Football: Departure of key talent leaves offensive line, backfield searching for replacements

first_imgWeek three of the spring position previews shifts focus from Jim Leonhard’s defense to the offensive side of the football, a unit also welcoming many new faces to the mix.I don’t need to be the one to say that last year’s Badgers disappointed for many reasons. This lack of success can partially be credited to the team’s offense only scoring 29.7 points per game, good for 61st in the nation, after scoring 33.8 points per game during the team’s outstanding 2017 season.The underlying stats, however, paint a different picture.Football: To fuel 2019 season, Badger secondary looking for consistencyAfter last week’s dive into the units of defensive backs and linebackers, this week the focus is on Coach Paul Read…An important statistic in evaluating offensive production is yards per play. This stat takes the total yards gained by an offense and divides it by the number of plays the unit ran during the course of a season.The 2017 Badgers, a team that went 13-1 and fell a drive short of the College Football Playoff, averaged 6.1 yards per play.The 2018 Badgers, a team that went 8-5, averaged 6.4 yards per play.The drop in offensive production on the scoreboard was not due to a lack of production by the team as a whole, but rather due to untimely turnovers and a lack of efficiency in the red zone and on special teams — Rafael Gaglianone, the team’s kicker, made an atrocious 58 percent of his field goals.So, now that Offensive Coordinator and Offensive Line Coach Joe Rudolph has lost much of his 2018 and 2017 talent to graduation and the NFL, it’s time for him to rebuild his unit in order to bring the Badgers back into national relevance.The first positional units of the offense previewed are the offensive line and backfield.Offensive LineBadger fans know the offensive line has been a pivotal cog in Head Coach Paul Chryst’s and Rudolph’s offensive system, one premised on dominating the line of scrimmage and running the football.Last year the line boasted NFL talent across the board in Jon Dietzen, Michael Deiter, Tyler Biadasz, Beau Benzschawel and David Edwards.Football Outsiders’ end-of-year rankings had the unit as the best in the nation, outperforming the great offensive lines of Alabama, Oklahoma and other top programs.Looking forward to 2019, however, only Biadasz returns to the team, and a new-look line must be ushered in around him.The good news for Wisconsin fans is that Chryst hasn’t had any trouble in the past bringing top-level talent at the position to the school, as he has seemingly rebooted the line to a perennial top-ten unit in the nation every year.Current linemen on the roster who will battle for open starting jobs alongside Biadasz include redshirt sophomore Kayden Lyles, redshirt senior Jason Erdmann, redshirt sophomore Tyler Beach, redshirt senior David Moorman, redshirt sophomore Logan Bruss and redshirt sophomore Josh Seltzner.With Biadasz on the sideline for the spring session and several spring practices in the books, the shape of the line around him is starting to form with Moorman at left tackle, Seltzner at left guard, Bruss at right guard and Beach at right tackle.This lineup is not finalized, however, as Chryst and the staff will welcome in five-star recruit Logan Brown to the team in the fall and have Erdmann and Cole Van Lanen, players who both played in 13 games a year ago, battling for the positions.Despite all these new names up front, Biadasz is encouraged with the progress that they’ve made as a unit since the spring began.“They’re doing a hell of a job this spring so far,” Biadasz said. “It’s only week two and they’re doing a really good job of just catching along and building themselves each practice.”Chryst and Rudolph hope that the development at the position continues as the spring and summer progress and that the line can come close to their 2017 and 2018 form.Football: Fresh defensive line, linebacking corps seek to return Wisconsin defense to dominanceThe date was December 27, but the Badgers’ 34–3 Pinstripe Bowl victory against the University of Miami feels like it Read…Running Back and FullbackThe answer in the backfield is clear. Jonathan Taylor is back in Madison for his junior season and will be ready to defend the Doak Walker Award he received last fall.Taylor is coming off a sophomore season that not only lived up to the hype that followed his freshman campaign but exceeded it with 2,194 yards and 16 touchdowns. To put Taylor’s historic first two seasons in perspective, he’s on pace to become the greatest running back in Wisconsin history.What isn’t clear about the backfield, however, is who will play Robin to Taylor’s Batman and keep him fresh throughout the season.Last year, Taiwan Deal, Garrett Groshek and Chris James split the role of the team’s backup running back and filled it well, averaging 6.6, 6.5 and 4.7 yards per carry respectively. Groshek is back in Madison this season but Deal and James both graduated last spring, leaving a big hole in the rotation.Chryst addressed the running back rotation when speaking after the Badgers’ 7th spring practice.“There are spots or roles to be earned,” Chryst said. “That’s where spring is a good time to get reps, the consistency probably won’t come until fall camp.”The likely heir to Deal and James’ role as one of Taylor’s backups is Bradrick Shaw. Shaw was injured for all of the 2018 season but showed promise during his freshman year in 2016, rushing for over 450 yards on an average of 5.2 yards per carry.Shaw and Groshek should do an effective job aiding Taylor this season — Shaw as more of the bruising, powerful back and Groshek as a third-down passing option.The story of departed talent continues at the fullback position with Alec Ingold graduating and pursuing an NFL career. The likely replacement for Ingold is redshirt junior Mason Stokke. Stokke played in nine games a year ago, only carrying the ball four times.Other fullbacks on the roster are sophomore Leo Chenal and redshirt sophomore Coy Wanner.Both of these units — the offensive line and backfield — will work to take pressure off one of the most talked about positions coming into spring and summer football — quarterback.Will Graham Mertz, the No. 5 overall quarterback in this year’s class, take the helm as a true freshman? Will Jack Coan build off his productive-at-times 2018 season?Next week the quarterback position will be previewed along with the wide receiver group, two positions with plenty still up in the air with the 2019 campaign around the corner.Note: The print version of this article incorrectly identified Logan Brown as Trent Brown. The Badger Herald regrets this error. Brown’s correct name is listed in this story.last_img read more

GVC’s Mark Chambers to step down

first_img GVC hires ‘comms pro’ Tessa Curtis to re-energise media profile  August 25, 2020 StumbleUpon Share Martin Lycka – Regulatory high temperatures cancel industry’s ‘silly season’ August 11, 2020 Submit Related Articles Share GVC absorbs retail shocks as business recalibrates for critical H2 trading August 13, 2020 GVC Holdings has confirmed that its Managing Director for retail in the UK and Ireland Mark Chambers will step down from the position in March 2020, due to be succeeded by Andy Hicks.The announcement marks a shake-up for the operator’s retail division, which has already undergone a number of changes due to FOBT legislation and subsequent shop closures.Hicks will assume Chambers’ role following his promotion from the position of retail operations director.A statement from GVC, the parent company of Ladbrokes Coral, said: “GVC is pleased to confirm that Andy Hicks has been promoted to the position of MD of retail for the UK and Ireland. The appointment follows the decision of Mark Chambers to move on from the business in the new year.“Andy brings huge experience and expertise to the role, having spent over a decade with the business in various senior operational positions, most recently as retail operations director.”Chambers will remain with the business in a consultative role until March 2020, “to ensure a smooth handover of responsibilities.”Chambers previously held the position of financial controller at Coral, before returning to Coral as finance director. He then became chief operating officer for retail at Coral and then Ladbrokes Coral.GVC added: “It’s just over 18 months on from the Ladbrokes Coral acquisition, and with significant ongoing growth, there is a natural level of change across the business. We would like to congratulate Andy Hicks for his well-deserved promotion and wish Mark every success in future.”last_img read more