkins) that turned into a mostly one back rotation when T.Ford broke his thumb early in the 2004 playoffs.
So that is what I’m curious about for 2007. Are we going to rotate 3 running backs, 2 backs, or just anoint one of these players to be man? I can’t answer these questions but I’d rather have a problem of having too many good players than not enough good players.
I talked about this in my first spring post but we have could have a very strong two tight-end option with returning starter Brett Smedley coupled with the return of Joe Seifert who missed all of 2006 with injury. Smedley is a huge target (6’5”) with soft hands and I love Seifert’s toughness.
This is the biggest question entering the 2007 season. The ‘Cats have to replace four starters and their play is going to determine if this Linfield team is going to be good or great. Starting center John Kemper is the lone starter back and will have a huge responsibility in leading his young line into 2007. Linfield fans should rest easy for that the ‘Cats do have one of the best offensive line coaches in country in Doug Hire and he’s had great success in the development of outstanding linemen. This group is going to be tested very early in 2007 vs Western Oregon’s outstanding defensive front. If our offensive line can get the job done then Linfield fans should expect great things in 2007.