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  1. #1

    FB Offseason: General

    I didn't see a general offseason thread, though feel free to move this if I missed it. Here is a link to an espn.com ACC post about the ACC Coastal division after the spring practices: http://www.espn.com/blog/acc/post/_/...buy-duke-miami. ESPN puts a "buy" on Duke (as well as with Miami). The best quote (to me) is:

    The Blue Devils have an opportunity to be sneaky good this season behind quarterback Daniel Jones, who returns after putting together a redshirt freshman season in which he threw for 2,836 yards and 16 touchdowns.
    The post states that they will be shocked if Duke doesn't return to a bowl game. I love the optimism and respect Duke is getting. My expectations are still a little more reserved at the moment. Without a doubt, I expect Duke to be much better this season and I hope we challenge for the division, particularly because of Daniel Jones. I thought he played real well as a frosh, obviously, and I expect him to make a leap this season. However, we once again have a very difficult schedule. In any case, I'm not going to worry about records and bowls right now. I just love reading the optimism surrounding the program. Can't wait until camp starts.

    P.S.

    Gotta love the "sell" grade on UNC.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Vermont
    Once again, early season winnable games will be key. Hopefully our improved experience will help us in early games this year.
    And Avvocato, good luck on your big day Friday!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Winston Salem, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by Avvocato View Post
    I didn't see a general offseason thread, though feel free to move this if I missed it. Here is a link to an espn.com ACC post about the ACC Coastal division after the spring practices: http://www.espn.com/blog/acc/post/_/...buy-duke-miami. ESPN puts a "buy" on Duke (as well as with Miami). The best quote (to me) is:



    The post states that they will be shocked if Duke doesn't return to a bowl game. I love the optimism and respect Duke is getting. My expectations are still a little more reserved at the moment. Without a doubt, I expect Duke to be much better this season and I hope we challenge for the division, particularly because of Daniel Jones. I thought he played real well as a frosh, obviously, and I expect him to make a leap this season. However, we once again have a very difficult schedule. In any case, I'm not going to worry about records and bowls right now. I just love reading the optimism surrounding the program. Can't wait until camp starts.

    P.S.

    Gotta love the "sell" grade on UNC.
    At first glance, I thought you said, "the smell" on Uncheat. GoDuke!

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by budwom View Post
    Once again, early season winnable games will be key. Hopefully our improved experience will help us in early games this year.
    And Avvocato, good luck on your big day Friday!
    Actually, our schedule is kind of flipped from recent years -- the schedule starts off with some of the team's toughest games. True, we get a gimmie to open (NCCU). But the next four games in September are Northwestern (which has had our number) Baylor, at North Carolina and Miami (the probable favorite in the Coastal Division).

    We get Florida State, Pitt and Virginia Tech in Octover.

    This year, the most winnable games are in November -- Army, Georgia Tech and Wake Forest.

    I share the optimism for this season -- and not just because of Jones.

    My reasons:

    (1) This is the strongest redshirt class Cut has ever had. There are several future stars in the class.

    (2) Because of last year's unbelievable rash of injuries, last year's team was somewhat undervalued. We missed a bowl because we lost winnable games to Virginia, Wake Forest and Northwestern early, while Daniel Jones was having growing pains. But even with all the injuries, we still beat Notre Dame in South Bend, UNC in Durham and took Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech and Louisville to the wire.

    (3) Also because of injuries, a number of young players were forced to play before they were ready. But that experience will help this year. Just look at our secondary -- it was devastated by graduation, but true freshmen Mark Gilbert and Dylan Singleton got starting experience. Along with Fields, McDuffie and Saxton, we have a solid core to that unit.

    (4) Duke is the only team in the Coastal Division with a proven QB on hand. Some of the newcomers around the league will be very good ... but some will flop.

    I'm most worried about the kicking game -- two years ago, we might have had the best all-around kicking game in college football. Last year, we stunk (only good return teams kept us from behind the worst kicking tea in FBS). That has to get better. And Jones has to stay healthy. Parker Boehme is a good backup with a lot of experience, but it's not the same thing.

