Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Welcome back, Bones

Thanks to another malfunctioning airplane and incompetent ticket agents, I was stuck in the Indianapolis airport on Sunday for several hours before being told I wouldn't be able to leave until Monday. How is it possible in this day and age to oversell a flight? It's seems like simple arithmetic. There are 50 seats on the plane. Therefore, you can't sell tickets to more than 50 people. For some reason, computers still don't prevent this from happening.

That's not the only thing the folks at this particular airline screwed up. I won't say which airline it was -- I'll just say it was a U.S. Airline. After waking up at 4 a.m. to catch the 6 a.m. flight to LaGuardia, I went to pick up my bag and discovered it wasn't put on the plane. The baggage claim agent at LaGuardia, a rather rotund woman who introduced herself as Miss Shirley, spent 30 minutes trying to track down my bag before telling me no one knew where it was. Thanks. Rumor has it my bag recently arrived at Bradley airport after a whirlwind tour of the country. I'll believe it when I see it.

My point is, I have been too exhausted to update the blog the last two days. But I'm ready to check in after we found out about our new quarterback at the Tuesday media luncheon.

By now, most of you are already aware Matt Bonislawski will start for D.J. against Navy on Saturday. Bones has been a forgotten man since camp opened. His name is even misspelled in the UConn media guide (he's listed as Matt Bonislawaski). He was only the team's top quarterback a year ago. And Bones is more than capable of jump-starting a passing game that has struggled under D.J.

A quick refresher. Last season, he lost only two of his seven starts; against a nationally-ranked Georgia Tech team on the road in a game no one thought the Huskies could win anyway, and on the road at Pitt when he returned from a broken collarbone two weeks earlier than anticipated. Bones threw seven interceptions a year ago, but three came in that Pitt game with a shoulder that was clearly not 100 percent. He doesn't have a Brett Favre arm, and is aware of his own limitations. "I'm the first to admit I'm not the most talented guy," Bonislawski said. "I'm not going to throw for 300 yards every game." However, he's a tough, athletic kid who was named high school player of the year in football and basketball by his hometown newspaper in Pennsylvania. He runs well, rarely fumbles and exudes confidence in the huddle.

The players are embracing the move. A couple of quotes from others...

"It should be a good shot in the arm for the offense." -- defensive tackle Rhema Fuller.

"Bones is more confident in the huddle than D.J. He knows where to put the ball and that you're only supposed to hold it for so long. ... It's great that we ran the ball 53 times a week ago. That's fun as an offensive lineman. But we know against real good teams that's not going to work, they're just going to stack the box. We have to have a balanced offense to come around." -- offensive lineman Matt Applebaum.

As for Bones, obviously he's excited. But he's also empathetic for D.J. "I told (Hernandez) I know how it is," Bonislawski said. "Last year after the Georgia Tech game everone was saying they wanted him to replace me. It's sad really. But I told him it doesn't really matter what anyone else says."

My feeling is as long is Bones is healthy, he should be able to move the ball against Navy, South Florida and Army over the next three games. Keep in mind those are all winnable games (as opposed to West Virginia) and would put the Huskies at 5-1 heading into that game and in the driver's seat for a bowl game.

Is Bones healthy? He says the spring was real tough on him because he couldn't do much with his shoulder. When I spoke to Bonislawski early in camp in August, he said his shoulder was feeling much better. On Tuesday, he said he's taken plenty of hits in practice and has held up.

Edsall reaffirmed that the plan is to redshirt sophomore Dennis Brown this season, and said Brown wasn't even considered for the job.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home