The offseason is the perfect time to take a closer look at how players performed during the 2006 season -- and project what 2007 might look like. Here are seven things that stood out to me when studying game film in preparation for the season.
Optimism under center at Penn State
After watching several of Penn State's televised games last season, there wasn't much I could say positively regarding Anthony Morelli's quarterback play. But my tune completely changed after studying him in four different games on "coach's copy" of game film. Sure, I still think his decision-making skills are too erratic and he trusts his arm too often, which leads to dangerous throws into coverage. However, the progress Morelli made during the second half of 2006 leads me to believe he could be primed for a breakout campaign this fall.
The biggest variable is pass protection. Penn State's offensive line, with the exception of LOT Levi Brown (No. 5 pick overall by the Arizona Cardinals) was young and did an awful job of communicating. Early in the season, Morelli became so preoccupied with the pass-rush pressure that his mechanics suffered and he made entirely too many hasty decisions. With experience came increased composure. And when given time to set his feet and deliver, Morelli is one of best pure pocket passers in the country. He has a quick release, a rifle for an arm and he shows surprisingly good accuracy and touch when his mechanics are in check.