Monday, February 3, 2014
Big Ten Monday chat wrap
By Brian Bennett
Sure, we can all be a little sluggish on the day after the Super Bowl. Why isn't this day a national holiday? But you guys still brought the energy for my Big Ten Monday chat. Here's the full transcript, along with some highlights:
Grant (San Francisco): Hi Brian! Happy Monday. What a terribly lopsided game last night. Obviously the Seahawks won because of the outstanding play of their defense and lock-down secondary. How will this impact the draft stock of players like [Darqueze] Dennard as teams perhaps try to develop defenses in a similar mold to Seattle's?
Brian Bennett: Seattle's secondary is so big and athletic, and I think you'll see teams try to copy that. It might help more for a guy like Stanley Jean-Baptiste from Nebraska because of his height. Dennard would be a top pick in any year, for any system.
Nick (St Paul): What do the Gophers need to do to get something going with the passing game next year? Looks like the QB competition will be open. They've landed a few recruits in the last few days. Do you see this year's team with a more balanced attack?
Brian Bennett: It could hardly be less balanced. The good news for the Gophers is that their three best receivers at the end of the year -- Williams, Wolitarsky and Jones -- were all freshmen. So some growth is inevitable. Leidner was also a freshmen. Patience is a key here.
Mike (New Jersey): You were great in covering the "old" BIG EAST. Every prediction I have seen so far has Rutgers in last place in the upcoming Eastern Division season. Come on we are even or better than Maryland, Penn State or Indiana. What says you?
Brian Bennett: I think Rutgers is going to have a tough first season, and the schedule -- which includes crossovers vs. Wisconsin and Nebraska -- is brutal. But I do like the Scarlet Knights to finish ahead of Maryland.
Ashley [via mobile]: With signing day approaching, I did some research I thought I'd share. Of the 53 non special teams players on either the media or coaches first or second team all B1G teams, they averaged 3.13 stars. One 5 star (Spence), six 2 stars, and two (Abbredaris and SJB) weren't even given ratings. Thoughts?
Brian Bennett: Does not surprise me. That's why I don't pay too much attention to recruiting rankings. Hunger and work ethic have so much to do with a player's development. Guys like Abbrederis, SJB and Darqueze Dennard would barely even have been mentioned on signing day when their careers began, they were such afterthoughts.
Hank (Washington DC): Is Brady Hoke's job in jeopardy as a result of the Brendan Gibbons situation?
Brian Bennett: Not unless we find out some more damning info, like what Hoke knew about the situation and when he knew it. But he does owe an explanation of the time line, in my opinion.
Adam (PA): Is Penn State a better football team than last year or will the lack of depth keep them as a 7-8 win team?
Brian Bennett: Depth is going to be an issue for a while, and there will be a transition with the new staff. But the schedule is manageable, and I think the Nittany Lions should go 4-0 in the nonconference portion. Still, I think an 8-win season would be a success in Year One for Franklin.