Skip Holtz's Quest For Versatile Players

During his daily interview after practice in Vero Beach, Skip Holtz went off on a bit of a tangent when someone asked him about Mo Plancher. I was kind of hoping he would start talking about having versatile players at some point, because when you read all the daily reports from camp, there have been several notes about guys switching spots on the field, or switching positions entirely. When he brought it up, he said:

"We're challenging them mentally out here. They have to learn the big picture, and not 'what does my position do.' They need to understand, my position does what it does because this position does this."

This may not be a complete list of players who have either moonlighted or changed positions during camp, but here's the tally I have:

  • Jacquian Williams playing nickel corner
  • Mistral Raymond playing both safety and cornerback
  • Isaac Virgin switching from running back to wide receiver
  • Lindsey Lamar becoming a jack-of-all-trades on offense and running back kicks
  • Evan Landi taking snaps as the backup QB
  • Michael Lanaris as a long snapper
  • Joel Miller switching from running back to wide receiver
  • Every fullback on the roster is also a tight end

And this doesn't even count a new guy like Deonte Welch, who was a receiver, a running back, a punt returner, and a defensive back at Williston High School.

Holtz said in the interview that he wants his players to be able to handle two different positions, which is a good idea any time, but especially this season. (ACTIVATING SECOND-PERSON HUBIE BROWN MODE NOW) It's early on in your tenure, you're working with a lot of inherited players, and maybe you aren't sure how much of your depth you can get away with playing. Maybe you feel more comfortable with a Mark Popek moving from tackle to guard if something were to happen to Jeremiah Warren. Maybe you are looking to put in some trickeration or a wildcat package, and you need someone who can run and throw the ball effectively. You now have more options and tremendous upside potential all over the field. (END HUBIE MODE)

Of course, it also creates smarter players who won't blow assignments, commit dumb penalties, or make mental errors. Certainly no one would complain around here if that happened, right?

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