Birds No. 5 in Street & Smith

grons

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Love to see this. It's become standard that we're a top 15 team nationally.
Now let's start having the Top 5 conversation every year...as the new standard.
Eventually, we will shift our mindsets and our players will get over the hump and we will start saying National Championships are the standard.
Easier said then done and it's extremely ambitious to think this way, but it's proven possible by NDSU...
It's OUR time.
 

fourthandshort

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Does Street and/or Smith know we lost Robinson ?

OUr defense will be top 5, our offense will not ... work in progress and a lot to prove before we should be talking top 10, much less top 5.
 

StLRedbird

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Does Street and/or Smith know we lost Robinson ?

OUr defense will be top 5, our offense will not ... work in progress and a lot to prove before we should be talking top 10, much less top 5.
If the offense can be average or better, we should be good. But if it can actually be a plus, then look out. This could be a very dangerous team. I sure wish we had been able to have normal spring workouts and a normal training camp this summer.

The main thing we missed last year was a deep threat. Most of that offensive line that kept the 'birds winning games when everyone knew we were running the ball is back. If Davis can force those defenses to respect the passing game... It was starting to come together for Davis before the injuries last year to Edgar and Grimes.
 

Virginia Redbird

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Pre-season rankings mean virtually nothing. Nice to see the Birds get some recognition but truly meaningless. ISU should have a top defense but a few key injuries like we had to the receiving corps last year and that can change in the blink of an eye. I am pretty optimistic about the offense. If everyone returns healthy (QB and Receivers) I think there is the makings of a good offense. Losing the spring hurts the development but everyone is in that same boat. Polls and rankings, even during the season, are fun topics for fans to discuss and argue about but meaningless.
 

fourthandshort

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If the offense can be average or better, we should be good. But if it can actually be a plus, then look out. This could be a very dangerous team. I sure wish we had been able to have normal spring workouts and a normal training camp this summer.

The main thing we missed last year was a deep threat. Most of that offensive line that kept the 'birds winning games when everyone knew we were running the ball is back. If Davis can force those defenses to respect the passing game... It was starting to come together for Davis before the injuries last year to Edgar and Grimes.
I do think we have the talent on offense, but until it materializes, I'm skeptical. As Total Red inquired, it's 4th and 2 (or 3rd and 2), who do you give the ball to ? We're really going to have top mix things up on offense until we see what we have. Without Robinson, we will need a reliable pass game. I love our WR group and hope they stay healthy .. they should be ready this fall. But our RB group is a year behind our young WR group and therefore a question mark, as is our pass game. OUr strong OL gives me some hope the offense will be good enough to win enough games to make playoffs. Our challenge will be the upper half of MVFC again looks very strong and you can probably add SIU to the upper half talk. I put the MVFC in these tiers in 2020:

Tier 1: NDSU, SDSU, UNI, ISUr, SIU .. NDSU is prohibitive favorite, they had little coming back last year and still won it all. This year, they have fair amount back. Then probably SDSU, and after that, it will be a dog fight between UNI, ISUr, and SIU. If our offense is pretty good, we will rise above this group and contest SDSU for 2nd place. I just love our defense again .. especially the DL and DB groups, and I expect or LB group to reload it's depth, though our depth here is our only question mark on defense. But our offense has to move some chains some against the upper half teams .. and this depends on a lot on Davis establishing pass game.

Tier 2: USD, UND, ISUb, and YSU .. thinking USD and UND will be competitive, but not ready for upper tier. While ISUb and YSU should have some further fall off, possibly into Tier 3

Tier 3: WIU and MoST .. just not seeing any chance they move up at all this year.
 

StLRedbird

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I do think we have the talent on offense, but until it materializes, I'm skeptical. As Total Red inquired, it's 4th and 2 (or 3rd and 2), who do you give the ball to ? We're really going to have top mix things up on offense until we see what we have. Without Robinson, we will need a reliable pass game. I love our WR group and hope they stay healthy .. they should be ready this fall. But our RB group is a year behind our young WR group and therefore a question mark, as is our pass game. OUr strong OL gives me some hope the offense will be good enough to win enough games to make playoffs. Our challenge will be the upper half of MVFC again looks very strong and you can probably add SIU to the upper half talk. I put the MVFC in these tiers in 2020:

Tier 1: NDSU, SDSU, UNI, ISUr, SIU .. NDSU is prohibitive favorite, they had little coming back last year and still won it all. This year, they have fair amount back. Then probably SDSU, and after that, it will be a dog fight between UNI, ISUr, and SIU. If our offense is pretty good, we will rise above this group and contest SDSU for 2nd place. I just love our defense again .. especially the DL and DB groups, and I expect or LB group to reload it's depth, though our depth here is our only question mark on defense. But our offense has to move some chains some against the upper half teams .. and this depends on a lot on Davis establishing pass game.

