We will be missing Carlos that is for sure, If Braxton goes it will also be a huge loss. Sure we have great Freshman who have not seen the field and have very little experience especially in Big Game Atmosphere. There are always Growing Pains!
I believe the first 4 games next year will be huge in showing us exactly what we are dealing with. We will know by then if Brax is coming back, let's assume he doesn't for the sake of argument. We will have a very inexperienced O Line, Inexperienced Backfield; minus the beast in Hyde. The QB spot as far as experience goes in non existent. I believe if we start a a New QB (braxton gone) he will have some tremendous early challenges: NAVY ( no sleeper, look at them this year!) ; VIRGINIA TECH (very good team); Kent State (not a bad 2014 squad, a lot of seniors); Cincinnati ( very Tough); Maryland (again not a bad team); Out of the first 6 games there are 4 very good opponents!
A young inexperienced QB no matter how good will face some huge challenges and battles in those games. I think everyone knows that a true freshman will not run like Brax did; for one he will not have the O line from 2013, and he will be inexperienced / lacking confidence early on.
The O line play in the Beginning of 2014 will be crucial in developing the next QB; again assuming Brax leaves! If the line falters and allows some really bad sacks (hard hits) it is very hard on a freshman in the begriming of his career to get past that type of punishment. It will affect his footwork in the pocket. Many a QB that have gone through these situations have become nervous in the pocket because of the hits they take early in their respective careers.
If I am Urban I am focusing on the O line becoming Tough as nails and leak proof to the point of if you need to hold momentarily then do it, rather hold a guy or tackle one that is going to put a BIG HIT ON YOUR YOUNG QB. I know everyone that just read that cant believe I said it, let's face the facts people there is holding on every play in college and pro's I know because let's just say I have been there and done that. With that being said you never teach a lineman to hold except when he has a guy that he is up against and he is a bruiser type that can destroy the QB. If so you get your hands to the inside of his jersey and play the game; whatever it takes to keep him off your Mother(QB) There will be sacks, and bad plays they will happen, but to limit them to be non excessive and less disruptive is the ideal.
Navy, VT, & CIN all have very good Defensive lineman coming back next year, It will be a real challenge early on for this new line to take up an identity, and play together on every play; developing a cohesive unit will enable the Offense to run at a smoother pace; and allow the QB to develop under normal circumstances. This will do wonders for his future! A strong start by our O line also means keeping the offense on the field, giving our defense the rest it needs, and putting points on the board early and often will go a long way in developing this younger talent on both sides of the ball. It all starts with the O line
How long for them to gel together as a Cohesive unit? What game do you think will be the crown jewel showcase for the O line? If there is a new QB, does he sputter early on, or do we get through the first 5 games without a loss?