I figured I'd do a position by position breakdown of how our team did this year. I'm hoping it fosters some discussion on how everyone thinks we did as a whole and where on the team we need the most help, be it players or coaching. Of course, my general thoughts are that 7-6 leaves much to be desired and our biggest area for improvement is with player development followed closely by improving recruiting. In general, I think our position coaches need improvement either by getting new ones or investing resources in developing the knowledge base of the ones we have. I think we need to do everything possible to maximize the talent of our players and I feel we have a lot of room for improvement in that area. QB Coach: Bryan Cook, First year (0 years prior experience coaching with CPJ before GT) Positives: Vad has a very strong arm and has proven to be very accurate when he steps up into his throws. JT showed glimpses of the raw talent that would take this team to the next level. Negatives: The option footwork isn’t very crisp for either QB. Vad consistently drops back out of his protection even when he has a clean pocket to step up into. The mesh doesn’t look clean. Summary: I was not very high on the hire of CBC based on watching tapes of his offenses in California and was not impressed with the job he did with our guys this year. Our quarterbacks played tentatively, made poor reads, plodded through the mesh, didn’t carry out ball fakes, and pretty much looked like a hot mess out there. At some point in time, we reached critical mass on coachable moments regarding stepping up into the pocket and following through on a play even when blocking breaks down and yet I saw no real improvement in this area and that is on the coach. I think Vad was playing through an injury which affected a lot of this, but it was obvious when JT was on the field that he was not ready yet. There were sporadic signs of improvement, though, and for that we can hope. Coach Grade: D Position Grade: C- What it means for 2014: We have talent at this position. At this point in time, it’s a matter of developing it and history has shown with Tevin that can be done with the right work ethic. I’m hopeful for the future of this position and hope CPJ is getting heavily involved. With another year in the system, these players will improve. BB Coach: Bryan Cook, First year (0 years prior experience coaching with CPJ before GT) Positives: We finally saw a few long runs out of this position. Very few negative plays. Negatives: We lack a true threat at this position and, realistically, need to look elsewhere than the current players on our roster. Pass blocking was only ok all year and bad in the bowl game. Summary: I think we maximized our talent this year and saw the best David Sims can offer this year and I’m thankful for his contributions; however, he never consistently broke arm tackles at the first level and was not a threat on the second level. He was finally able to run with his eyes up and maintain a good pad level, though, and we got consistent production out of this position. With the right player, we will get back to having a 1,000 yard rusher. Coach Grade: B Position Grade: B- What it means for 2014: We need help. If Custis comes in and can pick up the blocking, then I think we’ll see an upgrade at this position. If Laskey wins the job, then we’ll get the same level of production. AB Coach: Lamar Owens, Fourth year (0 years prior experience coaching with CPJ before GT) Positives: Godhigh. A-backs are able to be utilized in the passing game. Negatives: Perimeter blocking. Vision. Toughness. Summary: Godhigh obviously had the best season anyone could expect; however, the rest of this position group needs to step up. Inconsistent blocking lead to a lot of negative plays. We have running backs who get the ball less than once a game and seemingly don’t even show the effort of cutting upfield and putting their heads down when they do get opportunities. This group is plain frustrating to watch. That being said, THEY CAN CATCH!!!!!!!!!!! If anyone else has memories of all the dropped passes in 2008 and 2009 from the a-backs, then you can truly appreciate this. It seems every year Owens is here, they get better and better in the passing game. Unfortunately, this is a running offense and the group as a whole gets poor marks for their primary job: blocking. Coach Grade: C Position Grade: C What it means for 2014: I’m concerned. There’s been some flashes of ability buried in the depth chart, but I doubt we see it. Synjyn has one position locked up simply because he tries to block, the other one is completely up for grabs. I hope Perkins or Andrews win it because they seem to fight the hardest when they’re on the field. I would not be surprised to see BJ hang up his cleats, doesn’t show any passion which is a shame considering his speed. WR Coach: Sixth year, (6 years prior experience coaching with CPJ before GT though it was at Hawaii) Positives: They can catch, too. Attacking the ball. Negatives: Route running. Inconsistent perimeter blocking. Summary: This group looked to be a liability coming into the season, but the addition of Smelter seemingly took some pressure off Waller who similarly improved. Michael Summers had some nice contributions as well. Coach Grade: B+ Position Grade: B What it means for 2014: Every area for improvement this group has is something that will come with more experience. These guys have pretty high ceilings, so I’m hoping we see it. OL Coach: Mike Sewak, Sixth year (15 years prior experience coaching with CPJ before GT) Positives: Firing off the ball and drive blocking Negatives: Pass blocking, missed assignments (free runners), lack of talent Summary: I think this group was made out to be the scapegoat for a lot of our problems. I’m not saying their performance was great, but it wasn’t as bad as people make it out to be. To that extent, we should’ve trusted this group more and gone right at some of our opponents. There were very few instances where our guys weren’t getting the push. They got physically whipped by more agile defenders shooting our wide splits and disrupting plays. We also tended to whiff or run right by defenders in space. For everyone who talks about square peg in round hole regarding our QB, you should be looking at our offensive line for a better example. In our first couple of years, CPJ talked about narrowing our splits and gradually widening them out as we got better. It’s time to re-evaluate whether or not we’re better. I think an honest evaluation is that we’ve downgraded our talent level even from that makeshift line and, as counterintuitive as it seems to me, I think our guys are stronger but not nearly as agile now. Coach Grade: D Position Grade: C What it means for 2014: Everyone is calling for Sewak’s head, but he is the one I trust the most on our coaching staff to be able to relay to CPJ what adjustments need to be made. We’ve lost three of our five offensive coaches from the 2009 team and replaced them with a graduate assistant and someone with no prior CPJ experience. Let’s be realistic…Sewak will be here in 2014. We’re adding some talented guys to our OL rotation, but losing a lot of starts. My best guess is that we’ll be less consistent, but with some higher ceiling guys when things go right, it’ll go really right. Feast or famine so to speak.