Tier 2: USD, UND, ISUb, and YSU .. thinking USD and UND will be competitive, but not ready for upper tier. While ISUb and YSU should have some further fall off, possibly into Tier 3

Tier 3: WIU and MoST .. just not seeing any chance they move up at all this year.
MOST is a wildcard for me. Petrino has won at every stop in his coaching career, including WKU. Steckel's 2020 recruiting class was reputed to be his best. Faint praise, I know, but there were several that had FBS offers, which is unusual for MOST. Petrino added to the class in the spring with the NJCAA defensive player of the year, a couple big defensive linemen (330+), a speedy WR (3rd place in the 100m dash in GA), among some others. We play them in our MFVC season finale, so they'll have a year of Petrino schooling under their belt. Probably won't matter, but a team to watch, IMO.

I recall reading the YSU fan forum after our game with them last year. Baltz demonstrated he wasn't ready and they got a pretty easy win over us in the MVFC finale for both schools. Their fans seemed very optimistic about 2020, iirc.

The NDSU-JMU FCS championship game from Jan was on ESPNU yesterday, so I had to watch. I don't know that they're a prohibitive favorite. What they absolutely never do is beat themselves. Every player stays home and executes their assignment. They count on the guy next to them to do the same. It works, and they rarely give up big plays and sometimes get them when other teams make mistakes. Point is, I don't think we're too far off the mighty Bizen. Proved that in the playoffs last year. Lance worries me as I don't think he's begun to touch his potential.
 

Total Red

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Does Street and/or Smith know we lost Robinson ?

OUr defense will be top 5, our offense will not ... work in progress and a lot to prove before we should be talking top 10, much less top 5.
Randy Reinhardt, our own local sportswriter, is the one that does the MVFC and the National writeup for the FCS portion of Street & Smith's, so it can be said with confidence that he is aware that James Robinson is no longer a Redbird.

Yes the offense has a lot to prove but remember that the team finished in the top 8 of the playoffs last year. We had workhorse Robinson but we didn't have our starting QB (Davis) or starting WR (Grimes).

btw it was Coach Timmy that asked who gets the ball on 4th and 2. My answer - Proctor. Just as I contend that speed is overrated for long runs by a RB, I also contend that size is overrated in short yardage situations. Most short yardage runs are not a handoff, a straight line run and a head on collision with an attempt to knock the defender backwards. Most short yardage runs involve movement just before contact to find the small opening that exists. The RB can maneuver left, right, high, low and yes sometimes pads down and straightforward but not that often. The perfect 4th and 2 back? Fans of my generation think of Walter Payton. Not big, not fast, just an incredible football player with all kinds of ways to beat you. Proctor is similar in size to Payton - does he deserve to be mentioned in the same breath? I'll circle back to what fourth said - "work in progress and a lot to prove," but it's sure something to shoot for.
 

MadBird

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I was thinking about at least buying the Kool-Aid packet for Proctor, maybe will wait to mix it up and drink. But you know, I'm thinking to myself, here's a guy who started out at Iowa State, so he had some promise at that level. A couple successful years in California at JC, all around performer, thousand yards rushing in year 2. Did pretty well catching on to a new system last year and playing behind an All-American. We've been spoiled recently by having multi-year studs at RB, Robinson and Coprich, but there's nothing to stop Proctor from having a solid senior season and making a name for himself in his one shot at glory! Here's hoping . . .
 

Total Red

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S & S has the Redbirds 3rd in the conference and #5 nationally. The polls aren't likely to go along. We're the likely underdog at North Dakota St., at Northern Iowa and at Illinois. That's 3 losses right there. An 8-3 team has a very hard time being ranked #5. They'll go with a 9-2 or 10-1 team from a lesser conference with an easier schedule. Same old story. The MVFC teams knock each other off during the regular season and then prove their worth in the playoffs.
 

TIMMY

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Randy Reinhardt, our own local sportswriter, is the one that does the MVFC and the National writeup for the FCS portion of Street & Smith's, so it can be said with confidence that he is aware that James Robinson is no longer a Redbird.

