Chapter Twelve – Back to Square One

2011 Depth Chart
Brady Quinn
Graham Harrell
Jimmy Clausen
Troy Smith

Armando Allen
Shagg Makino
Jerome Harrison
Andre Crenshaw
James Aldridge

Lawrence Vickers
Jonathan Dwyer
James Aldridge

Braylon Edwards
Mohomed Massaqoui
Brian Robiskie
Chaz Schilens
Johnny Knox
Josh Cribbs

Martin Rucker
Mike McNeill
Jonathan Dwyer

Joe Thomas
Jermon Bushrod

Eric Steinbach
Roberto Garza
Adam Koets

Alex Mack
Roberto Garza
Steve Vallos

Sergio Render
Roberto Garza
Adam Koets

Marc Hester
John St. Clair

Kenyon Coleman
Jevon Kearse
Ryan Kerrigan

Corey Williams
Jevon Kearse
Ryan Kerrigan

Shaun Rogers
Ma’ake Kemoeautu
Lewon Scott

Manny Lawson
Pisa Tinoisamoa
Antwan Barnes

D’Qwell Jackson
Tavares Gooden
Gary Guyton
Reggie Carter

Kamerion Wimbley
Antwan Barnes
Pisa Tinoisamoa

Eric Wright
Walter Thurmond
Fabian Washington
Phillip Buchanon
Kendric Burney

TJ Ward
Matt Giordano

Brodney Pool
Eric Berry

Matt Prater (KOS)

Adam Podlesh

Josh Cribbs (PR)
Andre Crenshaw

Heading into the preseason, I was pretty sure I wanted Armando Allen to start at running back. I was pretty much positive. I had Quinn as my guy, Edwards Robiskie and Massaqoui were the starters there. It seemed pretty much concrete. I wanted to fast forward to the beginning of the season already.

Our first preseason game was against the Redskins. When we got the ball, I called a Strong-I Power Right play to see Armando in action. I was NOT disappointed. He got the ball and I could have sworn I saw smoke off the turf when his feet moved. He was met with two defenders, juked one and spun the other and ran it in for a 45 yard touchdown. Wow.

The second quarter Clausen was the qb. I had Jerome Harrison and Andre Crenshaw at running back with Dwyer at fullback. Harrison was doing well in the passing game, but Crenshaw made me rethink a lot of things. On a sweep to the left, he evaded three tacklers before being brought down 20 yards later. He looked almost identical to Armando Allen. On a 3rd and 1, I gave the ball to Jonathan Dwyer and he not only got the first down, he broke two tackles, and was able to run past the secondary for 35 yards before a corner caught up and tripped him.

This gave me an idea. I sent Aldridge in to play fullback, not wanting to injure Vickers, and Dwyer moved to halfback. He tore it up. He was able to break tackles from a dead stop by shrugging the defenders off. He showed he could juke, and spin, and stiff arm.

Leaving that game, we had a full blown runningback battle between Allen, Crenshaw, and Dwyer. Clausen showed he could play, but I still liked Quinn better at that moment. But I wasn’t ruling anything out. Harrell also played well, but he also didn’t turn my head. QB wasn’t seeing any moves in the near future, at least under my control…

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