August 22, 2007

Fall Camp storylines revisited

Just prior to the commencement of summer workouts I wrote an article addressing what I considered to be five of the more intriguing and important storylines associated with the Texas Tech football team. Now that the media has been barred from practice as the Red Raiders go into secretive, game-preparation mode, it would seem worthwhile to look back upon those storylines in order to see if any attendant questions have been answered, and if so, in what way.

Will Tech Really Blitz in '07? In the days before summer drills began, defensive coordinator Lyle Setencich let on that a more aggressive blitzing style of defense could be in the offing from the 2007 Red Raiders. Going on the theory that football teams practice what they will play, I surmised that summer workouts could give us some clue as to whether Setencich was giving us the strait dope or merely pumping hot methane.

Now, having seen all the workouts I will see, I can say conclusively that the answer to this little riddle is inconclusive. Sure, we saw a good many blitzes in practice and witnessed a borderline bewildering array of alignments and defensive plays. But truth be told, we've seen the defense take on this aspect before. Yet when the real shooting started, we got nothing but the same Plain Jane from Setencich's crew. So nothing emerged from these workouts upon which to base firm conclusions one way or the other. But don't be surprised if this defense plays it very much like all other Setencich defenses of days gone by.

Skinny D-Line: In the earlier article I pointed to Tech's recent history of poor run defense and posited the notion that the current defensive line's lack of beef could compound problems in this area. I also suggested that summer drills could provide us an inkling as to whether or not this concern was valid. And on this score, I think we may actually have gotten some answers.

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