Yes the offense has a lot to prove but remember that the team finished in the top 8 of the playoffs last year. We had workhorse Robinson but we didn't have our starting QB (Davis) or starting WR (Grimes).

btw it was Coach Timmy that asked who gets the ball on 4th and 2. My answer - Proctor. Just as I contend that speed is overrated for long runs by a RB, I also contend that size is overrated in short yardage situations. Most short yardage runs are not a handoff, a straight line run and a head on collision with an attempt to knock the defender backwards. Most short yardage runs involve movement just before contact to find the small opening that exists. The RB can maneuver left, right, high, low and yes sometimes pads down and straightforward but not that often. The perfect 4th and 2 back? Fans of my generation think of Walter Payton. Not big, not fast, just an incredible football player with all kinds of ways to beat you. Proctor is similar in size to Payton - does he deserve to be mentioned in the same breath? I'll circle back to what fourth said - "work in progress and a lot to prove," but it's sure something to shoot for.
Walter was not human. He was made of steel. And 200 lbs was bigger then. Jay Hilgenberg went to 7 pro bowls at 250 lbs.

I thought Proctor danced a little too much last year but he's changed his body this off season so let's hope he's a stick your foot in the ground, one cut, every down back!
 

ISUBU

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S & S has the Redbirds 3rd in the conference and #5 nationally. The polls aren't likely to go along. We're the likely underdog at North Dakota St., at Northern Iowa and at Illinois. That's 3 losses right there. An 8-3 team has a very hard time being ranked #5. They'll go with a 9-2 or 10-1 team from a lesser conference with an easier schedule. Same old story. The MVFC teams knock each other off during the regular season and then prove their worth in the playoffs.
We can be 8-3 and a genuine contender for the national title. We will be underdogs in those three away games, I agree.

I'm not concerned about the running game. Robinson was excellent. But I don't see us slipping any further than good.

Our passing game was below average. Basically three anticipated major receivers lost lots of time. But we were in the bottom half of the conference in passing in 2018 also. I worry more about improvement in the passing game than I do about any decline in the running game.
 

fourthandshort

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Randy Reinhardt, our own local sportswriter, is the one that does the MVFC and the National writeup for the FCS portion of Street & Smith's, so it can be said with confidence that he is aware that James Robinson is no longer a Redbird.

Yes the offense has a lot to prove but remember that the team finished in the top 8 of the playoffs last year. We had workhorse Robinson but we didn't have our starting QB (Davis) or starting WR (Grimes).

btw it was Coach Timmy that asked who gets the ball on 4th and 2. My answer - Proctor. Just as I contend that speed is overrated for long runs by a RB, I also contend that size is overrated in short yardage situations. Most short yardage runs are not a handoff, a straight line run and a head on collision with an attempt to knock the defender backwards. Most short yardage runs involve movement just before contact to find the small opening that exists. The RB can maneuver left, right, high, low and yes sometimes pads down and straightforward but not that often. The perfect 4th and 2 back? Fans of my generation think of Walter Payton. Not big, not fast, just an incredible football player with all kinds of ways to beat you. Proctor is similar in size to Payton - does he deserve to be mentioned in the same breath? I'll circle back to what fourth said - "work in progress and a lot to prove," but it's sure something to shoot for.
My bad on Timmy quote.

But you've obviously never had to tackle Robinson between the tackles ... here's a SEMO LB after a Robinson run on 3rd and short .. knocked his gear clean off !!! o_O

😁

1593371652710.png
 

fourthandshort

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View attachment 320

No hole? No problem. Is this what coaches mean when they tell you to take your game to a higher level?
oh the memories of watching him run. And his patented leap over the top for TDs (or 1st downs) was just a thing of beauty. Somebody suggested Proctor is similar size ... Proctor is reportedly up to 185 lbs at 5'8". Walter was 5'10' and 200 lbs.

But would love to drift this thread about Payton .... he was a very powerful 200 lbs, but just fast and quick enough for NFL, and then phenomenal running skills and nearly impossible to tackle one on one or in open field. And his stiff arm or shoulder ... oh my, it was just brutal. His running style at his size defied physics. I know players weren't as big then, but still.

I seriously wish they kept stats for how many times RBs got forced out of bounds versus tackled. And not when RBs opt to go out of bounds to avoid contact, but actually forced out of bounds versus tackled. And with Payton there was almost always more contact because he forced the contact before he had no choice but to go out of bounds. Walter would have been ranked way up the hell up there.
 

Virginia Redbird

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oh the memories of watching him run. And his patented leap over the top for TDs (or 1st downs) was just a thing of beauty. Somebody suggested Proctor is similar size ... Proctor is reportedly up to 185 lbs at 5'8". Walter was 5'10' and 200 lbs.