    I think the talent level of the roster is rising. There are a lot of promising young players on the DL. The OL looks solid, especially with the addition of the kid from Ohio State. We really have some quality linebackers. This is the deepest receiving corps that Cut has had -- if Bracey is healthy and lives up to the hype, it could be his best. I like our crop of running backs -- Shawn Wilson is the veteran, but watch out for Brittain Brown.

    We just need to catch some breaks -- a fairly healthy year would be a good start.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    New Bern, NC unless it's a home football game then I'm grilling on Devil's Alley
    Quote Originally Posted by Olympic Fan View Post

    (1) This is the strongest redshirt class Cut has ever had. There are several future stars in the class.
    Yes! As much fun as it has been to watch Coach Cutcliffe bring in some really respectable recruits, this year we actually get to see many of them in action. It has been a long wait, and I am anxious to see those guys have their day on the field.

    Quote Originally Posted by Olympic Fan View Post
    I'm most worried about the kicking game -- two years ago, we might have had the best all-around kicking game in college football. Last year, we stunk (only good return teams kept us from behind the worst kicking tea in FBS). That has to get better.
    Double yes. I don't want to be in close games and watch our coaches bring in the full offense because they have no faith in our kickers.
    Mmmm, BBQ!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Vermont
    I agree there are a lot of late season winnable games too, but I'm looking at Northwestern and turmoil riddled Baylor as opportunities in September...in the past we
    just haven't generated much offense vs NW, I'd like to think we have the talent and experience to change that this year...not sure where Baylor stands exactly, but
    they've got all new everything, lots of talent departed, coaches departed (honor departed), etc...I also think that unc, while having more overall talent, will be
    breaking in a new QB which presents an opportunity, and we beat them last year anyway...

    Last year the early Wake and UVA losses really hurt us...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Norfolk, VA
    These "way too early" rankings have Duke at #66.

    http://www.sportsonearth.com/article...-rankings-2017

    Our opponents (excluding NCCU who is FCS):

    84. Virginia
    78. Army
    57. Wake Forest
    53. Baylor
    48. North Carolina
    41. Georgia Tech
    40. Northwester
    28. Virginia Tech
    26. Pittsburgh
    16. Miami
    2. Florida State

    While these rankings have to be taken with a huge grain of salt, I do believe they point out the importance of winning September games against Baylor and North Carolina (along with the opener against NCCU of course). We need to go 3-2 in September.
    Bob Green
    DBR Survivor Football Champion
    2010 & 2016

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Norfolk, VA
    Quote Originally Posted by Olympic Fan View Post
    I think the talent level of the roster is rising. There are a lot of promising young players on the DL. The OL looks solid, especially with the addition of the kid from Ohio State. We really have some quality linebackers. This is the deepest receiving corps that Cut has had -- if Bracey is healthy and lives up to the hype, it could be his best. I like our crop of running backs -- Shawn Wilson is the veteran, but watch out for Brittain Brown.
    There is a whole lot for me to agree with in the quote above. The offensive line, running backs and receivers have the potential to be special. Shaun Wilson is the player who needs to set the tone with his explosiveness. Wilson compiled 1620 all purpose yards in 2016 and I expect that total to be significantly higher in 2017. Wilson had significantly less receptions and receiving yards as a junior (8/76) than as a sophomore (19/207) and freshman (18/179). The staff will need to get the ball into Wilson's hands more often on pass plays in 2017.

    On defense, the linebackers need to be impact players. In addition to returning members of the two deep rotation, Ben Humphreys, Joe Giles-Harris, Tinashe Bere, Koby Quansah and Zavier Carmichael, there are a couple of redshirt freshmen to keep an eye on starting with Brandon Hill.

    Daniel Jones showing solid improvement as a sophomore, after an off season spent in the film room and weight room, could be the final piece for the team to make the leap back to being a Coastal Division contender.

