3rd String QB? No problem. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
4) Have a Depth Plan and Live By It
So if the last page was all about Oregon, this one is for you Ohio State fans.
As mentioned earlier, the Buckeyes starting quarterback before the season started was Heisman hopeful Braxton Miller. Then in an August preseason practice, he was lost for the season. Gulp. In came freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett. Many figured the Buckeyes were already done, especially after losing their second game of the season to Virginia Tech 35-21. Yet Barrett matured before our very eyes and the Buckeyes kept winning games.
In fact, Barrett ended up breaking Braxton Miller’s Buckeye Record for total touchdowns in a season between passing and rushing. Then, as Ohio State climbed up the rankings attempting to get in the Top four of the new College Football Playoff system, disaster struck against Michigan. Barrett went for a rush, dove ahead to the ground and did not get up. Third string quarterback, sophomore Cardale Jones was put in and the Buckeyes held on for the victory. Now, the Buckeyes sat in the 5th spot with the last game of the regular season in the BIG 10 Championship against Wisconsin. There were questions as many thought it even if they won but Jones didn’t impress they might not advance in the rankings and TCU would claim the 4th spot. They won 59-0.
Then they were to face Alabama, who won the championship in 2009, 2011, and 2012. If not for one of the best endings to a football game in recent memory they probably would’ve played for the championship last year too. They won that one too and it was indisputable that Jones pushed and willed his team to a victory. For reference, this past Saturday the NFL Arizona Cardinals had to play their third string quarterback and ended up posting the fewest total yards for any team in an NFL playoff game ever!
For the Padres, though pitching is widely considered a strength already, I love the fact that Preller hasn’t stopped getting more depth for the rotation and bullpen. The recent Seth Smith for Brandon Maurer is a terrific example. Giving Josh Johnson another chance to reform himself.
The problem with the Padres “Big Three” is that we know that Cashner is likely to miss a few starts, Tyson Ross threw a lot of innings last year and don’t forget actually ended the year on the disabled list, and Ian Kennedy isn’t getting any younger. Trading away Jesse Hahn also means you lose another starter with MLB experience.
Build up the depth, you never know when you might need it throughout a long season and need to have the “next man up” mentality. We saw it last year with the Padres as Hahn and Odrisamer Despaigne stepped up with injuries to Robbie Erlin and Cashner.