But would love to drift this thread about Payton .... he was a very powerful 200 lbs, but just fast and quick enough for NFL, and then phenomenal running skills and nearly impossible to tackle one on one or in open field. And his stiff arm or shoulder ... oh my, it was just brutal. His running style at his size defied physics. I know players weren't as big then, but still.

I seriously wish they kept stats for how many times RBs got forced out of bounds versus tackled. And not when RBs opt to go out of bounds to avoid contact, but actually forced out of bounds versus tackled. And with Payton there was almost always more contact because he forced the contact before he had no choice but to go out of bounds. Walter would have been ranked way up the hell up there.
Walter was a very special player. I was living in the Detroit area the last few years of Barry Sanders's career and saw him several times at the old Silverdome. I used to get into heated arguments with Lions fans when I told them if I had to make a choice, I would pick Walter over Barry every time. The Lions fans would go absolutely crazy. I told them a couple of things. One, Barry would break a play for 35 yards and then lose 7 on the next play. The Lions took Sanders out in goal line or short yardage on a regular basis because he was as likely to lose yardage as pick up a couple of yards. Sanders was an elusive runner kind of in the Gale Sayers mode but he was rarely asked to block and completed a successful block even less often. Walter was the best all-around football player I have ever seen play the game. He could run, catch, pass, and was a devastating blocker. He even played QB in a game in 1984. Now don't get me wrong, you could not go wrong with either player but my first choice would be Walter. Then toss in his durability. He only missed one start in his career and insisted he could have played that day. With as much contact as he had and on some horrid Bears teams, that to me was his most amazing stat.
Yeah, players were smaller then. Hard to believe now but I vividly remember people astonished with the Fridge because he weighed over 300 pounds. Heck, Dan Hampton was 6'5" and 264 pounds. I don't think it would impact his ability as much as his durability. He probably would have been injured a little more with 330 or 320 pounds guys slamming into him all day. Just a wonderful football player and human being.
 

fourthandshort

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say what ... he's up to 205 lbs ??? I completely missed that .. obviously. But how could he put on 20 lbs in one offseason ?
 

fourthandshort

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Walter was a very special player. I was living in the Detroit area the last few years of Barry Sanders's career and saw him several times at the old Silverdome. I used to get into heated arguments with Lions fans when I told them if I had to make a choice, I would pick Walter over Barry every time. The Lions fans would go absolutely crazy. I told them a couple of things. One, Barry would break a play for 35 yards and then lose 7 on the next play. The Lions took Sanders out in goal line or short yardage on a regular basis because he was as likely to lose yardage as pick up a couple of yards. Sanders was an elusive runner kind of in the Gale Sayers mode but he was rarely asked to block and completed a successful block even less often. Walter was the best all-around football player I have ever seen play the game. He could run, catch, pass, and was a devastating blocker. He even played QB in a game in 1984. Now don't get me wrong, you could not go wrong with either player but my first choice would be Walter. Then toss in his durability. He only missed one start in his career and insisted he could have played that day. With as much contact as he had and on some horrid Bears teams, that to me was his most amazing stat.
Yeah, players were smaller then. Hard to believe now but I vividly remember people astonished with the Fridge because he weighed over 300 pounds. Heck, Dan Hampton was 6'5" and 264 pounds. I don't think it would impact his ability as much as his durability. He probably would have been injured a little more with 330 or 320 pounds guys slamming into him all day. Just a wonderful football player and human being.
You almost can't compare Payton and Sanders or Jim Brown. If someone asked me who the most electric talented big play RB of all time, it is Barry Sanders, hands down. If you asked me who the most dominant RB of all time, it would be Jim Brown. But when question is simply, who is the best all around RB of all time, it is clearly Walter Payton.

Like you said, Sanders was not a move the chains or small field RB, which is why his coach would pull him at the goal line .. he was such a threat to break a long run, which is main reason his ypc was so high. So teams had to scout and prepare for him a whole lot to limit his chances at big play .. sort of a containment strategy. He was also not good at blocking or catching the ball out of backfield. Walter was very good at all that and more ... he could even punt, throw, tackle after pick when called upon. He did everything in a way no one else could.

Jim Brown couldn't do all that either, he was just physically so far ahead of the entire league, and was also talented .. so he dominated because of his physical attributes being way ahead of his time .. sort of like the Wilt Chamberlain in basketball. Anyone remember watching Earl Campbell (5'10 232 lbs) in his prime ? Had to be a little what it was like to watch Jim Brown (6'2" 232 lbs) ... except they played 20 years apart, so Campbell didn't stand out as much.
 
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