The Washington Times - October 11, 2008, 09:34AM

The bye week has made for intermittent blogging.

And, even worse, intermittent responses to comments.


Rather than just offer up answers in some posts from Thursday when I’m just taking a look through now, it seems more fair to copy-and-past the comments and offer up replies in a fresh blog post.

So this is sort of a pseudo-mailbag —- and if I have another stretch like the last couple days, there is always the possibility of resorting to this tactic again.

Here goes.

In response to the entry “Franklin’s first reply is much more telling. He re-iterated that Maryland is “trying to take advantage of [Portis’] athleticism” and mentioned that Portis’ “development as a quarterback is happening in practice.” With those comments back-to-back, it’s hard to envision a vastly different role for Portis within the offense.

Onto another topic —- the offensive line.

It needs to be fixed now, and one way for that to happen might be giving Bruce Campbell a bigger role. But BuddhaUMD is looking ahead:

I’m really concerned with the possible o-line in 2009

Joe Faiella, Lamar Young, Tyler Bowen, Stephen St. John, Mo Hampton, R.J. Dill, who of these are able to start in 2009??

OK, time to start piecing together next year’s line. And really, it’s hard to do.

My best guess is that Campbell is at left tackle, Phil Costa slides over to center and Justin Lewis plays one of the guard spots. And after that, it’s whoever manages to emerge.

Ralph Friedgen is really high on Tyler Bowen, if he can ever get his injured foot healed. My guess is Bowen or Stephen St. John plays right tackle, but that’s obviously very premature at this point.

As for the other guard spot, the obvious candidates are Paul Pinegar and Lamar Young.

Of the five redshirt freshmen Buddha mentioned above, St. John is the only one who has been fairly healthy since the start of spring practice. The rest have all become well acquainted with walking boots or knee braces, and that’s slowed things down a bit.

R.J. Dill is an interesting possibility; he earned some praise in camp but understandably hasn’t been heard from since the start of September.

Switching up to a Clemson-related post from a couple nights ago, JJ had this to say about Tommy Bowden‘s buyout —- which falls from $4 million to $3.5 million on Dec. 1.

I had not known about the buyout amount shrinking if he goes before Dec. 1. Interesting. My sense is that that buyout might finally be exercised this year. He’s come awful close in past years to getting pushed over. But this year, with the high expectation, might finally seal the deal. Not that there are obvious folks for them to go to instead. Though they sure would benefit from having the coach who beat them [Thursday] night.

The buyout grew when Arkansas courted Bowden last December and Clemson redid his deal, and its gradual decline was something added to protect both parties. Ultimately, it will probably provide much more cover for Bowden than his superiors.

There is one obvious possibility for Clemson to go after if it indeed dismisses Bowden, and that Vanderbilt coach Bobby Johnson. He is a South Carolina native and a Clemson grad, and he coached at nearby Furman (roughly 45 minutes from Clemson in Greenville) before heading to Nashville.

Interestingly, seven of Johnson’s nine assistants have either played or coached in the ACC, with several tied to the Dick Sheridan/Mike O’Cain teams at N.C. State in the 1980s and 1990s. Even if it was a while ago, a familiarity with the area can’t hurt.

—- Patrick Stevens