What is a "non-burning question"? I honestly have no idea. It's just something dumb I came up with. We all know the "burning" questions like "who will the QB be?" so I decided to just write about five things I'm curious about but that aren't the main things media, pundits, and fans are talking about. Feel free to add yours in the comments below.
1) What's The Rotation at Running Back Going to Be?
You would think it's 1) Jovon 2) Kerryon Johnson 3) Kamryn Pettway. Or maybe 2a and 2b are Johnson and Pettway. And don't forget Kameron Martin, the former Baylor signee. He's likely destined for the speed-sweep/slot role that Roc Thomas was going to occupy, though.
Why is this a "non-burning" question? Well, because I think Auburn will have a 1,000-yard rusher no matter the order. Whether Jovon is the workhorse or Kerryon is, running back will be fine.
2) What's the Defensive Line Rotation Going to Be?
It doesn't matter. Oh, sure, Carl Lawson is a starter and will be in on a majority of plays. Montravius Adams probably will be as well. The thing is, Auburn's defensive line is so loaded with talent and depth this year that I expect we'll get back to a rotation like we saw in 2013 where 8-10 different linemen play in any number of combinations.
Auburn is going to want to keep the defensive line fresh. This season, there's plenty of talented depth to allow them to do so.
3) Who Will Be the Punt Returner?
In 2013 it was Chris Davis. In 2014 it was Quan Bray. Marcus Davis handled the duties for most of last season and is likely to be the guy this year. I've said before that my ideal is a reliable and dynamic punt returner, but, in the end, I'll settle for a guy who can reliably field the ball.
Davis (Marcus-type) wasn't quite as dynamic as Bray or Davis (Chris-type), but he was a pretty good mixture. However, I'm curious to see if there's someone else on the team who can step up and be even better since I don't know that I want our senior leader wide receiver returning punts and risking injury.
4) What will the starting defensive backfield look like?
My guess? Carlton Davis, Josh Holsey, Stephen Roberts, Tray Matthews, Rudy Ford. Holsey will play corner in this lineup (he's played almost every DB position) and Rudy Ford is the Nickel. Don't count out redshirt freshman Jamel Dean, though. Nick Ruffin will have a say in things, as well.
Essentially, I like where we sit with our DBs. There is talent and experience to go around, and there's talent waiting in the wings, too. Javaris Davis is supposed to be lightning fast, and we've got some newcomers from this year's class who hope to make an impact, too. It's a question, but not one that's burning, because I think we'll be fine in the secondary.
5) Who Will Be the Punter?
Kevin Phillips was the punter last season (and threw the best pass of the Birmingham Bowl), but Ian Shannon was a pretty highly rated punter when he arrived at Auburn. Can he knock off Phillips for the job? Phillips was good, but he wasn't Steven Clark good. People forget just how essential Clark was to the 2013 team with his ability to pin people deep (often inside the 5) on his punts. That field position flipping is a huge advantage.
Will Phillips hold on to the punting job? Or will Shannon (or local boy Sage Ledbetter, listed as K/P on the roster) take over the job? I'm honestly very curious to see on this one. I'm not in the "punting is winning" crowd, but I'm definitely one who believes an excellent punter like Steven Clark was can add a huge element to a team's overall success.