Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Zac Stacy and Warren Norman to share backfield, Branden Barden must lead, Dexter Daniels is a beast... and more Joe Fisher knows about Vandy football
You can learn a lot from listening to Joe Fisher, the voice of the Commodores. While fans and armchair quarterbacks are beating down Larry Smith's spring performance, for example, and screaming for him to be replaced by Jordan Rodgers (did you hear his brother starts for the Green Bay Packers?), it's Fisher who's quick to remind fans that:
(1) Teams have something called an offensive line, and when the offensive line is undermanned and inexperienced, the quarterbacks are running for their lives...
(2) And all the Vandy quarterbacks were running for their lives on Saturday...
(3) Because our defense has a pretty sophisticated blitz scheme...
(4) And guys like Walker May and Tim Fugger were taking open shots at the quarterback, Smith in particular getting his bell rung by Fugger on the first drive and never recovering...
(5) But none of the quarterbacks, Rodgers included, looked very good...
(6) And they would have looked much better if Bobby Johnson had let them wear red jerseys, which he most definitely did not, even declaring open season on them because it would get them used to getting hit, and (my add) maybe one of them would be lost for the season and make the job of picking a starter easier.
OK, Joe didn't say that last part. But Joe doesn't make the kind of snap decisions that most fans do (Larry went completed only one pass so let's revoke his scholarship now, etc.)
You can access audio to a bunch of recent conversations between Fisher and the guys from 104.5 FM in Nashville about Commodore football and even other sports by clicking here.
These points came out of his conversations this week:
• Brandon Barden needs to lead the team in receiving if the team's going to be successful this season.
• Johnson plans to employ two-back sets this season, to give his quarterbacks more protection, get his best playmakers (Zac Stacy and Warren Norman) on the field at the same time and (again, my add) probably keep at least one of below-average wide receivers on the bench.
• Dexter Daniels, the linebacker who wasn't as highly touted as fellow redshirt sophomores DeAndre Jones or Tristan Strong, got added reps because of Chris Marve's shoulder surger and is having a terrific spring.
• Chris Marve's shoulder surgery went well and his injury wasn't as serious as initially thought. Marve played in a great deal of pain last season and gutted it out despite being a game-time decision during a bunch of games.
• Ryan van Rensburg, the fullback/H-back who caught a one-yard TD pass against Tennessee, is running more pass patterns, for whatever that's worth.
• Kennard Reeves, a hard-running fifth-year senior tailback who plays primarily on special teams, may get more playing time this season because of the two-back sets but also because he's improved his ability to pick up opponent's blocking schemes.
Interesting stuff, huh? Won't see much of that on the "Vandy" chat boards, which seem intent on lowering ticket sales to Commodore football games. You know, because there's no way we can win more than one game next season.
Take your Prozac, guys. I prefer not to listen. I'm listening to Joe Fisher.