    While I am the eternal optimist (especially during Spring), the #66 ranking from my previous post is ridiculous. Duke will be much better than #66 in 2017.
    Bob Green
    DBR Survivor Football Champion
    2010 & 2016

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Green View Post
    These "way too early" rankings have Duke at #66.

    http://www.sportsonearth.com/article...-rankings-2017

    Our opponents (excluding NCCU who is FCS):

    84. Virginia
    78. Army
    57. Wake Forest
    53. Baylor
    48. North Carolina
    41. Georgia Tech
    40. Northwester
    28. Virginia Tech
    26. Pittsburgh
    16. Miami
    2. Florida State

    While these rankings have to be taken with a huge grain of salt, I do believe they point out the importance of winning September games against Baylor and North Carolina (along with the opener against NCCU of course). We need to go 3-2 in September.
    On the face of those rankings, that would translate into a 2 win season in FBS. I expect much more from our boys.
       

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Olympic Fan View Post
    Actually, our schedule is kind of flipped from recent years -- the schedule starts off with some of the team's toughest games. True, we get a gimmie to open (NCCU). But the next four games in September are Northwestern (which has had our number) Baylor, at North Carolina and Miami (the probable favorite in the Coastal Division).

    We get Florida State, Pitt and Virginia Tech in Octover.

    This year, the most winnable games are in November -- Army, Georgia Tech and Wake Forest.

    I share the optimism for this season -- and not just because of Jones.

    My reasons:

    (1) This is the strongest redshirt class Cut has ever had. There are several future stars in the class.

    (2) Because of last year's unbelievable rash of injuries, last year's team was somewhat undervalued. We missed a bowl because we lost winnable games to Virginia, Wake Forest and Northwestern early, while Daniel Jones was having growing pains. But even with all the injuries, we still beat Notre Dame in South Bend, UNC in Durham and took Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech and Louisville to the wire.

    (3) Also because of injuries, a number of young players were forced to play before they were ready. But that experience will help this year. Just look at our secondary -- it was devastated by graduation, but true freshmen Mark Gilbert and Dylan Singleton got starting experience. Along with Fields, McDuffie and Saxton, we have a solid core to that unit.

    (4) Duke is the only team in the Coastal Division with a proven QB on hand. Some of the newcomers around the league will be very good ... but some will flop.

    I'm most worried about the kicking game -- two years ago, we might have had the best all-around kicking game in college football. Last year, we stunk (only good return teams kept us from behind the worst kicking tea in FBS). That has to get better. And Jones has to stay healthy. Parker Boehme is a good backup with a lot of experience, but it's not the same thing.

    I think the talent level of the roster is rising. There are a lot of promising young players on the DL. The OL looks solid, especially with the addition of the kid from Ohio State. We really have some quality linebackers. This is the deepest receiving corps that Cut has had -- if Bracey is healthy and lives up to the hype, it could be his best. I like our crop of running backs -- Shawn Wilson is the veteran, but watch out for Brittain Brown.

    We just need to catch some breaks -- a fairly healthy year would be a good start.
    Can't really argue with much here. This is dead on, in my opinion. I focused on the QB in my brief post, because I still think that's a key piece, but I think this is a great summary. As for the schedule, I always think the Northwestern game is key. Assuming we take the opener, winning that Northwestern game sets us up. If we can then split Baylor and UNC, we could be on our way. But as you say, Northwestern has just had our number recently.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Green View Post
    Wilson had significantly less receptions and receiving yards as a junior (8/76) than as a sophomore (19/207) and freshman (18/179). The staff will need to get the ball into Wilson's hands more often on pass plays in 2017.
    I think the reduced receptions is in part because Jones throws the ball more around the field and doesn't always dump it off to the backs. However, I agree they need to make a point of emphasis of getting him the ball more in space, including as a receiver more. He's one of our few homerun players the past couple of years (hopefully one of the receivers will join that party).


