In our continuing attempt to plod through the Buckeye football and hoops dry season, we are constantly challenged to "create our own shot", as Jason calls it, in an attempt to bring you daily content.
It sounds easy enough but that's not always the case due to things like DVR's full of The Hills and East Bound and Down, wives/girlfriends, jobs and whatnot. Anyhoo, I'm hoping I've stumbled on something worth kicking around for fun this Tuesday and next.
The idea is to evaluate this season's prospective offensive and defensive units and then decide which former player - inside the last 20 years - you would choose to join this year's team for one run at the title. So you don't blow my grand plan of milking two posts from one idea, let's try to stay focused on the offense this week. And for all you haters, remember this is just for fun in hopes of making the off season go one day faster. Now let's get to it.
Looking at the projected '09 offensive starters, it seems the most likely positions to plug in a great would be at offensive line or receiver but maybe you'd prefer to go off the map and plug in a QB like Troy and make Pryor an ultra back/receiver of epic proportions or maybe you aren't sold on Herron and Saine in the backfield? Let's take a quick glance at each area of opportunity.
Running Back While the '09 unit appears to have a fairly solid two headed monster in Boom and Zoom, along with some youngsters who might challenge for some charity carries come fall, adding Eddie George would obviously make the offensive line look a lot less sieve-ish and keep teams from keying on Pryor.
If you do go the running back route it would be next to impossible to pass on Eddie but maybe you like the sleekness of the current offense and prefer to plug in Pittman or Wiley? Or maybe you smoked too much tree as a youth and think adding Clarett to the mix would be the magic formula? If nothing else, it would provide a guy to share the media focus with TP. Whatever, I'll put the stop sticks on that school of thought. Clearly, if you go RB, you go Eddie.
Offensive Line This seems like a no-brainer position to capitalize on when you look at the current crop of linemen who failed to impress last season coupled with the fact nobody appeared to truly step up this spring with the exception of Boren. Pardon me for being less than ecstatic about guys like the "versatile" Cordle, Browning and the (once upon a time) next great one, Mike Adams. That's not to say these guys won't finally put it together or that some freshman won't emerge but how could you not sport a quarter chub if you had the chance to add Orlando Pace to this group?
Imagine the confidence Pryor would gain knowing his blindside would never be of concern as he looked downfield to Ray Ray, Posey, Dane or Flash etc. The running game would also once again have it's bread and butter off left tackle taking even more pressure off Pryor. It's hard to argue against taking Pace as the one upgrade when you consider the other pieces in place.
Wide Receiver I know we're all pretty excited about the potential and depth this year's crop of wideouts brings to fall camp but I think a case can be made for adding a veteran pimp on the edge to give Pryor a proven partner through the air.
Imagine Pryor dropping back and having a huge target like David Boston ripping through the secondary. Or again, maybe you want to stick with the speed theme of this year's skill players and select Terry Glenn, Ted Ginn Jr. or Santonio Holmes. You can't really go wrong with any of these cats although I'd personally take Boston because the dude was a physical beast among boys.
No matter who you chose, you'd now have a receiving corps deeper than Jack Handey.
Quarterback I know it's probably taboo to even list QB on the list but what if you put Troy Smith under center affording the luxury of using Pryor as the ultimate all purpose player? We know he can run, we've seen him show the potential to be a first round draft pick at receiver, he's got the size to go over the middle and there's no reason to think he couldn't return punts or kickoffs. I'm not advocating such a move - just throwing it out there. There's arguably not a more versatile player in all of college football so it's at least worth a flyer to see what anyone thinks.
My Choice In the end, I think this imaginary exercise comes down to either offensive line or receiver. It's hard to fathom passing up Eddie but I have enough confidence in Boom/Saine plus there's just too many question marks up front and on the edge. Pairing the choices to either upgrade the line or at wideout, for me, it comes down to two players. The obvious and only choice up front is Pace while several players come in to play if deciding on a receiver.
I like the thought of adding a proven burner like Glenn or Ginn but when it comes down to it, I'd take Boston over those guys to give the existing group a shot of size and attitude. Throw in the fact he'd draw a lot of double coverage and you open up the middle for an existing homerun threat like Small. Plus, Boston was seemingly always open due to his frame giving Pryor a guy he could key on when looking to convert crucial third downs.
Line or receiver? Pace or Boston? I'll take Pace. I like the potential I see in Posey, Small and company and the glaring hole(s) on the offensive are simply too much to ignore. I mean, haven't we been there and done that enough to make this an obvious choice?