Coach Troy Calhoun and the Air Force Falcons football team are probably extremely happy to be focused on assignments, drills and wind sprints after last week's revelation of player and administrative misconduct that clouded the days leading up to Falcon football camp.
Quarterback battle remains equal
News from camp has been few and far between from Colorado Springs regarding practices and key positional battles. It is the quarterback battle that has Falcons fans most intrigued. There are three main candidates for the position: senior Kale Pearson, sophomore Nate Romine and junior Karson Roberts. All three cadets saw time for the Falcons in 2013 and all are vying for the starting job in 2014. It is widely believed that the choice will come down to Pearson, the triple option expert or Romine who is the best passer of the bunch. With the upgraded receiver corps the Falcons have for 2014, the choice for quarterback will tell a lot about the offensive focus Air Force will implement this season.
Air Force had its fair share of attrition during the offseason and there has been a key move by the coaching staff to balance out the roster.
The linebacker position was devastated by four eligible players not returning to the football team. With Air Force running a 3-4 defense, the need for steady outside linebacker play was needed. During spring camp, the Falcons moved their best defensive player Dexter Walker to the weak side outside linebacker spot. This week, Defensive Coordinator Steve Russ moved last year's best inside linebacker Spencer Proctor to the strong side outside linebacker position. Russ and the defensive coaches want to press the line of scrimmage by bringing both outside backers closer to the line of scrimmage, so these positions were necessary for the Falcons to improve their terrible defensive numbers from 2013.
Jon Lee gets a different role
Air Force runs a flex bone offense which first and foremost is built around the quarterback-fullback veer option. In that case the fullback and the quarterback are usually going to be your top rushing options. Calhoun also features the Rocket sweep, and that was were Jon Lee got most of his carries while playing running back for the Falcons. Lee was successful in that position, averaging 6.3 yards per carry in his career to this point.
Lee is moving to flanker however, which will involve him more in the passing game or as an outside blocker. Air Force likes the flanker to be shifty and will run the flanker on reverses and some pitch options, but Lee will see a significant decrease in carries. And while they are the Air Force, they haven't been known to air the football out as much, so Lee's contributions to the Falcons offense could drop significantly.