    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Green View Post
    On defense, the linebackers need to be impact players. In addition to returning members of the two deep rotation, Ben Humphreys, Joe Giles-Harris, Tinashe Bere, Koby Quansah and Zavier Carmichael, there are a couple of redshirt freshmen to keep an eye on starting with Brandon Hill.
    I love our linebacker depth. Any word on Bere's health after last season's injury?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Norfolk, VA
    Coach Cutcliffe reviews the defense in the video clip below and states, "I want to set the sights high upfront on the defense."

    http://www.goduke.com/ViewArticle.db...CLID=211564693

    Yeah, there is always a lot of coach speak in these interviews but when Coach Cutcliffe talks about "players who can run creating schematic flexibility" it is exciting to hear.
    Bob Green
    DBR Survivor Football Champion
    2010 & 2016

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn.Devil.91.92.01.10.15 View Post
    On the face of those rankings, that would translate into a 2 win season in FBS. I expect much more from our boys.
    I'll take the over on three wins.

  14. #14
    Good timing for this topic. I have been in the doldrums on bball topics. So, this brings memories of the Notre Dame game, seeing a more than sizable Duke contingent on hand, and our boys chase the diners down and send them home less happy than they started. It was a big coming-out for Jones in a big arena (with help from some great special teams and solid D).

    Time to start planning on Northwestern road trip I think. Maybe Pitt.
       

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Undisclosed
    Quote Originally Posted by fidel View Post
    Good timing for this topic. I have been in the doldrums on bball topics. So, this brings memories of the Notre Dame game, seeing a more than sizable Duke contingent on hand, and our boys chase the diners down and send them home less happy than they started. It was a big coming-out for Jones in a big arena (with help from some great special teams and solid D).

    Time to start planning on Northwestern road trip I think. Maybe Pitt.
    IMG_0121.jpg

    IMG_0118.jpg
    1991 -- 1992 -- 2001 -- 2010 -- 2015

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Green View Post
    ... creating schematic flexibility ...
    Football: "gap integrity" ... "schematic flexibility" ...

    Basketball: the bounce .. ups ... hops ... handle ...

    Baseball: scuffling ... Texas leaguer .. can of corn ...

    It seems to me FB-speak is often about faux sophistication, hoops-speak is about sounding cool, and baseball-speak is about being folksy.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by fidel View Post
    Good timing for this topic. I have been in the doldrums on bball topics. So, this brings memories of the Notre Dame game, seeing a more than sizable Duke contingent on hand, and our boys chase the diners down and send them home less happy than they started. It was a big coming-out for Jones in a big arena (with help from some great special teams and solid D).

    Time to start planning on Northwestern road trip I think. Maybe Pitt.
    No road trips ...

    Duke plays both Northwestern and Pitt in Durham ...

    The five road games are at UNC, at Virginia, at Virginia Tech, at Army and at Wake Forest ...

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Reilly View Post
    ...It seems to me FB-speak is often about faux sophistication...
    But never forget the great Keith Jackson, "He's a hoss!" marvel. Back when football was FOOTBALL!!!
    Nothing incites bodily violence quicker than a Duke fan turning in your direction and saying 'scoreboard.'

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by weezie View Post
    But never forget the great Keith Jackson, "He's a hoss!" marvel. Back when football was FOOTBALL!!!
    And the players never had a concussed brain, just felt a lil' woozy.

    I'm sure there are counter-examples for all the sports, as the seam-heads/stat-heads can faux sophisti-cize baseball, Keith Jackson and John Madden can folks-ify football, and basketball ... well, I dunno ... hoops-speak seems more about being cool/tough/current throughout.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Olympic Fan View Post
    No road trips ...

    Duke plays both Northwestern and Pitt in Durham ...

    The five road games are at UNC, at Virginia, at Virginia Tech, at Army and at Wake Forest ...
    That's not exactly murderer's row on the road, and no epic road trips. Lays out nicely.
       

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