Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Steve Stripling Addition and the loss of McMahon

Last week I wasn't really able to give the Steve Stripling hire due justice in the Morning Sun because I was taking some much-needed time off.

But I think this is a great hire for CMU for many reasons, the most obvious being Stripling's work at other top programs like Michigan. Being a part of 20 bowl teams has to give you an idea of how good programs work, and also must mean you are doing things right yourself.

Another thing that stands out with the hire is that he will be, along with assistant defensive coach, the defensive ends coach. This will give CMU two coaches that have primary focus on the defensive line, which tells me they want to see a drastic increase in pass rush from the front four.

It also tells me that CMU plans on doing more speed rushing from the outside this year, which had its success last season when Sam Williams got hot. I think with Williams and Frank Zombo already established as solid ends, and with a freshman like Darryll Stinson, who is 6-6 225 and in incredible physical shape for a redshirt freshman, the Chippewas should be able to create a much better pass rush in 2009 from the front four, which was certainly lacking during key times in 2008.

On another side note I was never able to touch on the loss of Offensive Lineman Joe McMahon from the program. This is really a big blow as CMU is now without three starters on the line. McMahon was a solid blocker and the perfect size for a lineman and could also play guard or center, which gave CMU options. The offensive line will clearly be a big question mark heading into the 2009 season. I know CMU recruited some solid lineman, but even Butch Jones admitted that you can't expect true freshmen to step in right away at the O-Line as their bodies have not put on enough weight yet.

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