Hoo Preview 2011: JHoo’s 10 Things

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Michael Rocco likely will take the first snap.

I constantly am amazed by how quickly the first game arrives, in a sense. For the longest time, it feels like football never is going to get here … and then bam, practices start, the depth chart starts to come together, and the first game is upon us.

In a way, the entire Mike London era has been a similar whirlwind but here we are, on the cusp of season number two. And as with season number one, there are a lot of questions that will be answered as this year plays out. Here are 10 on which I am focused. … some obvious, some obscure.

1. How Will Michael Rocco Play? No reason to beat around the bush on this one, as it is the question on everyone’s mind. Perhaps some still are asking in their minds who will take the first offensive snap of the 2011 season but, barring a catastrophe, it will be Michael Rocco who does so (unless we are in a funky set, which is a whole ‘nother question). So if that is a given, the question becomes how he will play, and there are a wide range of opinions on that question.

For me, however, there is a question that must be answered first, as it provides the context to the “how will he play?” answer. That question: how will Rocco be used? From everything I have heard, the staff – Bill Lazor, in particular – are not expecting Michael Rocco to step onto the field and be the savior of the program and its offense, a guy who can wing the ball all over the field on every down. To the contrary, Lazor is looking for something very different from Rocco this season: Lazor wants and needs Rocco to manage the offense and to get the ball into the hands of the playmakers, with Lazor seeing it as his own job to help figure out how to accomplish the latter. In other words, Lazor is looking for Rocco to manage the game, not take it over.

In that context, it is not hard for me to see Rocco being able to do the job. Rocco is a cerebral quarterback who understands the overall scheme concept, as well as the play-by-play progressions. On top of having a good head for the game, Rocco has