Monday, October 18, 2010

New Vanderbilt depth chart shows effects of injuries on offensive, defensive lines

After a 43-0 blowout, you'd expect some changes to the depth chart, but there's not much different about this week's two-deep. Here are a few highlights, if you wish to call them that:

• Warren Norman and Zac Stacy are still listed as co-starters at running back; both started against Georgia as Vandy went with a two-receiver set with Cole and Umoh and true freshman Jonathan Krause first off the bench.

• Senior center Joey Bailey will likely sit out the South Carolina game with injury, which means true freshman Logan Stewart would likely start in his place. Other than quarterback, center is probably the last position you want a true freshman. Caldwell said another true freshman, James Kittredge, might also get a look there, and that redshirt sophomore Jabo Burrow has been snapping the ball in practice and could be used in an emergency.

• After losing his starting job to Caleb Welchans in the third game of the season, Burrow is back at starting left guard, with Welchans listed as backup to both Burrow at guard and Ryan Seymour at right tackle.

• Senior Adam Smotherman played on Saturday and could get the start, as could junior T.J. Greenstone, who's missed the past two games to injury. They'd replace redshirt sophomores Rob Lohr and Colt Nichter.

• Senior Nate Campbell is listed as a starter at outside linebacker and Chris Marve's backup in the middle. Of the five redshirt sophomore linebackers — Tristan Strong, DeAndre Jones, Dexter Daniels, Archibald Barnes and Micah Powell — only Strong and Barnes are listed on the depth chart; those guys have been a real disappointment so far. True freshman Chase Garnham is still second-team at OLB.

• True freshman free safety Kenny Ladler continues to fend off redshirt freshman Jay Fullam, who started the first two games. Two more true freshmen, safety Andre Simmons and corner Steven Clarke, are two-deep in the secondary, and classmates Karl Butler and Andre Hal are seeing plenty of time on special teams.


Anonymous said...

Why isn't Walker May (#90) getting more recognition and playing time on the defensive line. It seems that he's always around the ball making plays. And it's not like our current DEs are lighting any fires. What am I missing?

Dimon said...

I don't know. To me, this coaching staff seems awfully big on "paying your dues." Personally, I'd like to see May play outside linebacker. Our five sophomore linebackers have been a disappointment.

Anonymous said...

To do what you suggest would be thinking outside the box and putting your best players on the field, regardless of experience and past performance. Wow...what a thought!

Anonymous said...

Dimon, do you think that "paying your dues" might also apply to WR's Chris Boyd and Jordon Mathews ? I know that some coaches don't like to play too many freshman, but these 2 wr's seem to have the ability to have earned a shot playing on the outside; unless there is something that is not being reported. It's hard to imagine based on what has been said about these 2, that they can not be more effective than the wr's that we have on our roster (with the exception of Krause). Krause has been solid so far, but the rest of the wr core (like last season) has been disappointing. Can't blame all of the passing game problems on Larry Smith. Even though Mathews plays, he gets very few looks by the play-calling. What do you think ?


Yes, I think Matthews should be worked into the offense. I read recently that the coaching staff has given Krause so much playing time because he's really smart and has grasped the playbook. Forget that he's the fastest guy on the team. Evidently, Matthews hasn't learned the offense as well as he should.

Meanwhile, Cole and Umoh and Wimberly are freaking Rhodes scholars when it comes to understanding the playbook and they each have the work ethic of a coal miner, so they keep on playing.

This bothers me. Let's get the talent on the field right now. Matthews is a better player than Cole, Umoh and Wimberly. Lock him in a room and teach him the darn offense if that's what it takes. As for Boyd, I've heard that he's still growing into his body — he's huge — and is more of a short yardage, jump-ball guy who some people have even projected as an H-back. In other words, he's a bit of a project in SEC terms and will benefit from a redshirt. As for the other true frosh, Pruitt, he appears to be a clone of John Cole and is a definite redshirt.

So yes, Matthews needs to get on the field. I say start Matthews and Krause at receiver, bench the other guys, and start Stacy and Norman both at running back, letting one of them line up in the slot on passing downs and throwing to them lots out of the backfield.

Anonymous said...

Dimon, great comments regarding the wr's. Unfortunately this confirms my concern with the coaches inability to evaluate talent coming (recruited) into the program. I totally agree with your comments regarding Krause, but you can almost make the comments about Boyd and Mathews regarding any freshman. Its still hard to watch Mathews redshirt burned in the fashion that it has; special teams and 1 catch so far this season (during a blowout against EM). As for Boyd, a strange observation that a coach sees him as an "H-back" especially given the team concerns at wr and his coming into the program as a WR. Look around the SEC and other competitive programs; rarely do you recruit 2 tall receivers to a group as lacking as ours and then coach them as we have. Just does not seem like any other SEC school would not have handled this incoming WR group this way. With Krause speed, he should have even been utilized early-on in punt or kickoff return as well. Seems the entire offensive coaching staff is really poor at evaluating talent and putting skill players in the best position to help the team win. Our current receiving core are all below 6' tall and dont put a fear into any defense. I would have expected more from this staff rather than blame the players that they dont know the playbook or inply that they dont work hard enough.

Dimon said...

Actually, Krause is just the kind of kid we can and should try to sign more of. The guys who are as tall as Chris Boyd but as fast and as athletic as Krause are named Julio Jones and Alshon Jefferies. I expect to see Matthews get more playing time the rest of the season and finish with double-digit receptions, and I think Boyd will be a solid possession receiver for us next season. Speaking of possession receivers, has Brady Brown been a total bust or what?

Anonymous said...

Dimon, it does seem a little strange at the lack of development of Brady Brown. I am willing to cut him some slack in that our position coaches have not really developed any good WR's the last few years (especially big WR's). I look at a tall WR like Brown and feel that until we get a better coaching staff, I don't want to call him a bust just yet. Looking at how Brady Brown, and now Mathews and Boyd have been (utilized) coached, its hard not to wonder how much better they would be in a better offense / system with better position coaching. Lets face it, Fischer and Kiser should be held more accountable rather than blaming LS and the WR's for a bad offense. Can't believe that Caldwell hasn't noticed this. Seems to me that there are other comparable schools that get more out of their talent (at WR) than Vandy. I'm hoping that we pull the upset over SC....Go Dores !


I haven't given up on Brady yet — he's still mighty young — but he hasn't even played in a game yet and I don't think he's injured.