Pack preparing for Kay Yow Spring Game
Posted April 10, 2013
Spring practice is coming to an end for college football teams across the Triangle.
For the Wolfpack, there is an anticipated build-up to the Kay Yow Spring Game with new head coach Dave Doeren and his staff. So many questions have to be answered, and I believe some of them will be revealed by the game.
Two of the biggest questions are at quarterback and linebacker. Who is going to be the guy to replace Mike Glennon? Linebacker play was the weak point of the Wolfpack last year. Who are the coaches planning to use to tackle people, and how are they going to get those players to do it?
Let’s attempt to answer the first. There are the two top guys at quarterback heading into the spring game, Manny Stocker and Pete Thomas. Right now, Thomas seems to be the leader in the clubhouse, but I believe there is a reason for that. It’s spring practice. Nobody hits the quarterback in the spring.
Passing quarterbacks look better than those guys that can run. Doeren utilized a spread, shotgun, running-quarterback offense last season at Northern Illinois. One would think that would play to the advantage of Stocker, who is a better runner. But without the ability to bring the quarterback to the ground, Stocker has to continue improving on his understanding of the offense and completing passes.
Offensive coordinator Matt Canada is going to utilize the “pistol” offensive set. The quarterback will be 3 yards behind the center. No fullback. The ability to allow the quarterback to be separated from the line but still have a tailback line up behind him is an advantage. I think Pete Thomas will be able to have a certain level of success in it as long as he gets receivers who don’t drop passes. Novel idea, I know.
D.J. Green is back for next season and looking good at linebacker. Rodman Noel looks like he’s put on some muscle which will help him make plays between the tackles. Last season, Noel was the one guy that seemed to improve the most from the beginning to the end of the season.
The Pack is going to run a fast pace “no-huddle” offense that is going to put up points, but it does require the defense to take on more snaps. Defensive tackles T.Y. McGill and Thomas Teal are beasts up front. Their improved play will help the linebackers make more plays. And there is a package with speed on the outside with Art Norman and Kenderius Whitehead.
Yeah, remember that guy? Whitehead was the Pack’s top recruit a year ago, he redshirted, and now looks ready for playing time.
I’m looking forward to the football season. I love spring football because it reminds me of what is to come. But the truth is, I put little stock in what the game stats say about different players or even the team as a whole.