(1) I'm jealous of Adam Hoge, Badger blogger at Bucky's 5th Quarter. He's attending Big Ten Media Days, and is providing updates. Good on him. In addition to the convenience of living in Chicago and working at BTN, something tells me Adam is single and without kids. (As a 2008 grad, he's also young enough to have a handle on Twitter.) But maybe he's just better at multitasking than me. Anyway, I'm jealous.
(2) The live chat UW set up with Coach Bielema today was what one would expect: thin on substance. Nonetheless, I think he gave two comments we can learn from: (a) expect a lot of Lance Kendricks and Garrett Graham together (Q: "I thought Garrett Graham was kind of a breakout player last year. Can you give us one or two that you think might 'breakout' this season?" A: "I believe one offensive guy is Lance Kendricks. We really felt good about him last year going into the MSU game, but unfortunately broke his leg."); and (b) JJ Watt will play some tackle depending on the game situation (I predict passing downs) (Q: "If the opener were tomorrow, who would you anticipate being the starting front four defensivlely" You mentioned JJ Watt & I've read you like his cersatility, but will he start inside?" A: "I can name our top six: Schofield [DE], Watt, Moore [DT, some DE], Stehle [DT], Kelly [DE], and Butrym [DT]. It would probably be some combination of those four. J.J. is one of our d-lineman who can play inside or outside [Moore is the other] depending on game plan and the type of offense we are going against.")
Ok, so neither of these is earth shattering. I think everyone expects a lot of 2-tight end sets (I've only written about it somewhere in the neighborhood of 1000 times). But I was wondering about Watt. Originally I thought of him as an undersized tackle, but he's listed on the two-deep as a starting end. I think this clarifies that. He is probably the starting end (opposite Schofield), but may move inside from time to time. I'm guessing passing downs because guys like Kelly, Nzegwu, and Mains are pass-rush specialists (they have to be given their size). So you throw them in to rush the quarterback, but keep Watt in on the play as a solid penetrating tackle.
Pretty much the same story out of the opening address to the media today (video embedded below): three solid tight ends (with Turner playing some fullback, too); Kendricks looking to fill Beckum's H-back role, and effectively the same rundown on the defensive line. Combining the statement he made in the chat and the statement he made to the media, it's looking like: Watt, Moore (he pegged him as inside), Stehle, and Schofield.
Last thing: Bielema thinks the Badgers' success at home has hindered high profile home-and-home scheduling. Wouldn't surprise me. Generally scheduling is a tough thing to do, and our home record doesn't look too appealing to opposing teams with resumes similar to ours.
Don't have the interviews with Graham, McFadden, or Schofield up on the BTN yet, so I'm in the dark on those.
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