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Morning Coffee Saddles Back Up

Um, now what? With the conclusion of basketball season, this site's two main areas of focus - football and basketball - are officially in offseason hibernation. The 40AS boys will continue to provide outstanding baseball coverage, but it's always a challenge to figure out the best way to fill the remaining space during the offseason. We always find enough to talk about, but believe me, we're open to new ideas. If you've got something you're interested in talking about this offseason, let us know in the comments. Expect the usual - football stat pieces, roster breakdowns, and recruiting updates. But let us know about anything outside that.

NFL Draft update. Scouts, Inc. still lists Limas Sweed as one of the two best receivers in this year's draft (In$ider). Todd McShay grades Oklahoma's Malcolm Kelly slightly ahead of Sweed, but notes that the Texas star is the "more polished" player. Sweed's lingering wrist injury, however, remains a bit of a concern.

Among the 2008 running backs (In$ider), Scouts has Jamaal Charles rated as the fifth best available back, behind (in order) Darren McFadden, Rashard Mendenhall, Jonathan Stewart, and Felix Jones. In each of the three previous NFL Drafts, at least five running backs have been selected by the end of the second round.

Spring game thoughts. I obviously wasn't able to attend the Spring Game, but I called an old friend whose opinion on these things I value. Along with the good stuff we got in the Diaries here at BON, you might enjoy his take on Saturday's scrimmage:

It was mostly boring, as it always is, but the new format is an improvement over the utterly senseless set up of years past. Still, you know me, I'm a junkie for this stuff, so I had fun watching the kids get out there and compete.

The first thing to know is that I expect tremendous improvement on defense this fall. I love the move of Houston inside, where he's plenty strong and unfairly quick. I think my favorite thing about him is that there's no play he doesn't think he can get to. The motor never quits.

The linebackers will be a team strength this year, God (read: health) willing. I expect the secondary to struggle some, especially in the first two-thirds of the season, but my thinking right now is that this is a back seven that should be the Big 12's best in 2009. Keep an eye on Christian Scott. Once he gets acclimated to the game, he'll stick.

I'm skeptical about the offense. McCoy is a perfectly acceptable quarterback. For SMU. He's merely adequate at Texas. As you've undoubtedly heard, Chiles still looks bad as a passer. His footwork is better, but he can't put the ball where he wants to. When McCoy's quarterbacking, the big question is where the big plays will come from. The offense lacks play makers, and as cheesy as the 'explosives' statistic often sounds, it's a concern for me heading into the year. I like McGee and Foz, but I need to see more before I'm able to get excited about this unit as a whole. This team needs someone to step up and be for it what Jeremy Maclin was for Missouri last year. Without it, we're not going to be too difficult for elite defenses to contain.

Overall, my big thought was: patience for 2009. This can be a very good team in 2008, but the stars seem to be aligning for '09 more than this year. The defense will be the Big 12's best and there's reason to like the offense to evolve over the coming year. Mack's done a great job recruiting the offensive line of late; we'll be improved on the line this year, and great by next.

DJ Augustin, First Team All-American. As mentioned in the Diaries, DJ Augustin was voted a First Team All-American by the Associated Press. Joining him on the first team were unanimous selections Michael Beasley and Tyler Hansbrough, as well as Chris Douglas-Roberts and Kevin Love. More on DJ's decision to turn pro from AW later this morning.