Kyle: It’s a bright future, definitely. But, going back on the Spaz and his spazzy recruiting, his top prospects either under-performed or just did not show up throughout his tenure. Al Louis-Jean, Dillon Quinn, and Shakim Phillips, then Chase Rettig never played up to his top-ten QB capabilities (let’s be honest). Whether it was a problem of development or just injuries, the job never got done by the coaching staff. Then again, Luke Kuechly did become a beast under the staff, so you can draw your own conclusions.
And I agree with you on the bowl prediction. Honestly, I think the 2012 team should’ve at least gotten 6 wins, but you know…
Considering the schedule the 2013 squad, 6 or 7 wins doesn’t seem impossible at all, and I think the program has a bright future starting in 2014 with Addazio’s new recruits. At QB, you have two good recruits in either the sophomore James Walsh or the freshman Darius Wade. Both are dual-threat quarterbacks whom scouts are projecting to have an impact at the BCS level despite their 3-star rankings. And contrary to what you might hear, Addazio is flexible when it comes to recruiting quarterbacks. While he prefers the dual threat (e.g. Tebow), if he can get a pro-style four-star to Chestnut Hill, he will pull the trigger. Addazio is proving himself to be much more adaptable than Frank Spaziani ever was.
In all honesty, I think that Coach Daz has this team fired up to run through a wall. I don’t want to compare him to Jim Harbaugh, but I will. Harbaugh took a terrible, terrible 49ers team from Mike Singletary and turned them into winners (pun intended) in one year with a fire unmatched by most head coaches. I think Daz can match this fire next year and it will reflect upon the success of his recruiting classes.
Joe: Great recruits are only great if you’ve got adequate coaching to develop them, and think where we were with that a year ago. Some people will say “but Joe, look at guys who really took off, like Luke Kuechly or KPL or Alex Amidon” or whomever, but there’s no question the guys who shined were outnumbered by the ones who didn’t reach their potential. I can appreciate now that we have coaches like Addazio and Don Brown who are going to recruit AND take a few chances, meaning they won’t do things like, say, punting down 30 in the fourth quarter inside the other team’s 40.
I’m not making any season predictions until August (we want people to come back for the preview articles, extra site hits and all that) but I do think it’s possible. I think the change in coaching philosophy will be good for at least another win or two, but how much more is up to the players we’ve got now.
Now, the other obvious question from before: what were your one or two worst moments from this past year?
Kyle’s worst moments on the next page