We have sorely missed the mid-line. It can be a good counter attack to some of the stuff we have been seeing from defenses. It was the most effective play in the spring game from my vantage point. One thing that was obvious from the film slowed down is the impact that TB makes at contact. His power was obvious as he routinely produced backwards movement from individual tacklers and groups of tacklers. He also just flat out broke a lot of tackles.
In my mind that is one of the most intriguing discussions, and decision points, about what direction to go in terms of QB, specifically, power and decision making vs speed and elusiveness. I have already heard the argument over the question: what is more important, good execution and steady reliable 15 play drives or explosion plays? Well I think the answer is, you need a little of both. No offense will routinely rip off 12 play error free drives all the time, that is why big plays are so nice. However, you need to execute to possess the ball and keep your defense rested. That is why relying totally on the occasional huge play can be self defeating. It truly is a quandary. Obviously the guy who wins out will give us the best combination of both. It should be interesting.
No strong feelings over either, but I'll say that having Byerly in there doesn't limit your explosion plays that much. While Byerly himself isn't explosive, if he's making the correct reads and making himself a threat to the defense, the holes will open up elsewhere. Let Andrews, Autry, Laskey, etc, etc deliver explosive plays. If Byerly distributes the ball well and provides a bit of a threat himself, then we'll have big plays. I recall 3 and shorts with Nesbitt and the defense would bite so hard on him because he's such a bull that it would open up running lanes everywhere else and we'd get an explosive play. Also if any QB can sling the ball better, then we have a whole new explosive element that has little to do with foot speed and wiggle.
I didn't really notice Byerly that much until I went to the scrimmage the week prior to the T Game. Byerly kept the ball on an option, ran for about 7 yards or so, and PJ Davis (one of my favorite players and someone who can deliver a hit) came up to tackle him and the impact was significant. You could hear it in the stands, not only the impact but the nice sounding grunt/gasp when someone gets snot bubbled. When the smoke clears, Byerly pops up and jogs to the huddle while PJ looks a little worse for wear. You can't overestimate the importance of having players out there running the option that deliver hits better than they take them. Runners like Laskey (hopefully Custis) and Byerly can punish defenders and in option football that is a good psychological element. Anything to keep defenders on their heels or hesitate is a plus. You can also achieve that result with speed as well, but there is lots of speed in our league.
Like I said, no strong feelings over either. I trust CPJ to put the right person out there, all things honest and equal. Either one out there is fine with me and will mean good things with the caveat that if Byerly gets the nod, you have to find a way to get Thomas on the field.