Chapter Eighteen – The Beginning of the End

2012 Depth Chart
QB
Brady Quinn
Jimmy Clausen
Vince Young

HB
Armando Allen
Jonathan Dwyer
Andre Crenshaw

FB
Lawrence Vickers
James Aldridge

WR
Braylon Edwards
Mohomed Massaqoui
Brian Robiskie
Chaz Schilens
Johnny Knox
Julio Jones

TE
Martin Rucker
Malachi Lewis
Jonathan Dwyer

LT
Joe Thomas
Jermon Bushrod

LG
Eric Steinbach
Adam Koets

C
Alex Mack
Steve Vallos

RG
Sergio Render
Adam Koets
Mark Asper

RT
Marc Hester

LE
Kapron Lewis-Moore
Jevon Kearse

RE
Corey Williams
Marcus Robinson

DT
Shaun Rogers
Lawrence Guy

LOLB
Manny Lawson
Pisa Tinoisamoa
Antwan Barnes

MLB
D’Qwell Jackson
Tavares Gooden
Gary Guyton
Reggie Carter

ROLB
Kamerion Wimbley
Antwan Barnes
Pisa Tinoisamoa

CB
Eric Wright
Walter Thurmond
Fabian Washington
Jonathan Joseph
Brent Vinson

FS
TJ Ward
Ben Wells
Matt Giordano

SS
Brodney Pool
Ben Wells

K
Matt Prater (KOS)

P
Justin Tucker

KR
Andre Crenshaw (PR)
Johnny Knox

We stumbled through the preseason, but everyone knows not to rely on the preseason for team predictions. It was only used for testing out different players and formations. I had tinkered around with more wildcat and other gimmicky things, but I didn’t want it to dictate my philosophy. I also wanted to put the ball in the air more. Our power running scheme wasn’t great anymore because we didn’t have much power presence, and we also had no profile back. Plus, we had a multitude of great receivers in Edwards, Massaqoui, Robiskie, Schilens, Knox, Jones and Green. Plus a respectable tight end and a flourishing O-Line. I was looking around to the great spread teams in the league, Colts, Pats, Eagles and Saints, for ideas about how to run such an offense. Notre Dame ran a Pro-Spread, but there was a lot more Pro being run there when I was.

With our backs having a lot of quickness (Dwyer was the slowest and even he was pretty fast) I figured we could thrive in a system like Indy’s or Philly’s. Game planning for our first game would be tough, even though our opponent went 8-8 last year. The Ravens were a perennial powerhouse and could win any given Sunday. I started flirting with a lot more shotgun formations with 3 and 4 wide receiver sets, even a five wide. I figured Quinn would do very well with more viable options to throw to on the field, and our team as a whole would do well.

Every season is a new beginning.

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