Duke looks to depth to spell key injuries
Posted August 26, 2014
Durham, N.C. — Injuries to key players have dominated the recent headlines for Duke football, but head coach David Cuttcliffe said Tuesday that he is comfortable with the Blue Devils’ depth as they set out to defend their ACC Coastal Division title.
“Although it’s emotional and you are hurt, you don’t skip a beat,” Cuttcliffe said.
Injuries to players like defensive captain Kelby Brown and senior tight end Braxton Deaver would have crippled Duke teams of the past. The 2014 Blue Devils, however, are more complete and well-rounded.
In Brown's absence at linebacker, two other seniors will see even more time. David Helton will slide over to the Mike position and C.J France, who has started 10 games in three consecutive seasons, will play the Will.
Deaver, who started every game a year ago, will be replaced by redshirt junior David Reeves.
“It speaks to the depth we have built, recruiting guys that can come in here and be game ready,” quarterback Anthony Bone said. “We are doing a great job of getting guys ready to play and redshirting guys when we have the opportunity to redshirt guys and give them that year of development.”
Duke is adapting and surviving, a sign of a program on the rise. However, many in the college football landscape continue to throw around the F-word – Fluke.
“It is interesting that people continue to think that what we have done and accomplished here is a fluke,” said cornerback Jeremy Cash. “As I was quoted last year, ‘People are going to hate, just remember to spell our names right.’”
As they embark on a division-title defense, Duke is not making any excuses with injuries and have set their goals even higher.
“We are not where we want to be,” Cutcliffe said. “I have a vision for this that we want so badly, and sometimes that’s frustrating to anybody when you don’t quite get there.”
Cutcliffe and the Blue Devils will get their first chance at making their vision a reality Saturday when they host Elon in the season opener.